Questions related to the general behaviour or configuration of desktop environments, especially in cases involving several DEs. For questions specific to one DE, see the associated tags (eg. [gnome], [kde], ...).

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21
votes
11answers
8k views

the lightest way to have a GUI in Linux? [closed]

I have been using Gnome and KDE for a while, and I am now running Compiz standalone... Regarding system resource, I think the most heavy ones are feature-rich desktop environments (Gnome, KDE), then ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an “open with” command for the command line?

Does the command line have a way to get a recommended list of programs used to open a particular file, based on the file type? For example, a .pdf file would have an open with... recommendation using ...
16
votes
1answer
395 views

How does xdg-open do its work

According to the man page, xdg-open will open a file using the application the user has configured. But how is that application actually determined? I can see no config files associated with ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Windows Managers vs Login Managers Vs Display Managers Vs Desktop Environment

I posted a question and noticed people weren't distinguishing correctly between many of these things: Windows Managers vs Login Managers Vs Display Managers Vs Desktop Environment. Can someone please ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Text only mode in Linux (No Gnome, KDE, Unity) to prolong battery life

If I want to disable my GUIs completely to save battery life, how would I proceed? I know that I can hit Ctrl + Alt + F3 and be on the command line, but the desktop manager would be in the background ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Correctly setting environment

I'm using zsh and gdm to run gnome. Some time ago I discovered that variables are not set correctly. For example LANG/LC_ALL are incorrect ("" instead of en_GB.UTF-8). I split the .zshrc into .zshrc ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

How to get rid of desktop environment and use a window manager only?

I have been using xterm for all my work. I realized that the features that desktop environments like GNOME has to provide are not of much use to me. Now, is it possible that I remove GNOME and KDE ...
9
votes
2answers
392 views

Retrieve the window name and role

I'm running Eclipse and I detached some of the windows. Now I have 4 windows linked to Eclipse. What I need is to be able to identify each individual window and be able to control it. If I run tools ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

How to find information about the system/machine in Unix?

I have always found it difficult to find information about the system itself in Unix, whether it be Which OS I am using (version number and all, to compare it with the latest available builds)? ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

How to change the default filemanager of the Cinnamon desktop?

I'm running an Arch Linux machine with the cinnamon-git desktop from the Arch User Repository. The default filemanager is Nautilus, is there any way to change the default filemanager to thunar?
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Gnome, KDE, XFCE… which is most simple and customizable?

This'll be my first Linux install, so I've never had to choose between a desktop environment (I come from OS X) -- forgive me if I'm not fully literate on where exactly the OS ends and the desktop ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between a Window Manager and a Desktop Environment?

What exactly is the difference between between a Window Manager and a Desktop Environment? E.g.: sawfish vs. gnome.
7
votes
2answers
2k views

The most light-weight Compiz compatible environment?

I require Compiz for organizational reasons; I make heavy use of its window sorting features. But I like light-weight environments so that I can give as much of my system's resources to the ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Which window manager has Python bindings?

I've been coding bits here and there with Python and I'm most interested in Desktop Environments, for which I always have ideas I want to try out. I have tried to play around with python-xlib but ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Kde: how to bind permanently an application to a desktop/activity?

Im pretty new to Kde 4.8 and i can not figure out how to get this behaviour that i used to have in Gnome: Desktop 1: developer/misc (browser, editor/ide, diff, etc..) Desktop 2: virtual machines ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Getting visual feedback of workspace switch in xfce

I make heavy use of workspaces, and have a lot of them (a 6x4 grid). I usually run openbox, but am currently using a machine that doesn't have openbox set up, so I'm using xfce because it's already ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

How to detect the desktop environment in a bash script?

I am writing a bash script that needs to know which desktop environment (XFCE, Unity, KDE, LXDE, Mate, Cinnamon, GNOME2, GNOME3,... ) is running. How can I obtain that information?
6
votes
3answers
199 views

What can I do when apt-get/aptitude doesn't create a menu item for an installed program?

