The desktop is the most personal feature of your computer. The way that icons, menus, panels, and backgrounds are arranged and displayed should make it both easy and pleasant to do your work. With Red Hat Linux, you have an incredible amount of control over how your desktop behaves and how your desktop is arranged.
In the past few versions of Red Hat Linux, the desktop has changed dramatically. While going for a "Red Hat" look-and-feel, Red Hat, Inc. set out to standardize how you use Red Hat Linux, regardless of whether you choose KDE or GNOME as your desktop environment. Of course, those who like the old KDE or GNOME may be a bit upset about the change.
Not to be outdone, KDE and GNOME themselves, with recent updates to release 3.1 and 2.4, respectively, have stretched beyond the bounds of a simple look-and-feel. With each desktop environment, you can get a full set of desktop applications, features for launching applications, and tools for configuring preferences.
This chapter takes you on a tour of your desktop — going through the process of logging in, trying out some features, and customizing how your desktop looks and behaves. Sections on KDE and GNOME desktops contain reference information on how to set preferences, run applications, configure panels, and work with the file manager. The last section describes how to use the Display Settings window to configure your video card and monitor if they were not properly detected.