The KDE Control Center
Both of these window interfaces are extremely configurable. The KDE control center as seen in Figure 356 provides the utility for customizing the look and feel of KDE. In this figure the Look & Feel section has been expanded to show the areas which the user has available to fine-tune the desktop to their liking.
Notice the additional choices in this window, under File Browsing one can configure the defaults for the way Konqueror will display files when using it in file browsing mode, under Information one can find information regarding the hardware on their system and how it is configured, and in the other areas certain simple system configuration can be performed. This tool is not a full-fledged System Administration tool set, which will be covered next.
Gnome has a similar tool and provides the same support functions as these for the user to customize the desktop.
Several excellent GUI based tools that can be used to administer key system functions on Linux. Both KDE and Gnome have several basic tools that can be used to administer the system such as; adding users, maintaining network interfaces, adding and administering printers, and monitoring system processes and resources. Not all of these tools are installed with every distribution and Red Hat in Fedora seems to be going its own way, so a few of the KDE tools will be discussed, followed by a look at a very good browser based administration tool called Webmin which can be installed on most Linux distributions. Webmin can provide the interface for most system administration functions as well as configuring virtually any server that comes with Linux, including Web, mail, proxy, DNS, and database servers.
The fact that the desktop is so configurable is in general a good thing but can be a problem when this interface is needlessly changed. It seems that each distribution provider has not been able to resist this temptation and are constantly changing the look and feel, included tools, and even the names for these tools from release to release or from distribution to distribution. The result is confusion for the user and an unnecessary relearning effort needed for both the user and the system administrator. The problem has not been unique to Linux though, Microsoft also has fallen into this trap, as there have been significant changes in the look and feel between Windows98, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.
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