2.4. Using the Applications and Actions Menus

On the top panel are two menus, the Applications menu and the Actions menu. The Applications menu expands into a large set of menus that allow you to access the applications on your system. The Actions menu expands into a list of actions you can perform on your session.

2.4.1. The Applications Menu

The categories of the Applications menu are self-explanatory. For example, the Games sub-menu holds games like Same GNOME; the Sound and Video sub-menu holds CD palyes, volume controls, and the Helix media player. For these directories, a few moments spent browsing the contents is sufficient to familiarize yourself with your system. A few sub-menus are worth additional explanation:


Preferences contains applications that allow you to customize your system. Most of the applications in this sub-menu do not require root privileges to access. Refer to Section 2.5 Customizing your GNOME session for more information about customizing your GNOME session.

System Settings

System Settings contains higher-level configuration tools. Most of the applications in this sub-menu require root privileges to access. You should use caution when using these applications. For details on these applications, refer to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Administration Guide.

  • Date & Time: This tool allows you to set the date, time, and timezone for your system.

  • Printing: The Printer Configuration Tool allows you to add a new printer to your system, whether it is connected to your computer or is available on a network.

  • Soundcard Detection: The Sound Card Configuration Tool tool probes your system for available sound devices. Refer to Section 10.3 Troubleshooting Your Sound Card for more details on configuring your sound hardware.

  • Users and Groups: The User Manager tool allows you to add and remove users from your system. Refer to Section 1.6 Creating a User Account for details.

System Tools

System Tools contains applications for utilizing and maintaining your system. This sub-menu includes the Terminal application, the Floppy Formatter, and other applications discussed elsewhere in this manual.

2.4.2. The Actions Menu

The Actions menu contains tasks you will most likely execute on a daily basis. These include: Lock screen, Log Out, and Search for Files....

Lock screen

This action starts a password-protected screen saver. You must enter your password to return to the normal desktop.

Search for Files...

This action opens a Nautilus window that allows you to search for files according to letters in the name of the file.

Log Out

This action opens the Log Out dialog window, which terminates your GNOME session.