Linux Graphical Interface

Posted by Tully on Wed 06 May 2009

The X Windows System provides the base system for the graphical interface on Linux. It allows programmers to run applications in windows. It also allows users to move windows around on the screen as well as click on items with the mouse.

The X Window System alone isn't enough. You have to have three additional components to create a fully functional Linus GUI system:

Window Managers

The role of the Window manager is to control the appearance of the windows on the screen. It also determines how they are arranged on the screen. Commonly used window managers include the following..

  • Enlightenment
  • Window Maker
  • Sawfish
  • fvwm
  • twm
  • IceWM
  • Xfwm

GUI Toolkits

GUI toolkits are libraries used by programmers to create X Window applications. On Linux, the GTK+, Motif, and Qt toolkits are commonly used.

Desktop Environments

The desktop environment is used to actually present the GUI desktop to the end user. It allows you to place icons on the desktop, customize the appearance of your windows, add wallpaper to the desktop background, and so on. Two very popular Linux desktop environments include the K Desktop Environment (KDE) and GNOME.