Obviously, this question is specific to Debian-based setups. I find that, often, packages I install using aptitude or apt-get only say that a menu item has been created. No menu item actually ...
6
votes
1answer
519 views

Understanding linux desktop

I use debian wheezy xfce and want to set up my desktop. But I read some settings are redundant. Hence I want to understand how everything works, but I am massively lost. Can someone please sort, ...
6
votes
3answers
440 views

I want my Ubuntu 9.04/9.10 back, is there any current similar distro?

I was switching to Linux in the optimal time, around Ubuntu 9.04/9.10. I am a programmer, so I don't want to be a "Linux guru", that's why Ubuntu was perfect for me - until Unity/Gnome3. In latest ...
5
votes
1answer
955 views

Return to X session after Ctrl+Alt+F1

What is the command to return to the graphical desktop after entering the terminal mode with Ctrl+Alt+F1? I need it for operating my Raspbian.
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Window manager and desktop environment for touchscreens

What are some good choices for desktop environments and window manager for touchscreens? Currently I am using XFCE with custom GTK settings for making the controls larger, but that is far from ...
5
votes
7answers
3k views

Screen corruption after hibernate — Is there another way to refresh the X11 display?

When I restore from hibernate the screen is often corrupted. I suspect the graphics memory is not being saved. Suspend-to-ram works fine. It also looks like the font-cache is corrupted, as all ...
5
votes
2answers
492 views

What are the user interface subsystems, their components and responsibilities?

I am trying to understand the different subsystems that are in charge of the user interface, the terminology to refer to them, and how they are structured; so far I know there are: At the top level: ...
5
votes
2answers
454 views

Is there a way to retrieve the name of the Desktop Environment?

The title is quite exhaustive: is there a way to retrieve the desktop environment name (e.g. Gnome, Unity, XFCE, LXDE, KDE...) from the command line or using Python?
4
votes
4answers
287 views

Recommend a Linux Distribution for my use

I have no experience with Linux. I'm looking for a distribution which is beginner friendly. Ubuntu looks great. My usage for this system will include web development, and possibly application ...
4
votes
2answers
838 views

Desktop overlay program showing CPU, HDD, etc. stats

In different screenshots of people's Linux desktops, I've seen different apps that overlay the desktop with information about their computer. Often this gadget/app shows CPU and HDD information. ...
4
votes
2answers
276 views

Need a programmers advice on *X display manager, window manager and composit manager combination

First of all: I asked this question on SuperUser, when I wasn't thinking about a StackExchange Site for Linux-related questions. So if this violates any rules please feel free to close. I have ...
4
votes
2answers
674 views

Gnome 3 desktop display gone rogue?

I am having trouble logging out and shutting down normally using the Gnome 3 desktop interface. This is what I was shown on random occasions when I turn on the computer: The arrows point to where ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

A Linux OS as Single Display Groupware

For use in extreme programming environments, the idea of single display groupware has become rather interesting. I understand that applications need to be retooled in order to function as single ...
4
votes
2answers
833 views

How to refresh the desktop background in various desktop environments? [closed]

In XFCE 4.10 I can refresh my desktop background with xfdesktop --reload. I would like to know how I can do the same for as many as possible other desktop environments (Unity, KDE, LXDE, Mate, ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to remove KDE and XFCE applications from GNOME menu?

I am new to Linux. I installed kubuntu-desktop and xubuntu-desktop over the default Ubuntu 10.10. I want to unclutter the menu, so that applications related to a particular desktop appear in menu ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

show filesystem instead of “places” in gtk file chooser

In almost any program, when I click on open, a file chooser dialog opens as shown below. This dialog shows recently used files Desktop and so on. This is extremely annoying. I would like to see my ...
4
votes
2answers
274 views

Desktop environment that just starts a full screen terminal

I have the following xsession file: [Desktop Entry] Name=... Comment=This session will start ... Exec=???? TryExec=??? Type=???? ...
4
votes
1answer
762 views

How do I enforce system-wide custom keyboard shortcuts / macros?

