Fedora Quick Start
Part of the challenge of moving to a new operating system is moving beyond any preconceived ideas about how things should work. If you have been locked into a Windows environment and this is your first move to Linux, you might start out by hunting for the My Documents and My Computer icons on your desktop, but without much success because you won't find them there. Likewise, if you are used to a Mac OS X desktop, you might feel somewhat lost without the presence of the Dock to help launch applications. No matter, though; in this chapter, you will learn the fundamentals of working with Fedora so that you can comfortably progress through the rest of the book.
In this chapter, we look at how to find your way around your new desktop, what each of the menu options contain, and we take you through the preinstalled software. We also look at how to install new software, and more important, we ensure that your installed software is kept up-to-date with relevant patches and security updates. Connecting to a network, either wirelessly or through a physical connection, is something that is common to almost everyone, so we look at this later on in the chapter.
The Fedora Desktop
After you have logged in to Fedora for the first time, you will be greeted with the default desktop. It resembles something like that shown in Figure 2.1.
Figure 2.1 The Fedora desktop, your gateway to a better computing life.
Along the top and bottom are panels, which can contain items such as menu options (like on the top panel) or other shortcuts such as the Web Browser icon to the right of the System menu. The main window contains three icons: Computer, Home, and Trash.
Apart from these three icons, a set of shortcut icons is immediately to the right of the System menu; these represent five useful applications you may want to access quickly. You'll also see the clock farther along the top panel, as well as a Speaker icon representing the sound options. You may also see an icon denoting your network connection status; more on this as part of the "Configuring Wireless Networks" section.
At the bottom left of the screen is another small icon that is used to show your desktop. When you have many different windows open and you need to quickly access something on your desktop, you can click this icon and all the windows minimize, leaving you with your desktop. If you want, you can then click again on this icon and the windows all reappear.
The bottom-right side of the screen holds something that until recently was exclusive to UNIX/Linux platforms: the Workspace Switcher. You can click any of the four screens to access that screen.
Finally, in the bottom-right corner is the trash can, to which you can drag files to be deleted when you are ready. By default it is empty, but as you delete things, the trash can becomes full, indicating that there is something there.