I don't know if you still want to know it, but for anyone's interest:
As far as I can tell, that there are mainly three popular (and easy to use) desktop environments out there:
- Gnome - The GNU desktop, an environment with a good respect to standards (like file addresses and GnomeVFS capabilities); builds on the GTK+-library
- KDE - A feature rich desktop, includes many useful tools. The Qt library on which KDE is built used to be closed-source, but has long been GPL'd.
- XFCE - A minimalist desktop, starts quickly and saves resources (still has a good look and many features); builds on the GTK+-library
You can run all applications on all desktops, though GTK+-applications have a dump look on non-GTK+-desktops (e.g. KDE). (not sure if you can't change that)
All desktop environments need one X-server
, i.e. Xorg
(I don't think there are others that have comparable features like Xorg because Xorg adopts things like AIGLX
So if you really want to start from terminal, it shouldn't be much of a pain to install you favorite desktop since Xorg should be a dependency. It'll something like yum install kde/gnome/xfce4
once you are logged in as root; maybe yum install xorg
if it's not done automatically.
If you want to read a lot of information, Wikipedia is your friend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop..._Window_System
Is that what you wanted to know?