Desktops vs. Window Managers - Debian

This is a discussion on Desktops vs. Window Managers - Debian ; I installed Debian Sarge for the first time about a month ago, and have been happily tinkering ever since. I want to play with customizing my "desktop". I may be misguided here, but it seems to me that GNOME and ...

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Thread: Desktops vs. Window Managers

  1. Desktops vs. Window Managers

    I installed Debian Sarge for the first time about a month ago, and have been
    happily tinkering ever since. I want to play with customizing my
    "desktop". I may be misguided here, but it seems to me that GNOME and KDE
    don't offer a lot of opportunity for customization (?), and that I should
    try using a window manager without a desktop environment, so that I can
    have more "fiddle" room.

    On the other hand, I use a few applications that seem to be built
    specifically for KDE or GNOME. So I guess my questions are:

    1. Will my KDE and GNOME apps work if I run X with a window manager like
    fvwm or Sawfish or something, without a desktop environment? How about
    openoffice?

    2. Can I use other window managers with GNOME (instead of Metacity) or KDE
    (instead of whatever it uses)? Can I switch them easily? Will the result
    be worth working with?

    3. Just what *will* I lose by working with a straight WM and *no* desktop
    environment? Can you get all the same functionality by tinkering with WMs,
    or do desktop environments really add functionality?

    Thanks!

    p.s. Oh, I'm not all that comfortable with *where* to ask questions aobut
    Linux. Can anyone point me to good newsgroups/websites/lists/etc? Thanks
    again!

    Dave

  2. Re: Desktops vs. Window Managers

    On Mon, 21 Nov 2005 00:31:56 -0500, Dave M wrote:

    > 1. Will my KDE and GNOME apps work if I run X with a window manager like
    > fvwm or Sawfish or something, without a desktop environment?


    As long as the KDE libraries resp. GNOME libraries are still
    installed they should work.

    > How about
    > openoffice?


    No problem.

    > 3. Just what *will* I lose by working with a straight WM and *no* desktop
    > environment? Can you get all the same functionality by tinkering with WMs,
    > or do desktop environments really add functionality?


    I guess you lose some eye-candy and gain some functionality ;-)

    But I have to admit that I don't like desktop environments and use
    ion3 myself. Other interesting WMs are IMO ratpoison, wmii, evilwm,
    .... All of them tiny and keyboard focused.

    > p.s. Oh, I'm not all that comfortable with *where* to ask questions aobut
    > Linux. Can anyone point me to good newsgroups/websites/lists/etc? Thanks
    > again!


    Debian has a lot of mailing lists, too:
    http://lists.debian.org/

    gregor
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