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when you run "startx" there are two possibilities:
either you are logged in automatically into your user account in your favourite environment (because that's what you told X to do, or it's te default setting of your system) or you get to a login screen.
In the second case it's easy: you give your username and password, but before you lo-in you choose the environment you wish; if not you'll go to the default = either the last you used or the one you normally use.
In the first case, You'll have to log out again. Then you get to the login screen and proceed as above.
well, this im running mandrake 10 (i should have said this earilier) so when i boot up my comp it automatically goes to whatever DE i told it to use when i first installed it, what im trying to say here is... How can i get it to boot up into a different DE? i want to see which is right for me. right now im in KDE, i want to try out Gnome and maybe some other DE's.
If you only want to try them, log out and log back in choosing which DE you want (Not sure about Mandrake, too long ago, but usually there's some sort of dropdown menu to choose from or a button that will bring up a box with the available DE's to choose from)
If you want to change it permanently or be allowed to change=choose at every boot-up you should have alook in the Mandrake Control Center. THere should be an option there to change the default DE.
THere's a chance that if you choose a different DE after log-out log-in that the system will alert you about how to change the default behaviour.