LinuxWorld: Window-Managers 101: The Desktop Beyond GNOME and KDE

“Many of my most recent columns have speculated exclusively on
GNOME and KDE as if they’re the only realistic choices for Linux or
UNIX desktops. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are
dozens of window managers available for X11, which is the most
common foundation for graphical applications on UNIX.

“If you’re already familiar with X11, the concept of window
managers and the most common window managers, skip on ahead to the
next section entitled “The obscure and the arcane.” If it’s new to
you, here’s a layman’s approximate description of how this all
works together.

“X11 is a network-enabled client/server graphics engine. If you
use Linux, you’re likely to be using the XFree86 version of

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