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Author Topic: [Solved] What are the differences between a desktop environment and desktop  (Read 191 times)

Offline Trump

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Hello friends! First of all, thank you very much for your answers.Thank you again.

Ok.As I said in the title.I feel these two concepts under Linux become very confused. In other operating systems, desktop just desktop, no desktop can still use the graphical interface program, and there is no concept of desktop environment. But under Linux, there seems to be no desktop can't use graphical interface program.

Isn't Linux's graphical interface built into the kernel like other operating systems. but supported by a third extension?

 If I want it to support both the graphical interface program, don't want to use the desktop (but use the terminal to replace it) what should I do?

« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 05:09:11 AM by Rich »

Offline aus9

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Re: What are the differences between a desktop environment and desktop
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2020, 06:57:40 PM »
HI I tend to use abbreviations...and until you get a better reply
WM=window manager
DE=desktop environment
TC32/64 the x86 or x86_64 distros of Tinycore Linux
GUI graphical user interface, a program that tends to run outside of the terminal, they can be launched from a terminal.

altho your Question names DE and desktop, it does not hurt to see what Linux users tend to expect but may not have on TC32 or TC64.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_X_window_managers

Crudely put a DE is a WM with a suite of apps, normally they include
their own file manager, terminal, control panel (where applicable), media player
and often bundle their preferred web browser.

Now the desktop is what both the WM or DE must supply.
Crudely the desktop paints things onto your monitor and depending on the choice may include:
inbuilt tray panel quick launch bars
menu support
icon support
notify support where applicable
background paint or wallpaper support
and interactions with input and output devices

Not all apply.

Third party apps like wbar can act as a quick launch bar for GUI apps

2) The kernel is never responsible for supplying you with a desktop. It may have foundations or in window speak driver support for the graphical engine that underpins a WM or DE

These engines are libX, Xorg or Wayland

3)
Quote
If I want it to support both the graphical interface program, don't want to use the desktop (but use the terminal to replace it) what should I do?

Someone with better skills may know what you mean but let me give you my answer.

Some apps can be run outside a graphical environment.
Click the exit button and choose exit to prompt.
a number of apps can run from there.  It is sometimes called the console.
But the desktop is not running.
examples include nano feh and mc

(b) If you actually mean you want a terminal based app to replace a GUI then please name the ones you want to replace please.

eg there are terminal based media players eg mpg124, aplay, arecord etc
terminal based text editors ....eg nano
terminal based file managers  eg mc

good luck

Offline Trump

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Re: What are the differences between a desktop environment and desktop
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2020, 08:25:46 PM »
HI I tend to use abbreviations...and until you get a better reply
First of all, thank you very much for your advice. I will try my best to follow it


Someone with better skills may know what you mean but let me give you my answer.
I think you're one of them

(b) If you actually mean you want a terminal based app to replace a GUI then please name the ones you want to replace please.
I know that, but I just want to replace the desktop with a terminal, i.e.Terminal + WM.

Offline aus9

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Re: What are the differences between a desktop environment and desktop
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2020, 10:28:02 PM »
hi The WM supplies the desktop. Its one of its main functions. If you see a wallpaper/background or wbar
Code: [Select]
cat /etc/sysconfig/desktop
It should report something. Like FLWM, openbox, hackedbox gnome etc
Those terms spring to life when either you have sufficient TCEs in your boot list to give you a desktop
or....you load some at console prompt and type $ startx.

2)
Quote
replace the desktop with a terminal, i.e.Terminal + WM.

No you lost me there. The WM supplies the desktop.

Maybe you mean  console activity?
and instead of using a desktop, just run the core.iso which is available for 32 bit users?

Offline Leee

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Re: What are the differences between a desktop environment and desktop
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2020, 02:29:00 PM »
Hi NOOB,

Quote
replace the desktop with a terminal, i.e.Terminal + WM

Is it that you want to use the graphical "desktop" primarily to support one or more terminal windows?  If so, and assuming you don't have some constraint that precludes it, I would recommend loading a window manager anyway as it's the WM that provides window borders, title bars, the minimize/maximize/restore/close widgets and resizing handles ("window decorations").  A basic Tiny Core installation would get you where you want to be... but then we probably wouldn't be in this thread, so maybe I've misunderstood?

A friend once commented that the best thing about a GUI is that it allows you to conveniently run lots of terminals.

coors
core

Offline PDP-8

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Re: What are the differences between a desktop environment and desktop
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 03:09:09 PM »
Quote
I know that, but I just want to replace the desktop with a terminal, i.e.Terminal + WM.

You could sort of emulate that by not loading wbar. :)

If it's a 80's/90's type of workstation environment you are after, then perhaps start with microcore, add X, an Xterm for the terminal, and TWM as the window manager.

In fact, this may still be the most minimal X setup that the *BSD's use to this day.  OpenBSD may have progressed to FVWM, but that may be too "bloaty" for your needs.

Here's the most fun part - I'll leave that simple project (core/X/Xterm/TWM) to you.  You'll reap rich rewards doing that, rather than just going down a checklist.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 03:11:06 PM by PDP-8 »
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline Trump

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Re: What are the differences between a desktop environment and desktop
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2020, 04:59:04 PM »
You could sort of emulate that by not loading wbar. :)
Thank you for sharing.I feel you seem to understand what I mean. But how does this adjust the font size of character modes or native terminals (not aterm)?What other extensions besides wbar are optional for the GUI?

Offline PDP-8

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Re: What are the differences between a desktop environment and desktop
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2020, 05:18:56 PM »
Ah, teach a man to fish...

Many of the questions you ask are already covered in the wikis.  In forums like this (search), and also generally on the web for the generic stuff.  And egads, BOOKS (What's that?)  Grab a few online.

from within aterm itself:
Code: [Select]
aterm -fn 10x20 &
Or more conveniently within an xterm, use the mouse to bring up the menus to change the font size.

Thing is, I'm not sure there is enough server space to do a Q/A interactive lesson from the dawn of Unix here, because it appears they are going to be endless. :)

Nothing personal.  It's simply a matter of time.
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline Trump

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Re: What are the differences between a desktop environment and desktop
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2020, 08:40:29 PM »
Code: [Select]
aterm -fn 10x20 &
I said native terminal, not aterm extension.

Offline Rich

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Hi NOOB
I said native terminal, not aterm extension.
It sounds like you mean the  console.

Offline Trump

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@Rich
Sorry, I didn't express myself clearly. I mean character mode (no graphical interface) font.