Tag: xfce

GNOME logoBy Marcos Aguilar

With the arrival of Gnome3 and Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity, it is necessary to clarify two concepts that are different and that tend to generate confusion: Desktop Environment and Window Manager.



What a desktop environment does is bring together different X clients and use them to create a common graphical user environment and a development platform. These advanced desktop environments allow X clients and the applications to run and communicate with each other, allowing those applications to perform advanced tasks, such as drag and drop, eg.


(Metacity, Compiz, Mutter, Kwin)

They are X client programs that can also be independent (eg. Mwm). Its main purpose is to control the way graphical windows are displayed (position, resize, move, appearance.) and features (links to the mouse buttons, title bars, shortcuts, focus behavior).

Kwin-> Window manager for KDE. Supports interchangeable styles, which control not only its appearance but also some aspects of their behavior.

Distribution: Kubuntu

Metacity-> This is for GNOME2. It has few configuration options. But in return Gnome2 is highly configurable and allows other operators to install more advanced customizable applications like Compiz.

Distribution: Ubuntu 10.10 and above

Mutter-> This is for GNOME3 (new) not allowed to use any window manager without rewriting code, so that no window manager different than Mutter can be installed in Gnome3.

Distribution: Fedora 15

Compiz-> This is for GNOME-Unity in Ubuntu 11.04. It is the most advanced and configurable manager and can usually be installed anywhere, provided you have 3D acceleration (OpenGL).

Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04

Xfwm-> This is for Xfce. Provides its own compositing manager, the first of its kind when it was released. Supports keyboard shortcuts and its graphics are completely modifiable.

Distribution: Xubuntu

Openbox-> This is for LXDE. Was derived from Blackbox 0.65 in the beginning, but has been completely rewritten and is no longer based on Blackbox. It is designed to be fast and consume a minimum amount of resources while sacrificing some features.

Distribution: Lubuntu

Fluxbox-> It is a minimalist, light and customizable. Its visual appearance is changed from text files. It is based on Blackbox code.

IceWM-> is a lightweight and minimalist. Its main goal is to be good looking and still light. It is configured from text files. The themes IceWM can also be used with KWin (KDE), provided the kdeartwork package installed.

Motif(mwm) -> is a very basic and independent manager. Not to be used with GNOME or KDE.

Read more about KDE and GNOME.

Our blog is run and maintained by Linux & Unix fans who volunteered to share their experience with the world at no cost!! This is the power of Linux & Unix!! Visit us on http://www.linux2aix.com.

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Glxgears reveals the advantages of installing proprietary Nvidia drivers to greatly improve 3D performance on your Linux system. This post shows step by step how to install the drivers on your system, as well as show the big increase in performance achieved.

My system is an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.67GHz box with 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, Nvidia 8400GS card, running Linux Mint 13 Maya Xfce 64-bit.

First, here is a screenshot of my glxgears running on my system before I install the Nvidia drivers:

Glxgears before Nvidia driver








Now, the after screenshot with the drivers installed, notice the huge improvement!:

Glxgears after Nvidia driver








How did I install the drivers? It’s easy, first click on Menu | Settings | Additional Drivers, highlight the appropriate driver (I chose the recommended one), then click “Activate” in the lower-right corner.

Before installing Nvidia drivers








It’s a big download, so depending on your Internet connection it may take a long time. (my high-speed connection got it done in about 10 minutes)

almost there!








Once the install is finished you need to click “Close” and restart the computer to activate the driver.

Nvidia installed on Linux Mint!








Thank you for reading, remember Linux rocks!

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By Robert Fanning

Linux Mint KDE is another quality KDE distribution that you can choose from. It’s actually based on Ubuntu which will still give you access to those repositories giving you easy access to installing software that you need. It’s what’s called a community edition meaning that volunteers actually put this distribution together. Generally it’s a version behind the main version of Mint but still has everything you need.

Linux Mint KDE has a basic desktop that is already customized. It’s comes with a fresh blue look to it with the default KDE grey title bars. It’s set up quite a bit like Windows with the “start” button the bottom left, a basic taskbar, notification icons, and a clock. It’s your standard KDE layout for those who know what this look like.

It uses the new KDE 4 with the plasma desktop. If you are using the KDE edition of Mint, then you probably love the new plasma and don’t mind the extra resources that this uses over the old KDE 3. There are many who are split on the differences between the two but users have gradually accepted version four’s changes.

