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Is a "Display Manager" the same thing as a "Session Manager"? Not quite, but they often overlap in implementation. A display manager just logs the user in and start their session, (often just starting X for them and possibly starting a session manager,) while a session manager is responsible for saving and restoring the state of a session, eg. it might ...


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Here's a very short rough characterization: Display manager: The program that provides you a graphical login and then starts your session. Runs as root or dedicated user. Session manager: The program that actually controls your session. Runs under your account. Windowing system: The complete GUI drawing/control system. Describes not a component in itself, ...


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A windowing system is a software component that provides windows for applications to draw in and can display these windows on the screen. The X Window System is the standard windowing system on Unix systems; outside Mac OS X, it doesn't really have competition (this may change if Wayland or Mir become viable). The X Window System has a client-server ...



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