Join Chaim Krause for an in-depth discussion in this video The GNOME desktop, part of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Essential Training.
- [Instructor] The thing to understand about the GNOME desktop is that it's like similar desktops in Windows and MacOS. Just, it looks a little bit different. So what we have is windows. And all there really is is the stock desktop that comes with it. Same thing when you talk about OS X or the macOS. You've got a desktop that's built into the operating system and that's what you use. When it comes to Linux, you've got choices. You've got choices like KDE, GNOME, Xfce, MATE.
These are all different desktops. They're all different ways of looking at the system. Controlling the underlying applications. But they all do the same thing. So SUSE has to provide an operating system distribution, which means all the programs that go along with it. And for that, it also means graphical front-ends for those programs. So SUSE does not want to work on other desktops. They want to focus and dedicate to the GNOME desktop so that they don't spend any resources on development and maintenance of the other interfaces.
Instead they can use those resources to work on the GNOME desktop. So, here's Windows desktop, which you're probably all familiar with, and that's what you use to run applications. They open windows. Similar thing on Mac. Applications are opened, and you perform operations on the computer using those programs. And what they have in common are a couple things. We'll call it an application loader, and in Windows, that's the start button.
The start button is used to launch programs, launch applications. There may be things that you use often, so you'll create shortcuts to them on your desktop. And then you perform operations like rebooting, turning off your computer, putting it to sleep, and you get to those from the power button. You have something very similar in the Mac desktop. You've got mission control, you've got shortcuts on your desktop, and you've got your power button. So let's take a look at the GNOME desktop on SUSE Linux Enterprise. It looks very similar.
And that's because the various different operating system vendors have all converged on a similar paradigm for interacting with the computer. So we have the same things in the GNOME desktop, they just may be named differently, or look differently. But if you look in the bottom left-hand corner, we've got applications. And if I click on that, it looks just like an application launcher that we've seen in Windows or macOS. We've got our different groups, and under the groups, there's different programs.
So we have commonly used programs on the desktop that are handled with shortcuts. For example, I can double-click on home here and bring up files, and start centered on the home folder. We also have our power button, where we can do things like reboot, reset, and shortcuts to a few things like screen lock. What makes GNOME a little different, is workspaces. Best way to describe workspaces are different views into the same environment.
So if I want to work on an application, and I need to make it cover the screen so I can see it, say for example we start up text editor. I may want to work in full screen so I can see a large section of text at the same time. Yet I need to interact with another application. In GNOME, we have the concept of workspaces, where I can change to a different workspace, and I'm in the same environment, all the programs are the same, all the files are the same, they're in the same locations.
I can bring up a similar program here, like the Image Viewer, and make this full screen. And now all I need to do is switch back and forth between these workspaces, and I have full screen applications. Let's go to an empty workspace here, and talk about one other thing that's common. And that is a context menu, or what's commonly called the right-click menu. So it has a context to it, and that is, whatever the mouse cursor is pointing to at the time, you'll get a menu that is appropriate for that selection.
So if I right-click on home here, I get items in the menu that are related to the icon. Things like opening it up in a new tab, or resizing the icon, or renaming it. Whereas if I pick something different, like I open up application and right-click on package updater, I get things that are appropriate for that context. Open it up, add to favorites, or add it to the desktop. I wanna take a moment here to point out the location of a couple of the applications we'll be using as we go through this course.
First one that we're gonna take a look at is in favorites, and that is files. This is gonna open up an application that allows you to graphically traverse the directory tree, and operate on different files. Another one that I want to take a look at is in utilities, we have the help. This will provide you with information about the GNOME desktop itself. The next thing I wanna point out is the terminal.
The terminal is where you can work on the command line interface while being in a graphical environment. So anything you can do on the command line, you can do in a terminal. When we start talking about system administration, we're gonna talk about the YaST, and you can launch the graphical version of YaST from the desktop. So I have YaST open here, and you can see that we've got options to work with the various parts of the system. So those are some of the things you'll need to use as we go through this course.
Something I'd like to bring to your attention, that will come in handy further down as we talk about other portions of the operating system, is if you look in applications here, under system tools, there's two things that are similar enough I wanna explain the differences between them. You have settings, and you have GNOME Configuration Editor. The GNOME Configuration Editor is gonna handle the appearance of the desktop. And you'll be able to go into something similar to Windows registry, and you can make changes to the configuration of the desktop.
In some cases, you'll be making configuration changes to parameters that determine how the desktop interacts with programs, but it's all stuff that's central to the GNOME desktop. In contrast to that, we have the settings. If we open up that, and take a look at that, you'll see this is where we set things that have to do with the hardware, how the hardware is configured, how to use things like bluetooth, configuring your network, so these are things that are more general about the operating system.
With very few exceptions, I will want you to open this settings panel to make changes to the operating system.
- What is SUSE Linux Enterprise?
- Installing SLES
- Linux file types
- Working at the command line
- Managing processes
- Working with background processes
- Managing users and groups
- Changing file permissions
- Configuring network interfaces
- Displaying hardware information
- Managing drivers