General Question

Vincentt's avatar

Know of any more alternative desktop managers for Linux?

Asked by Vincentt (8079points) May 16th, 2009

I’m thinking that the desktop has much more potential than what I’m currently using it for (merely displaying icons of minimized/popular applications and a wallpaper), so I was wondering if there are any alternatives to xfdesktop or Nautilus’s desktop management that are really innovative. Preferably not what’s in KDE 4 since I’d need to install a lot of dependencies for that (I’m using Xfce).

Note: I’m referring to desktop managers, like xfdesktop, not desktop environments.

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6 Answers

phoenyx's avatar

There are some guys I work with who use fluxbox and who use xmonad and they seem to prefer them.

Vincentt's avatar

fluxbox and xmonad are window managers, so they’d be alternatives to, say xfwm4 or Compiz/Emerald :)

phoenyx's avatar

Hmm, I need to do some research to learn the distinctions. I just use the Gnome defaults.

How would you classify enlightenment?

Vincentt's avatar

Also a window manager (it says on the home page as well: “Enlightenment is a window manager.”). When it draws window borders and positions the windows on the screen, it’s a window manager. When it manages your desktop (i.e. what you see between the panels), draws your wallpaper, icons on it, whateve, it’s a desktop manager (that term is almost never used… Probably because there are so few. In fact, GNOME let’s its file manager, Nautilus, handle the desktop. Xfce has a separate application for that so you could in theory use a different one, but if none is available…).

And yeah, all the terminology is confusing, but that’s mostly because you have a choice to use different applications to handle your window management (e.g. Compiz instead of GNOME’s Metacity) – in, say, Windows, I wouldn’t know what the window manager is because it’s not really considered a separate application in the first place, it’s just part of the black box that is your operating system ;-)

phoenyx's avatar

It was that second sentence, “Enlightenment is a desktop shell”, that I was curious about.

Vincentt's avatar

Come to think of it… It might be that Enlightenment did manage my desktop. In any case, I already tried that and most window managers some time in the past and didn’t really like it. I’d like to see some innovative use of the desktop :)

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