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

Native Netflix, Ts'o on Systemd, and Fedora 21 Alpha a Go

In today's Linux news OMG!Ubuntu! is reporting that Netflix is coming to Linux, this time natively. Jack Germain reviews Opera 12.16. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols talks to Theodore Ts'o about systemd. A preview of new Kmail show radical redesign. And finally today, Fedora 21 Alpha was approved for release! Read more

Ubuntu gets closer to debut in Meizu MX4 phone

The Ubuntu project announced a stable build for Ubuntu Touch phones, a week after Meizu tipped an Ubuntu version of the Meizu MX4 phone due in December. The Ubuntu for Phones team at the Canonical’s Ubuntu Project announced the arrival of the first image from the Ubuntu-rtm (release to manufacturing) distribution for phones. The announcement followed last week’s tease from Meizu, saying a version of the Android-based Meizu MX4 was on schedule for shipping with Ubuntu in December. Read more

Android L Will Keep Your Secrets Safer

Hard on the heels of increased security measures in Apple's newly released iOS 8, Google this week confirmed that encryption will be turned on by default in the next release of Android. Android has offered encryption for more than three years, and keys are not stored off the device, so they can't be shared with law enforcement, Google said. In the next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default. Read more

WHAT THE GNOME RELEASE TEAM IS DOING

At the release team BoF at this years Guadec, I said I would write a blog post about the whats and hows and ifs of release team work. I’m a little late with this, but here it is: a glimpse into the life of a GNOME release team member. We are in the end phase of the development cycle, when the release team work is really kicking into high gear. Read more