2.9. Desktop

Read this section for a summary of changes to supported desktop user environments between Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.
This section covers only the major changes that users can expect from the new desktop environments in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. For detailed information, see the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Desktop Migration and Administration Guide, available from http://access.redhat.com/site/documentation/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/.

2.9.1. New Default Desktop Environment (GNOME Classic)

GNOME Classic is the default session of the GNOME 3 desktop environment on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. This environment is provided as a set of extensions to the GNOME 3 desktop environment, and includes its powerful new features while retaining the familiar look and feel of GNOME 2.
In GNOME Classic, the user interface has two major components:
The top bar
This bar across the top of the screen displays the Applications and Places menus.
The Applications menu gives the user access to applications on the system, which are organized into a number of categories on the menu. This menu also provides access to the new Activities Overview, which lets you easily view your open windows, workspaces, and any messages or system notifications.
The Places menu is displayed next to the Applications menu on the top bar. It gives the user quick access to important folders, for example Downloads or Pictures.
The taskbar
The taskbar is displayed at the bottom of the screen, and features a window list, a notification icon, and a short identifier for the current workspace and the total number of available workspaces.
For a complete guide to GNOME Classic and its features, as well as the other desktop environments available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, see the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Desktop Migration and Administration Guide, available from http://access.redhat.com/site/documentation/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/.

2.9.2. New Desktop Environment (GNOME 3)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 also supports the GNOME 3 session of the GNOME 3 desktop environment. This environment is designed for ease-of-use and user productivity. It provides great integration with online document storage services, calendars, and contact lists, so that you are always up to date.
In GNOME 3, the user interface has three major components:
The top bar
This horizontal bar at the top of the screen provides access to some basic GNOME Shell functions, such as the Activities Overview, clock, calendar, system status icons, and the system menu.
The Activities Overview
The Activities Overview lets you easily view your open windows, workspaces, and any messages or system notifications. The search bar is the easiest way to find your files, launch applications, or open configuration tools. The dash on the left-hand side shows your favourite applications, so you can access your most frequently used tools faster.
The message tray
The message tray appears as a bar across the bottom of your screen. It shows pending notifications, so you always know exactly what is happening on your system.
For a complete guide to GNOME 3 and its features, as well as the other desktop environments available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, see the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Desktop Migration and Administration Guide, available from http://access.redhat.com/site/documentation/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/.

2.9.3. KDE Plasma Workspaces (KDE)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 provides version 4.10 of KDE Plasma Workspaces (KDE), previously known as K Desktop Environment. This updated version of KDE provides a number of enhancements, including the following:
  • A polished, consistent look and feel with the default Oxygen style.
  • An updated notification system (movable and closable notifications, with speed graphs) with progress visualized in the panel.
  • Workspace configuration now available in System Settings.
  • The Activity Manager provides the ability to add, remove, save, restore, and switch between Activities.
  • Optimizations to core and user interface elements for better performance.
  • Adaptive power management, with a simplified user interface and easy profile switching.
  • A new Print Manager, which simplifies printer configuration and provides fast, accurate reporting on printer status.
  • An updated Dolphin File Manager with navigation buttons, tabbed browsing, and improvements to metadata handling.
  • An updated terminal emulator (Konsole) with improved tab and window control and improved interoperability.
  • A new display manager, KScreen, which automatically can remember and restore display configuration, including resolution and relative position.
  • A new applet, Plasma Network Manager, which makes it easy to control your network and configure network connections.
However, users should note that Kmail is no longer included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.