Your Ubuntu Linux system comes with a modern, advanced, and easy-to-use desktop environment known as GNOME. There are many such environments, and in time, you will learn about them. Part of that freedom I spoke about is the freedom to do things your way, and that extends to the type of graphical environment you may want to work in. The most popular desktop environments today are the K Desktop Environment (KDE) and GNOME, but WindowMaker, IceWM, XFCE, and others have quite a following, as well.
Ubuntu Linux is just one face of a handful of simplified, fine-tuned, Linux distributions. There is another version of Ubuntu being distributed called Kubuntu, the difference being that it uses KDE as its default desktop environment. In Chapter 20, I'll tell you how to install and run the Kubuntu default environment, the KDE desktop. Don't worry; you won't be giving anything up. You can easily switch from one to the other as you so desire.
When you become comfortable with GNOME and Ubuntu Linux, I invite you to experiment with other desktop environments. Exercise your freedom to be yourself.