Thursday, July 24, 2014

Customizing the UNIX User Environment - Part 3 - UNIX X window managers and desktops - Part 3

Customizing the UNIX User Environment


UNIX X window managers and desktops


Integrated desktop environments


Integrated desktop environments provide an attractive and user-friendly interface to UNIX systems. It is a preconfigured session of a window manager.


Integrated desktop environemnts commonly contain

- default settings for window appearance and behavior

- a set of defautl widgets

- a set of desktop backgrounds

- default desktop icons such as a recycle bin

- a panel for managing tasks and workspaces


There are three common integrated desktop envionments for UNIX

- Common Desktop Environment (CDE)

- Gnome

- Kool Desktop Environment (KDE)


All of the above mentioned evnironment have at the minimum, A trash icon, easy access drip-down menus and workspace buttons in common


KDE is bundled with its own window manager, while Gnome i most commonly used with Sawfish. Desktop environments and window managers are distinct GUI components - you are not obliged to have a window manager but, when you do, it sits on top of your desktop.




The X Display Manager (XDM) is a program that manages login sessions for the X Window System. XDM prompts users for their username and password. Then it authorizes them and opens a session on an X server for them. When a user exits the X interface, XDM closes the session and prompts the next user for their username and password.


Window managers are programs that run on an X server and determine the appearance and behavior of windows in the GUI environment. For example, window managers determine window colors and borders, button size and style, and focus policy.


Integrated desktop environemnts are preconfigured sessions of a window manager, providing default widgets, icons, and backgrounds. Most of them include a panel that allows you to manage tasks and workspaces. The three most popular desktop environments are the Common Desktop Environment(CDE), Gnome, and the Kool Desktop Environment (KDE).

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