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Author Topic: A Linux Question  (Read 2236 times)
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A Linux Question
« on: December 12, 2004, 07:50:47 pm »

Hello everyone, I haven't used Linux since the command line good old days, and know very little about xwindows.  Could someone please explain the difference between a Window Manager and a Desktop Environment to me?  Thanks.
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Re: A Linux Question
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2004, 07:55:48 pm »

A window manager is a program that handles the way windows are
drawn and interact on your desktop. It controls which window is
on top, which are minimized and that sort of thing.

On the other hand, a desktop environment is (generally speaking)
a window manager with a bunch of other software. This other software may include web browsers, games, music players and programs to customize your desktop.

The difference becomes more apparent when you look at most DOS window managers (freedos.org) and Linux desktops such as KDE (kde.org) or Gnome.

Hope that answers your question.
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Re: A Linux Question
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2004, 10:24:10 pm »

And now, because I'm an incurable pedant, when exactly were these "command line good old days" you speak of?  Linux has had X-Windows support since 1992 -- well before the time the first binary distributions were even available -- and when I first saw/used Linux (Slackware, circa 1993) X11 and window managers were quite available for it.

Hell, I even remember a "house project" where the roomates and myself net-booted a minimal kernel on an old Sun 3/60 and ran remote X sessions to it from the Linux box; this was in 1995 or thereabouts.

Are you sure you mean Linux, and not something else?
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Re: A Linux Question
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2004, 04:43:45 am »

I didn't mean to suggest I used Linux before any sort of x window environment existed, I just meant I've only had experience with command line linux.
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Re: A Linux Question
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2004, 06:31:46 am »

The first Linux distro I used didn't have x-windows. Sure, most distros had it by then, but I was in a non-high-speed area. Ah those were the (bad) old days.
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