X Window System and Desktop

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Slackware Linux, like almost every usable Unix-like system, includes a version of the X Window System. This section will describe the implementation Slackware uses, and also cover additional related aspects, such as installed desktop environments.


Slackware Linux 8.0 includes XFree86 4.1.0. This was the latest XFree86 version available at the time. Red Hat Linux 7.3, meanwhile, includes XFree86 4.2.0 (which was in turn the most recent XFree86 version available at that time). XFree86 4.0 introduced some enhancements (in the form of additional hardware drivers and some additional support software) and bug fixes, and it is the foundation for both versions 4.1.0 and 4.2.0.


See Chapter 4 for information on XFree86 4.2.0; most of that material applies to XFree86 4.1.0, as well.

Table 4-10 (in Chapter 4) lists several tools present on Red Hat Linux that are useful with XFree86. Most of these tools are also present with Slackware, but two are not and are worth mentioning.

First is the Xconfigurator program written by Red Hat. This program is a text-based application that guides the user through the process of configuring XFree86. However, Slackware does not include this program, relying instead on the xf86config program that is included with XFree86 itself. The xf86config program does essentially everything that Red Hat's Xconfigurator program can, but Red Hat's version is a bit more user-friendly.

Slackware also lacks the switchdesk applications present on Red Hat. These programs allow the user to change her preferred desktop environment. Slackware, however, relies on the traditional method for accomplishing this—the xinit mechanism. For more information on this, see "Slackware Linux Idiosyncrasies", later in this chapter.


Slackware Linux, again like most modern distributions, includes both the GNOME and KDE desktop environments, and allows the user to select between the two. (The procedure for doing this is described in the "Slackware Linux Idiosyncrasies" section later in this chapter.) As with the version of XFree86, Slackware Linux 8.0 shipped the most recent versions of KDE and GNOME available at the time; in fact, Slackware was one of the first distributions to ship with GNOME 1.4! Slackware Linux 8.0 also shipped with KDE 2.1.2.

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Tuning and Customizing a Linux System
Tuning and Customizing a Linux System
ISBN: 1893115275
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 159

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