In contrast to most proprietary operating systems, Fedora 8 has several desktop environments or desktops. Desktops display menus and icons, launch applications, and allow you to control the overall screen appearance. The desktop environment is also referred to as a Graphical User Interface, or GUI.
The three major desktops included with Fedora 8 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 written for one desktop environment will work on other desktops. For instance, the Open
Office.org office suite runs on all three major desktop environments.
There are applications created specifically for each desktop environment. For instance, each major desktop has a preferred text editor. GNOME uses Gedit, KDE supplies Kedit, and Xfce provides Mousepad. However, even if you run GNOME as a desktop, you can install your favorite KDE or Xfce programs.
Fedora provides a large variety 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 useful alternatives.
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