What Are System Tools and Utilities?
"System tools and utilities" is a very technical term, encompassing grand concepts in technological leaps and bounds and thoughts and . . . wait . . . I can't lie to you anymore. We've known each other too long now. I made it up. "System tools and utilities" is a collective
Both Mandrake and Fedora have gone to great lengths to make these
Fedora's System Tools and System Settings
Fedora isn't into creating control centers or central locations too much. Some people consider this practice to be a detraction from Fedora's usability, while others think of the practice as a complement to their intelligence. In the case of system tools and settings for Fedora, the place to look is in the main menu. Utilities are split between the System Settings and System Tools
System Settings Menu
This menu contains lots of options that pertain to the
Services is the only option in this submenu. If you install more software later, you might see other entries here. You can start, stop, and restart services from the Service Configuration dialog box. A service is a background program that runs in your OS. Checking the box for a service causes that service to start when your computer starts. Try not to
If you chose to customize which programs you added during installation, you might recognize this tool (it's the same interface). The
Choosing this option
Date & Time
<sarcasm>Hmm, now what in the world could this be for?</sarcasm> This is the same dialog box you get by right-clicking the clock on your panel and choosing Adjust Date & Time. You can also choose to sync your clock to a network and choose the time zone.
The three tabs in the Display Settings dialog box are Settings, Hardware, and Dual Head. On the first tab, you can adjust your screen resolution and
Figure 3.1. The Display Settings dialog box in Fedora.
This option is for setting the language of your keyboard.
Here you can set the default language for your system. If you are missing a language that you would like to have available, you can grab your install CDs and add it from the many languages available.
We were here in the last chapter, remember? Ah, the memories. Anyway, this is the dialog box where you can change the settings for the GDM login manager program.
The settings in the Network Configuration dialog box are for changing the settings on your network card and your computer's network identification information. Descriptions are at the top of each tab.
You can add and edit printers with the Printer Configuration Tool. We talk more about printing in a bit.
Red Hat Network Configuration
If you choose to use the Red Hat Network for your updates, this dialog box sets the address used, lets you adjust settings for controlling package management, and choose exceptions.
Change the root user's password from here.
This dialog box is for setting your firewall options. If you enable the firewall, you can check boxes for which services and devices are allowed. Using the firewall is an
Sound Card Detection
The only thing you can really do here is listen to that "if Zamfir
Users and Groups
Add and edit users and groups with this tool. You can create groups to use for setting permissions for more than one user at a time or create a class of users.
System Tools Menu
Many of the entries in the System Tools menu deal with the hardware in your system. Other options are for some of the same things as the System Settings menu. Most of these tools are new, graphical ways to perform actions that previously could be done only on the command line. A majority of these tools require your root password.
More System Tools
Poof! It's empty? Well, if you haven't installed KDE along with GNOME, then, yeah, this submenu is an empty placeholder for most default Fedora users. If you have installed KDE, two of the KDE disk utilities are listed here.
This option opens the File Roller program. File Roller is the same program that pops up when you double-click an archive (.zip, .tar, .gz, and so on) in the Nautilus file manager. It is a manager program for creating and extracting compressed files.
This is the behemoth of controversy for many Linux GNOME
Figure 3.2. The loved and hated GNOME Configuration Editor.
With this tool, you can mount and
I know, who uses floppies anymore? Talking about floppies is like hearing your uncle talk about those great eight-track tapes he used to have of the Doobie Brothers. If you still have floppies, well, here's a tool to format them for you. The interface is very easy to use and gives you options for density and file system type so you can format floppies for use in other OSs.
Take a look at what hardware is installed on your system in this tool. This isn't the place to make changes to anything, but the Hardware Browser is the place to come when you need to know the brand or model of a device and don't want to
Internet Configuration Wizard
This wizard is magical. The Internet Configuration Wizard isn't
Network Device Control
The Network Device Control module is a tool for monitoring, activating, and
After you add a printer, you might want to see what it's doing; you have the Print Manager to look at documents and status of the printer queue.
Printing Notification Icon
This puts an icon in your system tray that you can click when you are printing to check the status of the print job.
Red Hat Network
This brings up the dialog box for the Red Hat Network. This tool checks which system packages are available for update. You can use the Red Hat Network to keep your system up-to-date.
Red Hat Network Alert Icon
If you haven't gotten rid of it yet, you probably have a round icon in your system tray for the Red Hat Network. This menu option puts the icon back if you remove it.
Log files are lists of events and warnings. This is a tool to view the log files for your system without having to use the terminal. Logs can be helpful for troubleshooting problems but don't make for very interesting reading.
You can view the current memory usage, processor usage, and running processes in the System Monitor. Some people like to incessantly stay abreast of their computer's performance and keep this open all the time.
It's the terminal. It's your access to the command line. It's your friend. Don't be afraid of it. Open it. Like it. We have more brainwashing later to make you like the terminal.