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C.2.2. Desktop Environments

A desktop environment integrates various X clients to create a common graphical user environment and a development platform.
Desktop environments have advanced features allowing X clients and other running processes to communicate with one another, while also allowing all applications written to work in that environment to perform advanced tasks, such as drag-and-drop operations.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides two desktop environments:
  • GNOME — The default desktop environment for Red Hat Enterprise Linux based on the GTK+ 2 graphical toolkit.
  • KDE — An alternative desktop environment based on the Qt 4 graphical toolkit.
Both GNOME and KDE have advanced-productivity applications, such as word processors, spreadsheets, and Web browsers; both also provide tools to customize the look and feel of the GUI. Additionally, if both the GTK+ 2 and the Qt libraries are present, KDE applications can run in GNOME and vice versa.