While Linux administrators may not need a graphical user interface (GUI), users who are converting from Microsoft Windows do. One of the goals within the GNU community is to make the Linux operating system competitive on the desktop. To this end, Linux needs a GUI that can help Microsoft Windows users feel comfortable.
To achieve this goal, Red Hat Linux has worked magic with GNOME, the GNU Network Object Model Environment. Not only does GNOME provide a high-performance GUI, but it also includes high-performance software such as office suites that can cost the Microsoft user hundreds of dollars. And of course, there are no licensing fees associated with Linux. As noted in Chapter 01 , this has caused a number of companies and governments to consider replacing Microsoft Windows with Linux.
GNOME provides a GUI desktop, control applets, and several important applications. Many of these components can replace costly third-party applications that run only on Microsoft Windows. In this chapter, we ll take a brief look at the GNOME desktop, the Control Center, as well as the applications that come with GNOME on Red Hat Linux 9.
However, this chapter does not include a comprehensive introduction to GNOME. We won t look at common applications such as OpenOffice until Chapter 18 . We ll also hold off on the redhat-config-* tools until Chapter 19 .
In addition, the Red Hat implementation of GNOME allows you to use KDE applications and utilities, which are covered in Chapter 17 . Many KDE tools are accessible directly through the GNOME Main Menu button. This chapter covers the following topics:
Working with the basic GNOME interface
Learning about GNOME extras