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Practical Linux by Bill Ball, John Ray, Michael Turner, M. Drew Streib

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Window Managers and Desktop Environments

The recent evolution of Linux desktops has caused some confusion between "desktop environments" and "window managers." Most modern distributions include several window managers as well as one or more desktop environments. The two major desktop environments for Linux are GNOME and KDE (the K Desktop Environment).

The desktop environment provides features that work on top of window managers, including application drag-and-drop support, file managers, menuing systems, and a suite of standard applications. Your window manager is the program that controls the look and feel of your window "decorations," window icons, and desktop management.

It is possible to choose your window manager and desktop environment ...

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