This chapter provided a quick tour of the many features and functionalities available to you when using Fedora. The remainder of the book covers in detail many of the topics that were briefly touched on in this chapter.
The overview began with a look at the basic components of the desktop ”the workspace, the panel, and the desktop menu. You saw that there are various methods of launching GUI applications ”through the desktop menu, the run dialog box, the shortcuts on the panel, and the terminal emulator.
Moreover, while there is a good deal of functionality available through Fedora s GUI-based utilities, you can achieve more complete control over the desktop at the terminal ”there are many command line interface (CLI) utilities, and each one offers a plethora of options. You saw how to launch programs via the terminal, and that the apropos and man commands help you to find out the right program for the job, and how to use that program.
You ve seen the hierarchical nature of Fedora s filesystem. There s a single directory (known as the root directory, and denoted by / ) at the top of the hierarchy, and a subdirectory structure beneath it. To examine the file structure of any external device (such as a CD-ROM, a floppy, or a network drive), you mount the device to a directory in this hierarchy, and then treat the device s filesystem as a part of the overall filesystem. You also looked at how to navigate the computer s filesystem using both the CLI and the Nautilus GUI.
It s useful to be able to check the hardware configuration of the machine ”CPU, memory, storage and network devices, the display, and peripherals such as the mouse, keyboard, and the sound card. As you saw in Chapter 1, the system attempts to detect hardware automatically during the installation process. This chapter explained the utilities that allow you to check and adjust this configuration manually at any time after installation, including the GUI-based Hardware Browser, and CLI-based utilities such as lspci . You also met the GUI-based System Monitor, and files such as /proc/ cpuinfo and /proc/loadavg , and CLI programs such as top that allow you to monitor performance.
You also saw how the desktop control center allows you to customize the Fedora desktop in many ways to suit your convenience and taste.
One important area of desktop usage is process management. The chapter examined the various methods for observing processes and controlling them when necessary. You also looked at run levels, the various states of the machine that determine which processes and services are available in the machine at any given time.
The chapter took a quick look at user management, and at how Fedora allows you to organize a system s users into groups (which is handy for allowing or denying access to system resources). Finally, you took a quick look at the GUI-based User Manager and command line utilities such as useradd and passwd , which allow you to begin managing your accounts; you ll see more of that in Chapter 8.