I would like to be able to apply the same custom key bindings and shortcuts I use on my text editors to my entire desktop environment. I want to basically remap my keyboard system-wide, not just in ...
4
votes
1answer
330 views

Completely disable GNOME for my user in Ubuntu

At the office we've been issued laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed. Unity is of course the OS default, but KDE is available. I prefer KDE and so have set KDM and KDE as my defaults. However some GNOME ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to set the Linux Mint desktop environment to use a mime type?

As a extension to this question: How to make difference between .wxm (wxMaxima) and .c files in Linux Mint? I'm using Linux Mint. I created a mime type. Now I want the desktop environment to use it. ...
3
votes
1answer
262 views

How can I disable the shutter sound of gnome-screenshot?

After a recent update of my LMDE, the gnome-screenshot tool started making an annoying camera shutter noise every time a screenshot is taken. This is both annoying and startling (especially if you ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Switch to Gnome from KDE without logging out

Right now I'm using the KDE desktop on Fedora, but I want to switch to Gnome. Problem is, I have many things open right now (xterms, xemacs, etc, etc), and I don't want to close all of them, log out, ...
3
votes
4answers
257 views

Which desktop environments let you switch to a non-default window manager?

I used to use fvwm as the window manager under Gnome 2, but as I understand Gnome 3 can't be used with a non-default window manager, so I'm looking for alternatives. Are there other desktop ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

KDE toolbar background messed up

At one day (it has been for a while now) the background of KDE main toolbar started looking really strange: screenshot (it looks to me as the alpha channel of the background image is missing). ...
3
votes
1answer
362 views

Transferring XFCE customization from one system to another?

I configured XFCE on my desktop at home and wanted to setup my work system with the same configurations (figured it'd just be copying a few files) or even a script? In the past I used to just mark the ...
3
votes
1answer
398 views

Replacing LXDE with XFCE, startx issues

Apologies if this seems straight forward but I've recently downloaded XFCE to replace LXDE environment on my raspberry pi running raspbian. I did this by using sudo apt-get install xfce4 and ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How to make nemo support compressing files by context menu?

I use Cinnamon on ArchLinux and Nemo is it's default file manager. I've tried 3 GUI file archivers (p7zip with WxGTK, peazip & file-roller), but none of them add a "compress option" in the context ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Structure of graphical modules in Linux Lubuntu

I am trying to understand the layers of the Linux GUI system. I am running a netbook with Lubuntu, and I was told it's running LXDE as desktop environment. However, there are processes with 'gnome'. ...
3
votes
3answers
9k views

install minimal desktop on CentOS 6.3

I just want to install a minimal GNOME desktop without all the Thunderbird/Firefox and any other packages that may come with full CentOS Live Cd. Is there something like yum groupinstall base-desktop? ...
3
votes
1answer
832 views

Running Plasmoid under NOTKDE (e.g. Fluxbox) - Plasma/DeviceNotifier

Is there way to run Plasma/DeviceNotifier under another WM to KWin/KDE (e.g. Fluxbox). To be more specific, I have currently configured KDE, but I work remotely thorough SSH -Y + X-forwarding. So ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

ubuntu like lightdm in arch linux

I have just installed archlinux on a virtual machine and I managed to install lightdm by following the instructions given in https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/LightDM ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Gnome Shell: Running shell script after session starts?

I'm a long time KDE user, never seen GNOME since may be Mandrake Linux 10 something. Yesterday I took a look at GNOME Shell on Youtube and thought it may worth a look. It actually is worth, but I ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

Script to find the default Desktop Environment?

Assume a Linux Desktop Environment system is installed. When powered on and credentials entered, whatever Desktop Environment is started i would consider the default Desktop Environment. The user may ...