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Old 11-26-2006, 10:10 PM   #1
fitteschleiker
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Question desktop vs WM


i often see KDE and GNOME referred to as desktop environments, and others such as fluxbox, enlightenment, Icewm etc as "window managers", but the two terms seem to be used interchangebly throughout the net.

i am sick of both KDE and GNOME hogging so much of my system resources, and want to change to something lighter that doesnt waste my cpu doing things behind the scenes i dont need done. but i'm not sure exactly what i'll be losing if i move away from kde and gnome, is there any difference besides less feature set or do kde and gnome desktops provide things for other programs i use?
 
Old 11-26-2006, 10:24 PM   #2
nadroj
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desktop environments (ie kde and gnome) are just that. they are entire graphical environments for your desktop. they include many other programs such as the 'desktop' with the wallpaper, maybe a clock, a 'taskbar' and possibly other widgest.
window managers as you know are much lighter on the system resources and dont try to cover all of the other tasks and features as DEs. slackware comes with many WMs and since recent just the KDE DE. if when you initially installed slackware you chose to install all of these (the default option i believe) then you can run xwmconfig (i think its called) to select a different one to load, and restart x.

if you didnt install all of these they definetly shouldnt be hard to install with installpkg.

when i first used linux i liked GNOME more than kde because it seemed to be faster. but i think KDE has more feature then i started using that. id like to be able to use black/fluxbox since they are so fast, but i find it hard to get used to.

hope it helps good luck
 
Old 11-26-2006, 10:50 PM   #3
David the H.
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Desktop environments (are there any out there besides Gnome and KDE?) go well beyond simple window management. They also provide libraries and functions that allow programs coded for it to work seamlessly together with a common look and feel. They will have common widget sets, common dialogs, common themes, greater interconnectivity, and more.

For example, pretty much all qt/kde applications use the same file browser dialog, wile Gnome/gtk2 programs have a different common file browser. The configuration dialogs in Gnome programs all work the same way, instantly updating configuration changes without the need to hit an "apply" button. Most kde programs are recognized by the kde session manager, so that whatever programs were open when you logged out will reopen the next time you logged in. And so on.

As you may have guessed, the big problem is when you run a mixed system of gtk, qt, and other kinds of applications. Then the lack of an integrated feel can become quite noticable. On the bright side (maybe), there's a new "common linux desktop" standard that's in the process of being implemented, so perhaps soon we'll be able to have better interoperability between the different DE's and WM's out there.

BTW, since the builtin window managers are only one of the components of the DEs, it's possible to change to a different window manager instead while within the Gnome or KDE environments. You'll probably lose some of the integration benefits the originals have though.
 
Old 11-26-2006, 10:51 PM   #4
fitteschleiker
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my biggest gripe with both is really the file manager, but looking around i dont see many worthy replacements
 
Old 11-26-2006, 11:26 PM   #5
sleekmason
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rox-filer.
 
Old 11-27-2006, 01:48 PM   #6
fitteschleiker
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trying rox-filer right now actually, it does seem quite good, although some things of course seem like they are made more difficult just for the sake of being different, or maybe its just to maintain similarity with the 15 year old file manager they have based their design off.

i can't really remember, its been a very long time since i used acorns at school.

im thinking of just switching the whole system from ubuntu to xubuntu, but for some reason everywhere describes it as far faster than KDE or GNOME, but
"without the bells and whistles".

It would be nice for once to find out exactly what those "bells and whistles" are, or does no one actually know? is my system slow merely for eye candy? or is there actual processing of value to someone who just wants to get things done?
 
Old 11-27-2006, 02:14 PM   #7
johnson_steve
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xubuntu uses xfce xfce is a light weight desktop environments it has a WM (xfwm) and many utilities all built to be lightweight. they use gtk2 but not the gnome libraries. xfce is in-between something like KDE and something like fluxbox. you get a settings manager that lets you set your desktop background, fonts, colors, gtk theme and a few other things but no network configuration utility or some other things you might be used to (xubuntu probably has something for this I've never used it.) I have xfce 4.4 beta 2 on gentoo with the new file manager thunar. I used to use rox but I like thunar better. xubuntu probably has xfce 4.2 (latest stable version) it uses a different file manager xffm which was not anywhere near as good as thunar is. (this is why I used to use rox.) You can use thunar(beta) with xfce4.2 but you need exo(from the beta not the one from 4.2.) I did this it works fine I've since updated all of xfce to the beta but it does crash more then 4.2 (could have something to do with me running gentoo unstable on ppc (~ppc) with tweaked out compiler settings.) I use xfce with adeskles, Eterm and 3ddesktop and it looks nicer the KDE ever did for me and is much lighter and I can still run any KDE or Gnome application I want .The Gnome ones even blend in and use the theme settings.
 
Old 11-27-2006, 04:34 PM   #8
Indiestory
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Bells and whistles are simple things like clocks menu bars, iconifying windows look at the blackbox page on what they dont include. I use mimial wm's dont really want everything hogging my little 1.33GHz processor. I do alot from the cli, but i like to have a GUI for things that make me look at two documents, and text browser suck
 
Old 11-27-2006, 04:50 PM   #9
Xeratul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitteschleiker
i often see KDE and GNOME referred to as desktop environments, and others such as fluxbox, enlightenment, Icewm etc as "window managers", but the two terms seem to be used interchangebly throughout the net.

i am sick of both KDE and GNOME hogging so much of my system resources, and want to change to something lighter that doesnt waste my cpu doing things behind the scenes i dont need done. but i'm not sure exactly what i'll be losing if i move away from kde and gnome, is there any difference besides less feature set or do kde and gnome desktops provide things for other programs i use?
Have a look the comp. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...hlight=fluxbox

I use openbox with obconf; this is very very fast wm
I can give you my config rc.xml and menu.xml
(PM me if you need them)

See ya
 
Old 11-27-2006, 06:55 PM   #10
fitteschleiker
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wow, didnt think little things like clocks and config utilities would take up that much extra ram and cpu.

config utilities are nice when you dont want to wade through poorly documented and outdated help files just to write a text file, of course i'm one of those people who are unfortunate enough to often have those config utilities fail, and end up having to do it myself anyway lol.

I just find it strange that i can do the exact same things in rox-filer that i do in nautilus, except its eons faster and so far hasnt crashed. the UI is definately something i am finding hard to adjust to, i'm definately now considering changing to xubuntu to try out this thunar, looks nice.

used to be a slackware guy, but i dont spend so much time tinkering with my pc now, i mainly work with video, so i moved to ubuntu because i found it the least distasteful of the "easy to use" distro's that are supported by mainconcepts mainactor video program. of course had to move distros to try it, only to find its a pig of a program thats still rather primitive,compared to windows programs, i had to abandon that but havent moved back to slack, as ubuntu did ease a lot of the need to tinker.


anyhoo, thanks to all for the tips, my personal conclusion seems to be that nautilus is so slow because it is processing my files behind the scenes in order to allow me to do things with them that probably most people dont use. i find that rather sad.
 
  


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