In contrast to most proprietary operating systems, Fedora 11 has several desktop environments or desktops that can be 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 two major desktops included with Fedora 11 are:
- GNOME, which focuses on simplicity
- KDE, which includes a large collection of applications and customization features
Applications included with a particular desktop environment usually run in other environments, 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 example, each major desktop has a preferred text editor. GNOME uses Gedit and KDE supplies Kedit, but you can install and use these in either environment.
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 the most common desktop environments, as well as the useful alternatives.
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