Fedore Desktop Environments

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It would be a good idea to discuss what is different—specifically, the graphical interfaces that users work with when they work with any kind of Linux.

Most computer users are used to seeing just one graphical interface when they run their PCs. Windows 7 Home Edition users get to use the basic Windows interface, Windows 7 Premium and Ultimate Editions use the fancier Aero interface, and OS X users use Aqua. Graphical interfaces are the technical name for the windows, menus, and icons that so many computer users have grown accustomed to.

In these operating systems, you get the interface that comes with the OS. You can change the colors and the sizes of some items (bigger icons, for instance), but at the end of the day, you're still using the same interface.

In Linux, this is not the case: There are literally dozens of interfaces for you to choose from. This goes back to the whole modular nature of Linux. Unlike Windows 7, the interface applications are separate from the core operating system. So, if something creates a glitch on a Linux interface, known as a desktop environment, the core operating system is not affected.

These desktop environments do more than just look different; they are managed by completely different tools, and each carries its own set of specialized applications. For example, a text editor (like Windows Notepad) called Gedit is available for the GNOME desktop environment, and in the K Desktop Environment (KDE) the same kind of editor is known as Kate. (The first letter of an application is often a clue to the preferred environment for that application.)

Confusing? It shouldn't be. The good news is that applications for one desktop environment usually work in other environments without a hitch. (The author, for instance, prefers to work in KDE but won't part with the Gedit text editor. The two work together quite well.)

Source of Information : Cengage-Introducing Fedora 2010

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