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Old 04-12-2004, 03:10 PM   #1
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Windows managers vs. x vs ..? (general info q)

Ok, dumb information question:

What is the difference between the x-windows system, windows managers, and guis?

For instance, are KDE and gnome windows managers, or GUIs? I thought they were just windows managers themselves, but I've seen people referencing using Black-box in conjunction with KDE or gnome...

How does all this fit together?
Old 04-12-2004, 03:32 PM   #2
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GUI = graphical user interface

That's the most generic of terms you've
used. Every Desktop Environment (KDE,Gnome, ...)
or Window Manager (Fluxbox, ice, ... ) is a GUI,
if you start X "naked" with an xterm you have a
GUI of sorts.

X is a framework that is being used by ALL of the
above, it basically is just a protocol that allows other
tools/applications to display widgets & windows in
a convenient way (very simplified, of course it also
is network transparent).

The difference between WM and DE is that a DE tries
to unify the look and feel, and the ways applications
interact with each other (for instance there's several
ways to handle clipboards, printing and the like).

Old 04-12-2004, 03:34 PM   #3
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There are layers to this situation. When it comes to GUIs, on the bottom layer is X server (I know about the framebuffer, but it's a little different), on top of which a window manager works. The WM provides all the borders for windows. GNOME and KDE are Desktop Managers, they provide a 'desktop' space with icons and usually contain a whole suite of application. A DE uses a WM to do the window bordering details; I don't know what KDE uses but GNOME uses Metacity. However, with GNOME, any WM can be used instead.
Old 04-12-2004, 04:07 PM   #4
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Re: Windows managers vs. x vs ..? (general info q)

KDE uses kwin
Old 04-12-2004, 04:30 PM   #5
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The info here should give you a good understanding:
Old 04-12-2004, 04:39 PM   #6
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So then it is possible to use just a window manager, without the desktop environment, yes?

In which case, I assume there are config files of some sort that point the window manager to what files to open for programs?

Etc, etc...let me go read the stuff at the links. :-)

Cheers though. I appreciate it.

Does KDE allow you to use different window managers?


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