The desktop is the most personal feature of your computer. The way that icons, menus, panels, and backgrounds are arranged and displayed should make it both easy and pleasant to do your work. With Fedora Core, you have an incredible amount of control over how your desktop behaves and how your desktop is arranged.
In the past few versions of Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the desktop has changed dramatically. While going for a “Red Hat” look-and-feel, Red Hat, Inc. set out to standardize how you use Red Hat Linux distributions, regardless of whether you choose KDE or GNOME as your desktop environment. Despite differences in logos and colors, the default Fedora Desktop is very similar to the desktop on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. With the default BlueCurve theme configured on the desktop, you can hardly tell the difference between GNOME and KDE in any of the Red Hat distributions.
Not to be outdone, KDE and GNOME themselves, with recent updates to release 3.3 and 2.8, respectively, have stretched beyond the bounds of a simple look-and-feel. With each desktop environment, you can get a full set of desktop applications, features for launching applications, and tools for configuring preferences.
In Fedora Core 2, the XFree86 X server was replaced by the X.Org X server. The X server provides the framework on which GNOME, KDE, and other desktop applications and window managers rely. If you have used XFree86 in other Linux distributions, special features of the X.org server described later in this chapter might interest you.
This chapter takes you on a tour of your desktop — going through the process of logging in, trying out some features, and customizing how your desktop looks and behaves. Sections on KDE and GNOME desktops contain reference information on how to set preferences, run applications, configure panels, and work with the file managers. The last section describes how to use the Display Settings window to configure your video card and monitor, if they were not properly detected.