Chapter 7: The GNOME Interface

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Introduction

As was previously mentioned, there are a number of different graphical interfaces you can use with Linux. Rather than have a single desktop environment choice as you have in Windows and Macintosh, you have several to choose from. Obviously, some of these are more commonly used than others. Some are rather obscure and rarely encountered. For the purposes of this book, we can ignore the more obscure desktop environments. KDE and GNOME are the two most commonly used desktop environments for Linux. Most of this book will focus on the KDE interface. This choice of KDE over alternative interfaces is strictly a matter of popularity. There is no technical reason to prefer KDE over GNOME. Both are very easy to use graphical interfaces and have several things in common. In fact, they even have many facets of their desktops in common. If you become proficient with one, learning the other should not be difficult. In fact, you can install both KDE and GNOME on your PC. At the login screen, simply click on Session at the bottom of the screen and select which interface you prefer to use during a session. Since GNOME and KDE can work side by side, and because it is so easy to switch back and forth between them, it seems prudent to examine GNOME, at least briefly. It should also be pointed out that GNOME is also quite popular, and many Linux users like it. If we at least look at both, then you might decide which interface you prefer. Remember that one of the cornerstones of the open source software philosophy is that you, the computer user, should have lots of choices. Even if you still prefer KDE, you will at least have a basic familiarity with GNOME. If you followed the instructions for installation in Chapter 2, “Installing Linux,” then you should have both KDE and GNOME on your computer. If you did not, then skip to Chapter 14, “Miscellaneous Linux Applications,” which has a section on adding new packages.

GNOME is part of the GNU project and is itself an open source application. GNOME is an acronym for GNU Network Object Model Environment. The GNOME project was officially started in August 1997, and the first release was in December of the same year. However, this release was just a barebones development release. It was intended for programmers to examine, improve upon, and submit changes, if they so desired. GNOME 1.0, the first version for the general public, was released in March 1999. GNOME is based on an underlying engine called GTX. This means that it can run on any Unix-like platform that uses GTX. You can find out more about GNOME at www.GNOME.org/.



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Moving From Windows to Linux
Moving From Windows To Linux (Charles River Media Networking/Security)
ISBN: 1584502800
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 247
Authors: Chuck Easttom

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