Some wonder why to use Mint’s KDE edition over something like Kubuntu since both are based on Ubuntu. Linux Mint comes with proprietary drivers installed to play music, dvd, flash, and java. These do not have to be installed by you at all unlike Kubuntu. By default it also uses Firefox and Thunderbird instead of the traditional KDE browser and mail programs. Mint also has some features like MintInstall and MintUpdate. These will help you get new applications installed and updated really easily.

If you don’t like the KDE edition, there are also Fluxbox, XFCE, and Gnome editions of Mint to try out as well as other distributions that use KDE.

Robert is an author who specializes in niche markets. Come visit his latest website http://www.dragonvoicerecognition.org for product information regarding voice recognition software.

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By Richard Hove

One huge advantage of Linux is it’s flexibility. Different pieces of open source software can be put together in order to make it work on certain types of hardware. One graphical user interface that is good for older hardware is Fluxbox. It Linux Mint Fluxboxuses so little resources that even a machine that is nearly 10 years old can run it well. The problem is that very few distributions actually have a Fluxbox edition. Linux Mint 8 has now come out with their Fluxbox edition meaning it’s one of the most modern and up to date versions of Linux that is using Fluxbox.

Linux Mint is a distribution that is based on Ubuntu. There are a few differences. First, it looks better than Ubuntu. Instead of the brown and orange colors, it uses greens and blacks to create a pretty slick looking desktop. It also comes with proprietary plugins already installed like Flash and Java as well as the codex that you will need to play certain music formats on your computer. While you can install these manually with Ubuntu, Mint has it done when you install the distribution.

Fluxbox can be added onto any Linux distribution. The problem is that you will have to configure it to work well. While this can be done by expert users, newer users have a hard time knowing all the pieces that you will need to make it work properly. Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox has all this already done for you setting it up so that everything works that way you need it to.

While it is made for older hardware, you might not be a huge fan of interfaces like Gnome and KDE. Fluxbox and XFCE are some popular alternatives to these. The advantage of Fluxbox is that it’s so simple that it doesn’t get in the way like other interfaces tend to do. You can use this edition even on a high power machine if that is something you want.

The author has developed a website dedicated to the Excalibur food dehydrator of which he is a big fan. He uses the Excalibur 2900 dehydrator. Take a look at his site for some great deals and a guide to buying one.

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By David Childers

The use of the text based command line for running applications or configuring computer systems can be a daunting task. Special commands must be used which may require additional modifiers to invoke the desired computer function. Both Desktop Environments and Windows Mangers provide a graphical method for users to control and configure a Unix operating system, without the need for using text based command line control. Graphical user interfaces eliminate the tedious memorization of text based commands.

Desktop environments are graphic interfaces that provide user control and configuration of a computer operating system in addition to installed applications. The graphic interface generally consist of menus, icons and background desktop images. It also allows users to manipulate items with the drag and drop function or use the point and click function to execute applications on the desktop itself.

The following are Open Source / Free Desktop Environment packages for the Unix operating systems. (Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and Solaris)

These desktop environments provide users with the ability to utilize software developed with various computer languages, and the ability to utilize the software on different computer hardware configurations.

kde logoKDE is based on the Qt 4 programming language and allows applications to be integrated within the desktop. KDE uses the KWin window manager.


gnome logoGNOME is based on the GTK+ programming language and allows applications to be integrated within the desktop. Gnome uses the Metacity window manager.


xfce logoXFCE is based on the the GTK+ programming language. Xfce uses the Xfwm window manager.

lxde logoLXDE does not have applications integrated into the desktop. LXDE uses the Openbox window manager.


The X window manager is an application that controls the function of the X Window System. It can be configured to manage the visual appearance of display windows and control panels. The X window manager also controls how users interact with these graphical interfaces.

The X Window System provides the system resources and software components necessary for the creation of graphical user interfaces (Windows Managers and Desktop Environments).

The following are the most common Open Source / Free Window Manager packages for the Unix operating systems : Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and Solaris.

These window managers provide users with the ability to utilize the software on different computer hardware configurations and provide various visual appearance.

- Blackbox is written in C++. It offers support for multiple workspaces.

- Fluxbox is based on Blackbox 0.61.1. It offers minimal support for graphical icons.

- Openbox was originally based on Blackbox 0.65.0. It allows users to utilize applications without a full desktop environment installed.

- Enlightenment can be used as a substitute for a complete desktop environment.

- IceWM was written in C++. It can be configured to recreate the visual appearance of various desktop environments.

- Window Maker provides drag and drop user control in addition to supporting multiple workspaces.

- Sawfish is written with a scripting language that is similar to Lisp. It provides very basic features.

