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Using Your Linux Desktop

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Linux

Sample Chapter 1: Logging In

Linux provides two basic types of interface for you to use when working with your computer: GUI (graphical user interface) and CLI (command-line interface). An overview of the interface types is provided in Chapter 5. In this chapter, the most common type of interface, a GUI called a desktop, is discussed in detail. The CLI is discussed in detail in Chapter 7.

Linux can start without a desktop, but most users prefer to have Linux start with a desktop. The installation instructions provided in Chapter 4 result in a desktop opening at startup. A desktop interface functions as the top of your desk, supplying an empty working surface and a set of tools.

Different distributions provide different desktops, but most provide KDE (K Desktop Environment) and/or GNOME (Gnu Network Object Model Environment)-the Big Two of Linux desktops. The default desktop differs by distribution. For instance, Fedora defaults to GNOME, and Mandrake/SuSE defaults to KDE. However, you can change the default once you decide which desktop you prefer.

KDE and GNOME are open source software, each developed in a project of its own. New versions are released independently of Linux releases or the release of any specific Linux distribution. As a result, different distributions include different KDE and/or GNOME versions. In addition, KDE and GNOME are very configurable. Almost everything about them can be changed. Consequently, KDE and GNOME don't look exactly the same in different distributions or versions of distributions.

When using this book, remember that your KDE or GNOME may not look exactly like the book. Most of the figures in the book are Fedora Core 2 (KDE 3.2/GNOME 2.6) or Mandrake 10 (KDE 3.2/GNOME 2.4). Your version may be older or newer. Because your KDE and GNOME may not always look and behave exactly as shown in the book, it's best to consider the instructions in this chapter as suggestions, rather than an exact map. It provides clues to the most likely places to find configuration tools, but not necessarily a detailed route.

This chapter describes the contents of your desktop and how to use them. Then, when you are comfortable with the default appearance and behavior of your Linux, you find out how to change everything.

Logging In

To access your desktop, you must log in using a Linux account. When you power on your computer, the process goes as follows:

  1. The computer boots up.
  2. The computer prompts you to log in.
  3. You log in to an account, typing your password.
  4. The desktop displays.

After the computer boots (Step 1), you see a login screen. The login screens for Fedora Core, Mandrake, and SuSE are shown in Figure 6-1.

Notice that Mandrake and SuSE give you a choice of accounts. In this case, only one account (janet) is available. If more accounts were installed, they would also be on the login screen. Accounts are discussed in Chapter 8.

Select an account by clicking it. In SuSE, the account name appears in the Login field. Type the password in the Password field and click Go! to log in. In Mandrake, a second screen appears, as shown in Figure 6-2.

Full Article with screenshots and many other sample chapters. (Actually it looks to me as if the whole book is available there online.) <shrugs>

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Gaming

KDE and Akademy

  • Plasma 5: Keeping an Eye on the Disk Quota
    At this year’s KDE conference Akademy, I was working on a small plasmoid to continuously track the disk quota. The disk quota is usually used in enterprise installations where network shares are mounted locally. Typically, sysadmins want to avoid that users copy lots of data into their folders, and therefor set quotas (the quota limit has nothing to do with the physical size of a partition). Typically, once a user gets over the hard limit of the quota, the account is blocked and the user cannot login anymore. This happens from time to time, since the users are not really aware of the current quota limit and the already used disk space.
  • KDEPIM 5.0
    KDEPIM 5.0 is the port of kdepim to kf5/qt5.
  • rsibreak port to KF5 started!
    I just started the port of rsibreak to KF5.
  • Akademy 2015
  • Akademy 2015 and Akademy-es 2015 recap
    Finally thanks to the both Akademy and Akademy-es sponsors. Specially Qindel, that sponsored us for the first time, hope we can continue the relationship in the future.
  • Plasma 5 (KDE) In Testing
    A few days ago, fellow Qt/KDE team member Lisandro gave an update on the situation with migration to Plasma 5 in Debian Testing (AKA Stretch). It’s changed again. All of Plasma 5 is now in Testing. The upgrade probably won’t be entirely smooth, which we’ll work on that after the gcc5 transition is done, but it will be much better than the half KDE4 SC half Kf5/Plasma 5 situation we’ve had for the last several days.

Red Hat and Fedora

Red Hat:
  • Red Hat support evolves with new Access Insights services
    Open source users flock to Red Hat for enterprise support, but not all subscribers like the way the company handles IT issues. The company recently launched an updated support service. User experience is important to Red Hat Inc., and it dedicated its day-three keynote at the Red Hat Summit last month to its support.
  • Citrix, Red Hat Helping Startup Companies Launch in Raleigh, N.C.
    Raleigh has seen a 23% increase in IT jobs
  • Red Hat Receives Average Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts (NYSE:RHT)
    Several research firms have weighed in on RHT. Northland Securities reissued a “buy” rating and set a $92.00 target price (up from $85.00) on shares of Red Hat in a report on Thursday, June 25th. Northland Capital Partners upped their price objective on Red Hat from $85.00 to $92.00 in a report on Thursday, June 25th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Red Hat in a research report on Friday, June 26th. Deutsche Bank restated a “hold” rating and set a $75.00 price objective (up from $70.00) on shares of Red Hat in a research report on Thursday, July 2nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $85.00 target price (up previously from $82.00) on shares of Red Hat in a report on Thursday, July 2nd.
Fedora:
  • Helps Improve Quality Kernel in Fedora
  • Flock Update
    So the schedule for Flock is finally fixed and I have to update some things according to my last post. First the practical part of the Wallpaper Hunt is scheduled now for Friday now instead of Satruday. Addionally I will help Máirín Duffy on Saturday morning with the Inkscape and GIMP Bootcamp, guess which part I will do.
  • Fedora 22 on Cubietruck
    In previous post (How-to set up network audio server based on PulseAudio and auto-discovered via Avahi) I’ve wrote details how I set up network audio-server. Actually I’m using cubietruck there.
  • Testing systemd-networkd based Fedora 22 AMI(s)
    Few days back I wrote about a locally built Fedora 22 image which has systemd-networkd handling the network configuration. You can test that image locally on your system, or on an Openstack Cloud. In case you want to test the same on AWS, we now have two AMI(s) for the same, one in the us-west-1, and the other in ap-southeast-1. Details about the AMI(s) are below:

Leftovers: Debian

  • He who forgets history...
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  • My Free Software Activities in July 2015
    This month I have been paid to work 15 hours on Debian LTS.
  • Linaro VLANd v0.3
    VLANd is a python program intended to make it easy to manage port-based VLAN setups across multiple switches in a network. It is designed to be vendor-agnostic, with a clean pluggable driver API to allow for a wide range of different switches to be controlled together.