The X Window System provides the basis for most graphical user interfaces available for Red Hat and other Linux systems today. Although X provides the framework for running and sharing applications, the GNOME and KDE desktop environments, along with a window manager and theme, provide the look and feel of your desktop.
Using various configuration files and commands, you can change nearly every aspect of your graphical environment. Backgrounds can be assigned a single color or can be filled with single or tiled graphic images. Menus can be changed or enhanced. Multiple virtual workspaces can be used and managed.
After reading this chapter, you should feel comfortable working with the GNOME and KDE desktops. The next chapter should help you work from the traditional command line interface, referred to as the shell.