- Metacity is written in GTK+. It was created for use with the Gnome Desktop Environment.

- MWM is based on the Motif toolkit. It does not support desktop icons or multiple workspaces.

- FVWM is based on TWM. It provides the ability to display a 3D visualization ( similar to MWM ) and supports basic multiple workspace.

- AfterStep was originally based on FVWM and was designed to provide a NextStep themed appearance.

- CTWM is based on TWM. It provides rudimentary GNOME desktop support and multiple workspaces.

Text based command line configuration and control can provide a comprehensive method for daily computer management and operation. Unfortunately, users are required to know the necessary unique commands and their unique structure that must be used. Graphical user interfaces alleviate that requirement and make the use of a computer both simple and effective.

You can find more information about these software applications here: http://www.scenicradio.com/unix.htm

Dave Childers is a freelance Internet broadcast consultant, writer and webmaster of http://www.scvi.net – The Winamp TV, NullSoft Video information website.

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What Is Ubuntu?

What Is Ubuntu?

By Roharme D

Ubuntu is an easy version of Linux. It is not windows,but it is almost user friendly like windows. No all applications have graphical interface. Many applications force users to use commands to run them.Commands are mandatory to work with Linux and Ubuntu is not an exception.

Useful Commands:

* apt-get – Call Advanced Packaging Tool.

* clear – Clears terminal screen

* cat [filename] – Opens the file in terminal

* cat > [filename] – Createsa file with name mentioned

* chmod – Change the mode of a file to read, write, execute, extract etc.

* gedit – Opens gnome editor

* gksudo [program name] – Open graphic interface of an application with administrator

* install – Install a package or a component

* pon – Trigger a dsl-connection

* poff – Turn of a dsl-connection

* plog -PPPOE Log file.

* sudo -To become an administration for that particular transaction / terminal session alone.

* privileges.

* synaptic – Open package installer

* vi – Opens VI editor

Installing a software:

Ubuntu does not support direct executable files. You will either be provided with a compiled object that can be installed as such or the complete source code itself. In case of source code, it must be compiled first to proceed with the installation. There is no fixed way to compile the code. It depends upon the language in which the software has been written.

Fully compiled software will have standard extensions which Ubuntu understands by their extension.Some standard file type are

*.run – These files types must be executed with shell command as

* sh.run

*.deb – Deb is the abbreviated form of Debian packages. These packages can be installed right away by double clicking.It opens itself in package installer.

*.bin – These are standard binary files. They might be locked sometimes. They must be provided privileges before executing. The privileges can be changed by the command chmod with the switch +x.To install the software, use the command./[FILENAME].bin (note the dot in the beginning)

There are many other ways of installing a software.

Synaptic Manager:

This is a built-in Ubuntu installer. Ubuntu, keeps track of many useful and popular packages. They are indexed in the synaptic manager. You can install the software using the synaptic manager, if the software is listed in it.

To start synaptic manager, use the command sudo synaptic

Application Package Tool:

APT is one of the typical features of Ubuntu. There are plenty of software and utilities that can directly be installed in your system without having a downloaded soft copy. Just naming the package would suffice. Some famous package that can be installed with APT are

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-sdk sudo apt-get install xmms sudo apt-get install vlc sudo apt-get install mvn sudo apt-get install ant sudo apt-get install svn

Almost all applications can be opened using a command line. Command line version of software are faster than graphic interface as they occupy less memory.This could be a handy guide for beginners. But this is just a piece of Ubuntu. There are many things are there to be learnt to play with Ubuntu.

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Burned by Ubuntu?

By Kurt Hartman

If you’ve been involved with the IT community at all, or are even a serious internet addict, the chances are high that you have heard of Ubuntu Linux. If you have heard of it, then the chances are also good that you have considered installing the operating system, and playing around with it a little.

If you did install it, say, 2-3 years ago, chances are, things didn’t work properly. I mean, things that “just worked” in good ole’ XP, failed you entirely. You then did what you could to get rid of it, and vowed never to get involved with Linux ever again.

I would know, as I had similar problems the first time I ventured into the land of Linux. Here is my dim recollection of that moment.

I don’t remember the first time I heard of Ubuntu. I only remember a few things about my experience installing it for the first time:

  1. It installed fairly quickly.
  2. I could never get my wireless card to work properly.
  3. They forced me to fix things via the command line
  4. I messed around with “sudo this’ and “sudo that” to no avail.
  5. I ended up having to reformat my entire hard drive to get rid of it.

