Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Choosing Your Window Manager and Desktop Environment

Filed under
Software

The Linux graphical user interface (GUI) system may be very different from what you are used to if you are coming from a Windows or Mac OS X background. The GUI of an operating system is commonly referred to as its shell. While virtually all versions of Windows since Windows 95 have used variations of the same basic shell (explorer.exe), there are numerous shells available for the Linux GUI. These Linux shells are called window managers and desktop environments. The term window manager is used to address the simple core user interface of a shell, while the term desktop environment is much more inclusive, covering the shell itself in addition to the various other programs that are integrated with it.

Due to the vast number of window managers available for Linux, many new users often feel overwhelmed at the idea of having to learn their way around them. We must emphasize that many people experiment with several window managers before settling down with one that feels right for them, and there certainly is no need to learn all of them. Due to their modular nature, it is common to have several window managers installed at once.

Much like part one of this series that dealt with choosing a distro, this guide will help you to choose a window manager/desktop environment by introducing you to several of them and addressing their strengths and weaknesses.

rest here




More in Tux Machines

Linux 4.9-rc8

So if anybody has been following the git tree, it should come as no surprise that I ended up doing an rc8 after all: things haven't been bad, but it also hasn't been the complete quiet that would have made me go "no point in doing another week". Extra kudos to Arnd, who actually root-caused the incredibly annoying "modversions do not work with new versions of binutils", bisecting it to a particular change to symbol handling in binutils, and then adding a small one-liner patch to the kernel to work around the issue. We already had other workarounds in place, but it's always good to know exactly what in the tool chain changed to cause things like this. Read more Also: Linux Kernel 4.9 Slated for December 11 Release as Linus Torvalds Outs RC8 Linux 4.9-rc8 Kernel Released