GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
Conventions Used Throughout The Book
Screen shots from the Firefox web browser are based on Firefox at 700x600.
What's In A Name
The phrase Microsoft Windows (and less informatively just Windows) usually refers to the whole of the popular operating systems, irrespective of which version of Microsoft Windows is being run, unless the version is important. But Microsoft Windows is just one of many windowing systems available, and indeed, Microsoft Windows came on to the screen rather later than the pioneering Apple Macintosh windowing system and the Unix windowing systems. We will simply refer to all varieties of Microsoft's windowing systems (Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP/10) as MS/Windows. If the particular version is important it will be referred to as MS/Windows/10, for example.
We use the phrase GNU/Linux to refer to the GNU environment and the GNU and other applications running in that environment on top of the Linux operating system kernel. Similarly, GNU/Hurd refers to the GNU environment and the GNU and other applications running in that environment on top of the GNU Hurd operating system kernel.
Ubuntu and its underlying base distribution Debian are complete distributions which include many applications based around a particular choice of operating system kernel (usually either GNU/Linux or GNU/Hurd). Where the particular kernel is not important we will refer to whole system as Ubuntu.
The common windowing system used in Ubuntu is a separate, but integral, component that we will refer to as the X Window System.
Through out the document screen shots are presented using a variety of Gnome and KDE themes. The theme specifies what things look like inside the windows that an application displays, and now also tend to specify what the window frame looks like—that is, the area immediately surrounding the application's window. There is an endless variety of themes to suit your own preferences. Some favourites include the E-efm-GTK+ Gnome theme and the QN-X11 and Crux window themes. Refer to the discussion of themes in Chapter 88 for details, if interested.
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