Fast forward 2 years. Ubuntu is running as the only OS on my machine. Ubuntu_LogoWIreless works perfectly, as does printing, and most other features that are available for my laptop. In fact, most everything that I install works well. I never have to even look at a command line if I don’t want to.

What changed? Well, Ubuntu improved, and drastically, I might add. Everything from stability, to usability and driver support are approaching windows-level compliance. In many areas, Ubuntu has surpassed Windows, especially performance.

If you feel like giving it another try, I can guarantee that you won’t have the same problems with it that you did last time? Why? Well, for one, Ubuntu has added a Windows based installer to newer distributions that allows you to install and remove Ubuntu like a standard Windows application. No more accidents where GRUB wipes out all record of your NTFS partition, and makes Vista unbootable. What’s the name of this magical program: Wubi.

How am I so sure that it is easy to use? It took me 15 minutes to get my friend’s PC dual booting the other night. It installed Ubuntu as a single file. It also defaults to WIndows on boot, unlike Grub, which usually defaults to the latest kernel, and puts XP after 3 or 4 other kernel choices.

By minute number 30, my friend was running Linux versions of his favorite kubuntuprograms, like HandBrake and Audacity. He even discovered the newest version of KDEnlive for his video editing needs. The only issue that we had resolved itself on the next boot. His wireless card was not working. Ubuntu found the driver, and installed it on reboot. Happy day. No command line (except for the commands I learned, and wanted to issue, instead of going through graphical menus), and zero extra configuration.

Look, it’s not an easy choice to try something again after you were burned. I suggest you do, however. If you can find the courage to try Ubuntu again, you have a pleasant surprise waiting for you: It comes in 3 flavors, based on the window manager of choice.

  • Ubuntu – Gnome
  • Kubuntu – KDE
  • Xubuntu – XCFE

I’m going to go ahead and say that for 98% of you, vanilla Ubuntu is the way to go. All of the bells and whistles have been thoroughly tested and integrated to work with Gnome. The eye candy is great, and it just feels very polished. The only downside is that the performance requirements for all but the very oldest machines may be a bit too much.

Of the 2% of you that may want to run something besides Gnome-based Ubuntu, 99% of the 2% won’t want to run KDE. On the plus side, it feels a bit more like a Windows based operating system. Except for the fact that it isn’t nearly as user friendly as regular Ubuntu. There are some KDE diehards out there, but I’m not one of them. I don’t have much more to say about KDE as a window manager.

If you have an older machine, XCFE is lightning fast. It takes up relatively xubuntulittle ram, is a great compromise, and runs most things fairly well. If you don’t need alot of extra graphical polish (read: minimalist) then Xubuntu may be the way to go.

Now, I’m going to really confuse you. How? Well, if you really like a classy looking Linux install, with all the support of Ubuntu, and all the flair of a professional graphic designer, then you want Linux Mint. It’s based on Ubuntu, and customized with versions of programs that have been altered to fit the Mint distribution. They can be a few months behind the latest Ubuntu distribution, but there is no doubt that it is a great distro.

So, now that I am through gushing, why don’t you try downloading it, burning it to a disk, and giving it a once through using Wubi. Oh, and if you have problems with sound or wireless cards while using the Live CD, don’t be so sure that you will have that problem when you do a full installation. 9 times out of 10, those problems are fixed in a full install.

So, go get your favorite pocket protector, strap on your safety glasses, and take the plunge. It will be nearly painless, and totally worth it. You can find all the extra info you need at Ubuntu.com.

I’m off to download a podcast, and get a cup of coffee. For the record, coffee has burned me once or twice, but that hasn’t stopped me from drinking a pot or two a week.

Kurt Hartman is an open source advocate, and has save thousands of dollars for his company by implementing open-source solutions. He currently serves as Head of Web Development for Mobile Fleet Service Inc.

Their website, located at http://www.buybigtires.com, sells mining tires, along with tires for industrial and agricultural use.

In his spare time, he enjoys reading business related books, and gaining a greater understanding of geopolitics

His recommended reading for any industry is “The Black Swan”, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

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My current Linux desktop

Below you will find the snapshot I just took of my Linux desktop. currently I’m running Xubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) from an 8GB USB memory stick. Xubuntu is a derivative of the most popular distro right now, Ubuntu, that uses an Xfce desktop environment, versus the standard Gnome environment of Ubuntu.

My Xubunt 8.10 Linux desktop

My Xubunt 8.10 Linux desktop

As you can see, Linux doesn’t look as scary as some may have told you, does it?

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