What Is A Linux Desktop

The desktop is where commonly used shortcuts are stored.

Linux is an operating system for personal computers, developed to resemble the UNIX command line interface. Linux versions, called distros or distributions, range from command line usage to complex graphical interfaces similar to the Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows. A typical feature of a Graphical User Interface is the “desktop,” or default computer display. The Linux desktop contains all of the elements needed to perform tasks, run programs or use the Internet.

Operating Systems

Operating systems provide core interfacing between the computer, the user and any computer components. The GUI of the operating system is also called a front-end, and acts as the translator between user commands and the underlying disk operating system, called a kernel. Most mass-produced personal computers are shipped with Microsoft Windows installed, or Mac OS X if the machine is Apple-based, but alternative such as Linux distros are available as well, often free.

Linux Kernel

During the mid-1990’s, the Linux kernel was developed as a freely available, UNIX-compatible operating system that could be installed on personal computers. Like UNIX, Linux uses a Command Line Interface that requires the user to type in seemingly cryptic commands rather than a windowing environment. However, the popularity of the Linux kernel has resulted in numerous graphical frontends and distributions tailored to a specific usage. Linux is known to work on more computer platforms than any other operating system, including the popular PC and Apple computers.

Graphical User Interface

More than a dozen Linux distros are available, many focused on a particular application such as sound or video editing, educational applications or enterprise installations. The Linux desktop is created by the graphical frontend, and is populated by the end-user with shortcuts, known as application launchers and other frequently used command icons. The GUI desktop also includes a taskbar to indicate running applications, and many distros include a quick launch bar on the desktop, to load frequently used applications quickly.

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Computer Desktops

On your computer, the desktop is the visible screen when it firsts boots up. It provides current information such as the time and date, and allows you to easily load programs, adding each one to the desktop taskbar as it is loaded. Just as a physical desk is a place to organize projects and office tools, the Linux desktop allows the computer user to organize files or frequently used applications.

Linux Ubuntu

Linux Ubuntu is a graphical operating system with a Windows-like desktop to simplify migration from other operating systems. Ubuntu installation is simple, automatically detecting system devices and loading the appropriate drivers. Ubuntu can be loaded from a CD or DVD, and allows the user to try out the operating system before installing it permanently. One feature of Ubuntu is the ability to use multiple desktops, running different applications on a dedicated workspace, or virtual desktop. Ubuntu installs four workspaces by default, and can be customized for more or less, as you prefer.