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X or xwindows is the server system that provides the tools for the windows and such in the desktop environment. X also handles things like keyboards, display drivers, mouse/touchpads, etc...
DM is actually usually Display Manager. This piece generally handles the log in info (username and password) and allows you to select which environment to log into if you have more than one.
the WM or window manager handles the actually drawing and placing of windows on your screen (directing xwindows). Some WMs can be used alone (like icewm, fluxbox, openbox or jwm) and some are generally used in conjuction with the desktop environment.
The DE or desktop environment is the collection of apps that you use to operate your desktop. Some linux distros do not have a DE per se, but most desktop-oriented distros do. XFCE, Mate, KDE, Gnome, Cinnamon, LXDE, and Unity are examples of DE's. Many of the DE's are integrated to some level with a WM. For instance, xfwm is the window manager for XFCE. LXDE uses openbox, but rounds out the desktop environment with a collection of common apps. KDE uses kwin by default. And there are many many combinations. Some distros use compbiz under the hood (Ubuntu does this with Unity/compbiz). compbiz's claim to fame is fancy 3d effects.
So you need to find out what display manager you are using. What distro are you using? Many distros using xfce use lightdm as the display manager these days. Other examples would be slim, gdm, kdm, or even xdm.
Here is my terminals background in GUI mode (stretchable cheat sheet, Attachment 15065(click pic) ) when I learn the most I wipe out the line inside /etc/X11/default-display-manager (or other methods) that start me in CLI only where I can use Links2 or other browsers if
and [tab] can't cut it...
goes back to GUI.
Last edited by jamison20000e; 11-06-2014 at 06:57 PM.