Red Hat Linux includes a powerful graphical desktop environment where you can easily access your applications, files, and system resources. Both new and experienced users will be able to take full advantage of the Red Hat Linux system using the graphical desktop.
This chapter covers the fundamentals of the Red Hat desktop (which is based on the GNOME graphical user interface) and how you can customize it for your needs.
Your first view of the graphical desktop will look something like Figure 6-1.
Figure 6-1. The Graphical Desktop
The graphical desktop gives you access to the applications and system settings on your computer. You will notice that it offers three main tools to make use of the applications on your system: Panel icons, desktop icons, and menus.
The long bar across the bottom of the desktop is called the Panel. The Panel contains application launchers, status indicators, and small applications called applets that enable you to control sound volume, switch workspaces, and monitor the status of your system.
The icons elsewhere on the desktop can be file folders, application launchers, and removable devices such as CD-ROM and diskettes when they have been mounted. To open a folder or launch an application, double-click on its icon.
The menu systems can be found by clicking on the Main Menu button. They can also be found by clicking on the Start Here icon located on the desktop and then double-clicking the Applications icon.
The desktop works in the manner you might expect it to when working with other operating systems, such as Windows or Mac OS. You can drag and drop files and application icons to areas that are easily accessible. You can add new icons for files and applications to the desktop, panel, and file manager. You can change the appearance of most of the tools and applications, as well as change system settings by using the provided configuration tools.