Originally Published: Saturday, 29 January 2000 Author: Scott Miga
Published to: enhance_articles_desktops/General Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Your Desktop, Your Control

One of the features that has made linux so popular is how you have complete control over your system. You make things happen the way you want them to, when you want, and this is no different with the desktop aspect. The GUI interface to linux follows the same rule, letting the user create the look and feel of their desktop.

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One of the features that has made linux so popular is how you have complete control over your system. You make things happen the way you want them to, when you want, and this is no different with the desktop aspect. The GUI interface to linux follows the same rule, letting the user create the look and feel of their desktop.

This is a big issue for the majority of linux users. If we wanted to use something that was made for us to not change or modify, we would be using an operating system from Redmond that will go unnamed. But we don't, so we are free to design, create, and use whatever we can and desire.

This includes desktop environments, window managers, applications, and themes, all of which we are free to roam in using. Starting with desktop environments, we have the two most frequently used ones, GNOME and KDE. While there are others available, I am going over these two because I feel that they are the most popular and widely used ones.

GNOME stands for the GNU Network Object Model Environment. GNOME's goal is to make available an easy-to-use, yet advanced desktop environment that both beginners and experts can use to their advantage. Based on GNOME, several programs are ava ilable which use GNOME's framework and structure to function, which in turn makes something common for many different applications. KDE, the K Desktop Environment, on the other hand, focuses more on ease of use and graphics. KDE better resembles Microsoft Windows, which many new users are using before switching over to linux.

Heading over to window managers, there is a variety. From Window Maker, to Enlightenment, BlackBox, to AfterStep, all of these window managers focus on empowering the user. Window Maker is known for being quick and easy to use with it's docking ability. While Enlightenment lets just about every aspect of its appearance be controlled by the user. BlackBox is a small and efficient window manager which is programmed in c++, and has a different code structure than other window managers. One of the first window managers that started it all is AfterStep which has been used as a baseline for others. All of these window managers can be modified and made to look different by the use of "themes".

Themes can best be described as "outfits" or "covers", that when used, change the look of the window manager, either greatly or just a little. Either from a dark, sad mood, to a bright, cheerful sense, themes have the power to do much. A prime source for such themes is themes.org, which is a warehouse for themes for all of these window managers and much more.

Control is something many people want and get when they use linux. It should be no different when it comes to the desktop , and it isn't. Linux users will continue to have control over how and what their desktop does, and this is getting easie r and more developed as time goes on. After all, isn't that what linux is all about?





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