Some explanation of terms: 'X' is the graphical environment
for GNU/Linux, a suite of programs. In contrast to operating system like
Windows or Mac Os, it is not an integral part of the operating system
itself, it's just an add-on.
To make sufficient use of X, you will need a window manager or a desktop environment
like KDE or GNOME.
Desktop environments aren't window managers. They provide another layer between
X and a window manager, e.g. for things like drag 'n' drop, a common look
and feel etc. Whereas KDE comes with its own default window manager, kwin,
GNOME doesn't. You can use any window manager on top of these environments
as long as they are compatible with ('aware of') them. Or you can skip the
extra layer and run a manager directly on 'X'.
KDE and GNOME come with their own set of programs. You can run these programs
on every environment / manager, provided you have the basic libraries
of the environment those apps were written for installed.
Also referred to as XFree86, X11 or X Window System.
If you are looking for a quick way to make yourself unpopular with senior
GNU/Linux users, call it 'X Windows' ;-).
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The 'Kool' Desktop Environment is still the default
desktop for the Mandrake-Linux distribution. Therefore many questions are
related to topics KDEish. If you think you have such a question consider
using KDE specific resources first because they are much more likely to wield
The KDE main page.
For all kinds of news, support, documentation etc. Check out their KDE 2.2.1 Info Page for updates
and a list of frequently asked questions. There's also an FAQ.
KDE.com, a portal
for KDE users.
KDot is the central
KDE news and discussion site.
Homepage of KOffice,
the KDE office suite.
This is only one of a growing range of official KDE sites, have a look at
thelinks section of kde.com for
a complete listing.
The usual bunch of mailing lists. I wouldn't
advise subscribing to kde-user, though, unless you have plenty of time at
hand and a large mailbox ;-) (and even if you have, you better subscribe
to a Mandrake list...). I found 'kde-announce' quite useful.
The KDE mailing
lists archive. Very well organized and with a decent search function.
This is the No 1 resource when having trouble with KDE.
The Usenet newsgroup comp.windows.x.kde. German users might
The Mandrake CD comes with the KDE Quick Start Guide,
the KDE FAQ and the KDE User Guide (just follow the 'documentation' link
in your desktop menu). Note that the KDE FAQ included naturally is less up
to date than the
online version of the KDE FAQ.
KDE related links.
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The 'other' desktop environment for GNU/Linux. After
a fairly shaky start GNOME has now caught up with KDE in terms of stability
The GNOME main site.
Looks nice. News, docs, software map etc.
Latest GNOME news are posted to and discussed on
a repackaged version of GNOME, appropriately called Ximian GNOME. Other
offers include the 'Integrated Workgroup and Personal Information Management
Another bunch of mailing lists
and their respective - search-able - archives.
The GNOME team is working on an office suite, too,
called GNOME Office.
If you are interested in the technology behind GNOME,
have a look at The
GNOME White Papers, along with lots of other useful stuff for developers
at GNOME's development site.
Mandrake comes with the GNOME Users Guide. If you
want to give GNOME a try, you most certainly want to install and read this
one. Also have a look at the
GNOME FAQ, lots of info there.
GNOME related links.
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Without them, you won't be able to see anything on X.
There arelots of them out there, some of them are compatible to
either KDE or GNOME (or even both), some of them are not. Of course you can
still run KDE and GNOME apps on them. Using a 'simple' manager instead of
a full-blown 'environment' can save you quite a bit of system resources.
for X. This site offers a comprehensive list of window managers along
with screen shots, descriptions and links.
Everything to make your manager look even prettier. Some themes are perfect
in slowing down X to a scrawl, though ...
A small selection of managers:
A classic which tries to mimic the NextSTEP Look and Feel. Derived from 'Bowman'
which in turn derived from 'FVWM'. You'll find on your Mandrake CD. Neither
GNOME nor KDE compatible. Small memory footprint.
Designed for speed. Minimal KDE support, no GNOME support. I'm using it on
older machines. You might also be interested in FluxBox which adds some nifty
features to BlackBox.
('E'). If you're a in it for the looks, that's the one for you. It is
however still in its early development stages. Compatible with GNOME and
KDE in newer releases.
FVWM. The mother
of all window managers ;-). Still to be configured via text-files, but arguably
the most configurable window manager out there. At least compatible with
GNOME (not sure about KDE). On your Mandrake CD.
IceWM. The master
of disguise. If you're looking for a manager that makes X look like the interface
for another operating system, get this one. GNOME compatible. On your Mandrake
CD. There's also a light version (icewm-light) with minimal features.
QVWM. For those
who want to have their X looking exactly like MS-Windows9x (including task
bar and start menu)... No compatibility.
Sawfish has taken the place of E as the window manager of choice for the
GNOME desktop. It is a rather minimalistic manager and therefore better suited
for running in an environment than E.
A medium-sized, small, quite fast, easy configurable, compatible window manager.
An offshoot of the AfterStep WM. That's the window manager I'm using most
Arguably the smallest manager available: no icons, no extensible root menus,
toolbars, reconfigurability. So, what's the use? Well if you just need to
start X to run some big app or game (like 'Civ: CTP'), wm2 will leave you
with as much free memory as possible. It has a bigger brother with some more
features, called wmx.
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