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Chapter 2: Exploring the Desktop The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration Objectives Understand the graphical system used by Linux Configure basic features of the GNOME and KDE desktop interfaces Use graphical utilities such as editors, terminals, and browsers

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chapter 2 exploring the desktop

Chapter 2:Exploring the Desktop

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

objectives
Objectives
  • Understand the graphical system used by Linux
  • Configure basic features of the GNOME and KDE desktop interfaces
  • Use graphical utilities such as editors, terminals, and browsers
  • Use productivity applications such as e-mail, calendar, and word processing

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

linux graphical desktops
Linux Graphical Desktops
  • Graphical display
    • Optional
    • Most users choose to use GUI
  • X window system
    • Foundation of graphical display

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

understanding the x window system
Understanding the X Window System
  • Project Athena
    • Graphical environment for UNIX
    • Make UNIX easier to use
    • Eventually called X Window System
    • Released as public domain software in 1985
  • The XFree86 project
    • Dedicated to creating version of X for Intel-based versions of UNIX

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

how the x window system functions
How the X Window System Functions
  • Macintosh and Windows graphical environments
    • Successful because they run on widely available computer hardware
  • Developers of X took a different approach
    • Difficult to install
  • Xfree86 project
    • Virtually all video cards are now automatically configured by the Linux installation program

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

components of the x window system
Components of the X Window System
  • X server
  • X client
  • Window manager
  • Graphical libraries
  • Graphical application
    • Provides a comprehensive user interface

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

components of the x window system continued
Components of the X Window System (continued)

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

components of the x window system continued8
Components of the X Window System (continued)
  • During Linux installation process
    • Xfree86 X server program installed
  • Use different components at any “level” in graphical system
  • twm (tab window manager)
    • Basic window manager
    • Available on most Linux distributions
    • Does not include desktop interface
    • Used to launch other graphical applications

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

components of the x window system continued9
Components of the X Window System (continued)
  • Window managers available for Linux
    • twm
    • fvwm (feeble virtual window manager)
    • wm2
    • Window Maker and Afterstep
    • mwm (motif window manager)
    • olwm (openlook window manager)
    • kwm

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

components of the x window system continued10
Components of the X Window System (continued)
  • Graphical library
    • Installed on Linux system like any other application
    • Provides tools for other applications
    • KDE
      • Qt
    • GNOME
      • Gtk+
      • Default desktop in Red Hat Linux

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

starting x
Starting X
  • startx
    • Standard command to start Xwindow system

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

desktop interfaces
Desktop Interfaces
  • Graphical environment
    • Provides collection of functions and utilities
    • Makes using computer easier for those who do not have many commands memorized
  • KDE interface
    • Most widely used desktop environment on Linux systems
    • Installed by default for most distributions, except Red Hat

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

desktop interfaces continued
Desktop Interfaces (continued)
  • KDE interface includes suite of applications
    • Internet access
    • System maintenance
    • Personal productivity
    • Other basic tasks
  • Panel
    • Set of icons at bottom of screen

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

desktop interfaces continued14
Desktop Interfaces (continued)
  • GNOME desktop
    • Stands for GNU object model environment
    • Very similar to KDE
    • Includes panel with integrated taskbar
    • Applications included similar to those with KDE
    • Installed by default for Red Hat

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

the graphical login screen
The Graphical Login Screen
  • Provided X display manager
    • xdm
    • Display manager selects which programs to start based on session chosen by user
  • Session
    • Defines set of graphical programs to run when user logs in

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

working with graphical windows
Working with Graphical Windows
  • Use mouse and keyboard to manipulate graphical windows open on graphical desktop
  • Can perform actions using mouse
    • Maximize and minimize windows
    • Close windows
    • Resize and move windows
  • Has internal “clipboard”

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

working with graphical windows continued
Working with Graphical Windows (continued)
  • Common to have multiple windows open at same time on desktop
  • Workspace
    • Empty background
    • Can open application windows
    • Typically have four
    • Sometimes called virtual desktops
  • Can use keyboard shortcuts

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

working with graphical windows continued18
Working with Graphical Windows (continued)

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

configuring gnome and kde
Configuring GNOME and KDE
  • GNOME and KDE
    • Both highly configurable

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

switching between desktop interfaces
Switching Between Desktop Interfaces
  • switchdesk
    • Followed by name of desktop to switch to
  • Desktop switcher
    • Graphical version
  • Must exit X Window System and log in again for change to take effect

