Thursday, June 17, 2010

Controlling Windows : The Window Manager

A window manager—the program that controls the look and feel of the basic GUI—runs under a desktop manager (such as GNOME or KDE) and controls all aspects of the windows in the X Window System environment. The window manager defines the appearance of the windows on the desktop and controls how you operate and position them: open, close, move, resize, minimize, and so on. It may also handle some session management functions, such as how a session is paused, resumed, restarted, or ended.

Window decorations. A window manager controls window decorations—that is, the titlebar and border of a window. Aside from the aesthetic aspects of changing window decorations, you can alter their functionality by modifying the number and placement of buttons on the titlebar.

The window manager takes care of window manipulation so client programs do not need to do so. This setup is very different from that of many other operating systems, and the way that GNOME deals with window managers is different from how other desktop environments work. Window managers do more than simply manage windows—they provide a useful, good-looking, graphical shell to work from. Their open design allows users to define their own policies, down to the fine details.

Theoretically GNOME is not dependent on any particular window manager and can work with any of several window managers. Because of their flexibility, you would not see major parts of the desktop environment change if you were to switch from one window manager to another. A desktop manager collaborates with the window manager to make your work environment intuitive and easy to use. Although the desktop manager does not control window placement, it does get information from the window manager about window placement.

Fedora/RHEL Window Managers
Metacity and Compiz—the default window managers for GNOME—provide window management and start many components through GNOME panel objects. They also communicate with and facilitate access to other components in the environment. The Desktop Effects window allows you to switch between Metacity and Compiz.

Using the standard X libraries, programmers have created other window managers, including blackbox, fluxbox, and WindowMaker. You can use yum to install any of these packages.

Source of Information : Prentice Hall A.Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5th Edition

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