In my previous post "Using the GUI" I explained how to access the LXDE GUI desktop environment. However you can configure your Raspberry Pi to go straight to the LXDE GUI when it is turned on (without first going to the Linux command line). To do this you need to run the Raspberry Pi configuration utility by typing "sudo raspi-config" at the command line prompt and pressing Enter:
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo raspi-config_
Use the arrow keys to move down to the "boot_behaviour" command and press Enter. You should see a dialogue asking you to confirm that you want to "boot straight to desktop":
When your Raspberry Pi reboots it should go straight to the LXDE GUI desktop. Using this configuration should make the system more "user friendly" because there is no need to log in or type "startx" each time, but the command line prompt is still easily accessible via LXTerminal if you need it. It also makes shutting down your Raspberry Pi simpler because now, when you click on "Logout" you get the following options:
If you click on "Shutdown" the LXDE GUI will close and your Raspberry Pi will safely shut down so that the power can be safely disconnected.
If you click on "Reboot" the LXDE GUI will close and the Raspberry Pi will restart and reload the GUI.
If you click on "Logout" you will have the option to log in as a different user.
You can of course revert to booting to the Linux command line by running the Raspberry Pi configuration utility again (in LXTerminal), selecting the "boot_behaviour" option, and then choosing the "No" option on the "Should we boot straight to desktop?" dialogue.