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

saving your configuration between logins
Saving Your Configuration Between Logins
  • On logout
    • GNOME can note which application windows were open
    • Same applications are opened automatically at next login
  • Can also save configuration between logins

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

configuring the graphical login screen
Configuring the Graphical Login Screen
  • Before you are permitted to configure most parts of graphical login screen
    • Must be logged in as root or enter root password
  • Select system settings, then Login Screen on GNOME main menu
    • Or runrun gdmsetup command
  • Configure login options

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

configuring the graphical login screen continued
Configuring the Graphical Login Screen (continued)

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

configuring the graphical login screen continued24
Configuring the Graphical Login Screen (continued)
  • Theme
    • Collection of colors, fonts, and images that give display certain look and feel
  • Face browser
    • Feature of graphical login screen
    • Causes it to display small graphic image for each user

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

the panel
The Panel
  • Bar across bottom of GNOME desktop interface
    • KDE includes similar bar
  • Displays:
    • Main menu of desktop interface
    • Icons of programs you use frequently
    • Workspace switcher
    • Labeled button for each open window
    • Date and time indicator
    • Other informational items

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

the panel continued
The Panel (continued)
  • Right-click any icon to:
    • Move
    • Remove
    • View/edit properties
  • Can have multiple panels on desktop at same time

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

configuring other gnome features
Configuring Other GNOME Features
  • Configure many additional features of desktop interface, including:
    • Background
    • Keyboard shortcuts
    • Menus and toolbars
    • Preferred applications
    • Windows
    • Theme

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

configuring other gnome features continued
Configuring Other GNOME Features (continued)

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

core graphical utilities
Core Graphical Utilities
  • Three key types of applications
    • File manager
    • Text editor
    • Web browser

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

configuring the nautilus file manager
Configuring the Nautilus File Manager
  • Nautilus file manager
    • Provided with GNOME
  • Can configure how Nautilus operates
    • Using Preferences

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

configuring the nautilus file manager continued
Configuring the Nautilus File Manager (continued)

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

configuring the nautilus file manager continued32
Configuring the Nautilus File Manager (continued)

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

configuring the use of other utilities
Configuring the Use of Other Utilities
  • gedit
    • Default text editor
    • Used to open text files in GNOME
  • Choose web browser that GNOME opens whenever Web page selected

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

popular graphical programs
Popular Graphical Programs
  • Graphical personal productivity applications for Linux

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

openoffice org
OpenOffice.org
  • Office suite similar to Microsoft Office
  • Includes:
    • Writer
    • Calc
    • Impress
    • Draw
    • Database integration

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

openoffice org continued
OpenOffice.org (continued)
  • Application features
    • Available for several operating systems
    • Microsoft office file formats supported
    • Export in Adobe PDF and Macromedia Flash formats
    • Macro recorder
    • Development tool
    • Available in over 30 languages

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

openoffice org continued37
OpenOffice.org (continued)

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

openoffice org continued38
OpenOffice.org (continued)

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

using e mail clients
Using E-mail Clients
  • Default Linux installation provides several powerful graphical e-mail clients
  • Evolution
    • Similar to Microsoft Outlook
    • Start first time
      • Presents user several setup windows
      • Must set up your e-mail account information

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

using e mail clients continued
Using E-mail Clients (continued)
  • Mozilla
    • Web browser
    • Includes full-featured e-mail client similar to Evolution

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

using e mail clients continued41
Using E-mail Clients (continued)

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

using e mail clients continued42
Using E-mail Clients (continued)

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

using e mail clients continued43
Using E-mail Clients (continued)

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

summary
Summary
  • X Window System
    • Powerful and flexible graphical environment
    • Components include:
      • X server that interacts with video card
      • X client graphical application
  • Window manager or desktop interface provides user interface to X
  • Graphical libraries make it easier to create new graphical applications

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

summary continued
Summary (continued)
  • KDE and GNOME
    • Provide convenient desktop interface with:
      • Icons
      • Menus
      • Taskbars
    • Graphical windows can be manipulated using mouse actions
    • Ability to use multiple workspaces
    • Can save current state of desktop interface

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration

summary continued46
Summary (continued)
  • KDE and GNOME include graphical utilities used for common system administration and management tasks
  • OpenOffice.org
    • Full-featured office suite similar to Microsoft office
  • Linux provides several e-mail readers
    • Evolution
    • Mozilla

The Complete Guide to Linux System Administration