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openSUSE 11.1 GNOME Quick Start Guide
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Getting Started

When you start your system, you are usually prompted to enter your username and password. If someone else installed your system, check with your system administrator for your username and password.

After logging in to GNOME for the first time, you see the GNOME desktop, offering the following basic elements:

Desktop Icons

Access programs and features on your system by double-clicking an icon. Right-click an icon to get additional menus and options. By default, the desktop features several key icons, including your personal Home folder and a trash can for deleted items. Other icons representing devices on your computer, such as CD drives, might also be present on the desktop and you can add as many icons on your desktop as you want to. If you double-click your Home folder, the Nautilus file manager starts and displays the contents of your home directory.

Bottom Panel

The desktop includes a panel at the bottom of the screen. This panel contains the Computer menu (similar to the Start menu in Windows*), the system tray, and a taskbar to display icons for all currently running applications. You can also add applications and applets to the panel for easy access.

Main Menu

Click Computer on the far left of the bottom panel to open the main menu. Commonly used applications appear in the main menu, along with recently used applications. Click Documents to display your recent documents, or click Places to display your favorite places (such as your home directory or the desktop). Click More Applications to access additional applications listed in categories. Use the options on the right to access help, install additional software, open the GNOME Control Center, lock your screen, log out of the desktop, or check the status of your hard drive and network connections.

System Tray

The right side of the bottom panel holds some smaller icons, including the system clock that displays the date and time, the volume control, and icons for several other helper applications.


By default, all running applications are displayed in the taskbar (the area in the middle of the panel between the Computer button and the system tray). You can access any running application regardless of the currently active desktop. Click an application name to open it. Right-click an application name to see options for moving, restoring, or minimizing the window.

Desktop Menu

Right-click an empty spot on the desktop to display a menu with various options. Click Create Folder to create a new folder. Use Create Launcher to create a launcher icon for an application. Provide the name of the application and the command for starting it, then select an icon to represent it. You can also change the desktop background, open a terminal, create a document, and align desktop icons.

Modifying Desktop Panels

The bottom panel can be customized to meet your individual needs, and additional panels can be configured to further personalize your desktop.

To add a new panel, right-click a blank space in the bottom panel and select New Panel. To delete a panel, right-click a blank space in the panel and select Delete This Panel. openSUSE requires that at least one panel be left on the desktop.

Adding and Removing Panel Icons

  1. Right-click a blank space on the panel and select Add to Panel.

  2. Browse to the desired program and double-click it to add it to the panel.

  3. To remove a program icon from a panel, right-click its icon in the panel and select Remove From Panel.

openSUSE 11.1 GNOME Quick Start Guide
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  Published under the terms fo the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire