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["GUI"] > ["XWindowSystem"]
In the ["XWindowSystem"], the ["XServer"] itself does not give the user the capability of managing windows that have been opened. Instead, this job is delegated to a program called a window manager.
The window manager gives windows a border and allows you to move them around and maximize/minimize them. The user interface for these functions is left up to its author.
This proves to be quite confusing for the new user of a X windowing environment because most other environments simply use one window manager and give the user no choice. In this sense, X is much more versatile and allows more tailoring of the environment to whatever the user wants. It allows the creation of an ["XTerminal"], a diskless workstation which runs only an X server (out of ROM) and leaves all user interface implementation to a central compute server.
Common Linux window managers are:
Metacity [http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/gnome/sources/metacity] (for DebianGnome ).
- Kwm (The window manager used for the KDE desktop)
- Twm (an old window manager dating back to the beginnings of X windows)
Fvwm [http://www.fvwm.org] (an old but useful window manager - still in constant development!)
To change the default window manager use
update-alternatives --config x-window-manager
Window Managers must not be confused with ?DesktopEnvironments such as GNOME, KDE, ["XFce"]. These three environments use a window manager as a single part of a much larger system. And to make things much more complicated, GNOME doesn't force you to use any one window manager. They have a list of "supported" window managers that you can choose from.
Afterstep should be mentioned - (and fvwm is actually fvwm2 whereas fvwm1 already had/has lots of "functionallity" and lives on a smaller foot-print)
DebianFluxbox [http://fluxbox.sourceforge.net] is a good variant on Blackbox-- almost as small, but much more intuitive(and theme-compatible). It can be installed for a bootable USB key with Linux (see DamnSmallLinux).
Openbox 2.x [http://icculus.org/openbox] is yet another variety on Blackbox. Openbox 3.x is written from scratch though visual appearance was influenced by Blackbox. See openbox
http://xwinman.org/ for a more comprehensive list of window managers for X.
DesktopEnvironment for X