Tutorial: Getting Started On Your Linux Desktop

Starting the Graphical Desktop

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If you have logged in from the graphical login screen, the graphical desktop will be started automatically for you. The graphical desktop presents a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the user to interact with the system and run applications. If you have used the text-based screen login, you will have to start the graphical desktop manually by entering the command startx followed by the ENTER key.

The graphical desktop that we will be using throughout most of this guide is called the GNOME Desktop. There is another desktop environment in popular use on Linux systems - the KDE Desktop. There is some coverage of KDE later, comparing the similarities and differences between GNOME and KDE although we will not be covering the KDE desktop in detail.

For the rest of this user guide, when we refer to the graphical desktop or Desktop we shall be talking about the GNOME Desktop unless stated otherwise.