In contrast to most proprietary operating systems, Fedora 9 has several desktop environments or desktops which are used to display and launch available applications and manage the overall appearance of the screen. The desktop environment is sometimes referred to as the Graphical User Interface, or GUI.
The three major desktops included with Fedora 9 are:
- GNOME, which focuses on simplicity
- KDE, which includes a large collection of applications and customization features
- Xfce, which is appropriate for older PCs and laptops due to its low-memory requirements
Applications included with a particular desktop environment generally run smoothly in another environment, with minor exceptions. For instance, the OpenOffice.org office suite runs on all three major desktop environments.
Some applications are created specifically for a particular desktop environment. For instance, each major desktop has a preferred text editor. GNOME uses Gedit, KDE supplies Kedit, and Xfce provides Mousepad. Even if you run GNOME as a desktop, however, you can install and use your favorite KDE or Xfce programs.
Fedora provides a wide choice of applications to browse the World Wide Web, create documents, and display and edit photos. This guide describes the most commonly installed applications on each desktop environment, as well as the useful alternatives.
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