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Home » , » Using Fedora for common desktop computing tasks (Chapter I).

Using Fedora for common desktop computing tasks (Chapter I).

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The Fedora User Guide is focused on the end-user looking to accomplish standard desktop computer user tasks, such as browsing the web, reading and sending email, and doing office productivity work.

The Fedora desktops.

In contrast to most proprietary operating systems, Fedora 14 has several desktop environments or desktops that can 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 (GUI).

Three widely-used desktops included with Fedora 14 are:

  • GNOME, which focuses on simplicity

  • KDE, which includes a large collection of applications and customization features

  • Xfce, a desktop with low hardware requirements, suitable for older computers

More Desktop Environments Exist!

Fedora's extensive repository of software offers other desktops as well, such as Fluxbox (minimalist desktop), Sugar[2] (the desktop environment for the OLPC XO), and LXDE.

With few exceptions, applications included with a particular desktop environment run in other environments too. 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 Kwrite, 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.

Logging in.

When you restart or turn on your computer, it goes through a process called booting. During the boot process, your computer hardware powers on, performs a series of self-tests, and loads the operating system. Immediately after the computer has finished booting, the login screen appears. The login screen displays one or more user names, depending on the number of user accounts present.

To log in to your account

  1. Enter your username, using one of the following methods:

    • Type your username and then press the Enter key. The username is case sensitive (capitalization matters; A is not the same as a).

    • Click on your username in the list of choices.

  2. Custimize your desktop environment

This step is optional.

You do not normally need to choose a desktop, lauguage, or keyboard. If you skip this step, Fedora will load the default environments for your computer.

Use the pull down menues at the bottom of the screen to change you desktop language or keyboard layout. To use a desktop environment other than the default choice, use the Sessions combo box on the bottom of the screen to select the desktop you wish to load before you enter your password.

  1. Enter your password in the text box and press the Enter key. Like your username, your password is case sensitive.

Keep your password secret!

To keep your password secret, the password field displays a dot for every character entered. As with any password, keep your account password private. Do not share it with anyone or write it down in plain view.

  1. The desktop environment now loads. In some desktop environments, a small box containing a logo and some icons called a splash screen may temporarily appear. When your splash screen (if you have one) disappears, your desktop is ready for use. You can now launch applications to access the Internet, manage files, and play media. These tasks are described in the following chapters.

Logging in: a technical explanation.

Fedora is a multi-user operating system. Multiple users, each with different access privileges, can be logged into the computer at the same time.

During installation, you provided a password for the system administrator account, sometimes called the superuser. The user name for this account is root.

After installation, Fedora asked you to set up a normal user account. Use that account, or any other such normal account, for daily use of the system, and the root account for administrative and maintenance tasks.

This design has many benefits:

  • Limited privileges reduce the possibility of doing significant damage to the entire system.

  • Each user account has individual settings.

  • Each user account maintains its data separate and private from others.

  • A problem in one user account does not put the entire system at risk.

Do not log in as root!

Do not use the root account for routine purposes. A normal user account can run all the desktop applications, and greatly increases your security and safety. Applications that require root privileges prompt you for the root password when they need it. There is no need to log in as root to use them.

I Cannot Login: help!

A common mistake during login is accidentally having the Caps Lock key turned on. This situation can cause the login process to fail because usernames and passwords are case sensitive. If problems persist, re-enter your username and password a few times to ensure that you have typed them correctly.

Recovering the password for a user account is not a difficult process, but it is b

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