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 their Red Hat Linux
systems using the graphical desktop.
This chapter covers the fundamentals of the desktop and how you can
configure it for your needs.
2.1. Using the Desktop
Your first view of the graphical desktop will look something like Figure 2-1.
Figure 2-1. 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 the
panel. The panel contains application launcher
icons, a notification area for notification icons, and small
applications called applets that let you control
sound volume, switch workspaces, and displays the status of your system.
The icons elsewhere on the desktop can be shortcuts to file folders,
application launchers, and shortcuts to 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 button . They can also be found by double-clicking on
the Start Here icon on the desktop and
then clicking the Applications icon.
The desktop works in the manner you might expect it to when working
with other operating systems. 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 and change system settings with provided configuration