Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server > Linux/UNIX/Open Source

Fedora Quick Start

This chapter is from the book

Getting Around Fedora

As mentioned earlier, Fedora is the gateway to a better computing life. But getting to that better computing life means that you need to understand where Fedora stores things on its desktop. We have already covered the basics of what the desktop looks like, but in this section we go a little deeper and explore some of the menu options, as well as some of the tips and tricks you can use to get around Fedora.

The Menu Options

Fedora automatically creates three menu options for you along the top panel. These are Applications, Places, and System. Don't be confused into thinking that the Fedora logo is a menu in itself; it is just part of the Applications menu.

The three menus hold different things, and it is important for you to understand where you can find specific applications, utilities, and shortcuts that you will use to interact with your system.

The Applications menu holds all the GUI applications that are currently installed on your system, arranged into predefined groups such as Accessories, Office, Internet, and so on. At the bottom of this menu is an entry that enables you to add or remove additional applications.

The Places menu enables you to quickly navigate to certain locations that are either local to your computer or, in the case of network server, that are on remote machines. You will also find options for searching as well as accessing recent documents in the Places menu.

The final entry is the System menu, which holds all the associated utilities that you need to administer your system, including options to log out and shut down your system. Two submenus under the System menu neatly separate systemwide changes from user-based changes. The Preferences submenu enables you to change settings that are specific to your user login, so they affect only you and not any other users. Administration, on the other hand, enables you to make systemwide changes such as adding printers, working with logical volumes, and modifying system services, to name but a few.

Window Selector

An important part of the Fedora desktop is the Window Selector (shown in Figure 2.2), which appears on the bottom panel by default. As you launch applications, they appear in the main desktop, and an icon and associated application name appear in the bottom panel. Each application appears in the panel for that specific workspace, enabling you to easily organize your applications. The Window Selector also enables you to quickly switch between windows by clicking each entry. By clicking each entry, you bring the associated window to the front of the screen. If you then click again on the entry, you minimize that application, and maximize it if you click it once more.

Figure 2.2

Figure 2.2 Use the Window Selector to switch between open applications.

The Computer Icon

As an entry point to your system, the Computer icon is one tool for navigating through your system with the GUI interface. The interface itself is called Nautilus, and is the default file manager for Fedora. You will see a screen similar to that in Figure 2.3, although it may vary depending on whether you have additional drives and storage devices attached to your computer. You navigate through the file system by double-clicking each icon, opening the contents of the folder into a new window.

Figure 2.3

Figure 2.3 Use Nautilus, Fedora's GUI file manager, to navigate through the directories on your file system.

The Home Icon

Fedora uses the UNIX method of assigning a home directory to every end user. The directories are collectively stored under the /home directory, so you may see entries for /home/andrew or /home/bernice. However, Fedora also creates a shortcut icon for each user that appears on her desktop when she logs in. This shortcut icon takes the user directly to her home directory, where she can store documents and files that are specific to her. All your personalized settings are stored under the home directory because they are specific to you.

In older releases, Fedora left the home directory pretty much empty (with the exception of the personalized settings, which are hidden), but now there are seven folders to help you organize your files. You don't have to keep any of them, but they are there as a helping hand in your move to Fedora.

When you double-click a folder, the icon changes to denote that the folder's contents are open in another window, as shown in Figure 2.4.

Figure 2.4

Figure 2.4 Keep track of which folders are open by looking at the folder icons.

If you find that you are working with a lot of folders, Nautilus has a handy feature that lets you close all folders, or just the parents of the folder with which you are currently working. Just select the File menu within the Nautilus window and select your desired option.

Accessing the Command Line

Throughout this book, you will see references to the command line, also known as the terminal. This is your way to execute commands directly, using a text-based input rather than a GUI utility.

Earlier versions of Fedora kept the Terminal application in the Applications, Accessories menu. Fedora 8 has changed this so that the Terminal now appears under Applications, System Tools, reflecting its status as a tool for accessing system settings and carrying out administration. You can use several terminal applications, but Fedora defaults to gnome-terminal, and unless you have a really good reason for switching, you should find it does everything you need.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020