Using the Desktop is as simple as dragging items you wish to use routinely to the desktop. The default desktop includes a folder of your home directory (usually /home/[user name]). By default the Nautilus File Manager window will also appear so you can quickly access other areas of your system.
Once an item is on the desktop you can double-click on it to perform its default action or right-click on it (click on it using the mouse's right button) to see a menu of actions that can be performed on it. The default action depends on the kind of item it is; if it's a program, that program will start, if it's data, the appropriate program will be started with that data loaded, and if it's a directory, a file manager window will be opened showing that directory's contents.
To use drag and drop you need to be using either a GNOME compliant application or a Motif application. GNOME is compliant with Motif drag and drop so you will find it works with many applications you already have installed.
All items that are stored on your desktop are located in the following directory:
Once you have started GNOME you can mount CDROM or floppy drives you have connected to your system by right clicking on the desktop and selecting the disks menu. This will show an icon on your desktop that you can use to access these drives.
You must have permission to mount the device shown on your desktop before you can use these icons. If you do not have mount permission someone with root access such as your system administrator can give it as follows. You can read more about this and other items of system knowledge in the appendix called If you are new to Linux/UNIX.
Giving mount access to ordinary users can be done quite easily if you have linuxconf installed on your machine. Just select the drive you want to access in the Access local drive section. In the Options tab select the User Mountable option. Your drive will now be mountable by users.
If linuxconf is not available someone with root access must edit the /etc/fstab file to include user access. This is done by adding the user attribute to the drive. For example:
If your fstab file contains a line like this:
Depending on your system and work environment, there could be some security risks in permitting users to mount disks. Please consult your system administrator before taking this action.