Difference between revisions of "Desktop environment"

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* [[GNOME]]
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* [[Xfce]]
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* [[Enlightenment]]
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* [[E17]]
* [[E17]]

Revision as of 20:50, 5 March 2007

Template:I18n links start Template:I18n entry Template:I18n links end A Desktop Environment (DE) is a complete Graphical User Interface (GUI) for a computer.

Desktop Environments usually include, but are not limited to;

  • Widgets
  • Toolbars/Panels
  • Applets
  • Applications
  • Icons
  • Wallpapers
  • A Window Manager

The X server

To install/use a DE, you require X(org). If you are accessing this wiki through a graphical browser like firefox or konqueror, then you likely already have X and a DE installed. However if you installed Arch using a base cd, and are reading this wiki from the terminal, in a browser like links2, you likely don't have X. To install X, type the following in a console:

pacman -S xorg

For more information on X, see the Xorg article.

Installing a Desktop Environment

There are many DE's available for linux, here are just a few:

Installing KDE in a nutshell

You can install KDE by simply typing the following in a root terminal:

pacman -S kde

This will ask you first, if you want to install the whole KDE group of packages. This is about 270mb of downloads (4-2006 estimate with kde 3.5.2). If you don't want to install all of this, you can type 'n', and it will ask you which KDE packages you want. Below is a list of all the KDE packages and details about them.

KDE Packages

  • arts - KDE Sound Engine
  • gwenview - KDE Image Viewer
  • kde-Common - Common KDE packages
  • kdeaccessibility - KDE Accessibility
  • kdeaddons - Plugins for konq, noatun, etc.
  • kdeadmin - Administration packages; includes user manager
  • kdeartwork - Artwork (Colours, themes, pictures, splash screens, etc.)
  • kdebase - Base of KDE. REQUIRED
  • kdebindings - KDE Key bindings
  • kdeedu - KDE Educational Applications
  • kdegames - Games for KDE
  • kdegraphics - Graphic-related Applications
  • kdelibs - KDE Libraries. REQUIRED
  • kdemultimedia - Includes Multimedia Applications for KDE
  • kdenetwork - KDE Network-related package, including kppp, etc.
  • kdepim - Personal Information Management; Korganiser, KMail, etc.
  • kdesdk - KDE Software Development Kit
  • kdetoys - Small Applications and toys for KDE; Eyes, Amusing Misuse of Resources (AMOR)
  • kdeutils - Little extra applications; ark, kcalc, etc.

For more information, See KDE

Installing GNOME in a nutshell

You can install GNOME by simply typing the following in a root terminal:

pacman -S gnome

Like the KDE one, this will first ask whether you want the whole GNOME group. The total downloads for installing gnome is 125.6MB (As of 12-2006). If no, you may select which packages to install. Below is a list of the GNOME packages, and explanations of what they are.

GNOME Packages

  • gnome-icon-theme - An icon theme for GNOME
  • control-center - The GNOME Control Center
  • epiphany - GNOME web-browser
  • gnome-applets - Panel Applets
  • gnome-backgrounds - Desktop Backgrounds
  • gnome-common - Common GNOME files
  • gnome-desktop - *
  • gnome-media - *
  • gnome-mime-data - Mime Data for GNOME
  • gnome-panel - GNOME Panel
  • gnome-session - GNOME Session handling
  • gnome-themes - Themes for GNOME
  • gnome2-user-docs - GNOME User Documentation
  • metacity - GNOME Window Manager
  • nautilus - GNOME Filebrowser
  • vte - GNOME Terminal Widget
  • yelp - GNOME Help browser

For more information, see GNOME

Installing Xfce in a nutshell

You can install Xfce by simply typing the following in a root terminal:

pacman -S xfce4

As with both the KDE and GNOME installs, it will first ask you if you want to install the whole Xfce group. The total downloads for Xfce is 44.9MB (As of 4-2006). If you choose not to install the whole group, see below for each package and its details.

Xfce packages

  • gtk-xfce-engine - The Xfce-GTK graphics engine
  • libxfce4mcs - Settings management support for Xfce.
  • libxfce4util - Non-GUI functions for Xfce
  • libxfcegui4 - GTK widgets for Xfce
  • orage - Xfce Calender
  • thunar - File manager
  • xfce-mcs-manager - Settings manager.
  • xfce-mcs-plugins - Plugins for settings manager
  • xfce-utils - startxfce4 script, run dialog, etc.
  • xfce4-appfinder - Application finder
  • xfce4-icon-theme - Icon theme
  • xfce4-iconbox - Simple application management, similar to taskbar.
  • xfce4-mixer - Volume control plugin for the panel
  • xfce4-panel - Xfce Panel
  • xfce4-session - Session management
  • xfce4-systray - System tray plugin for the panel
  • xfce4-toys - Small toys for Xfce
  • xfce4-trigger-launcher - Trigger launcher panel plugin
  • xfdesktop - Allows desktop wallpaper, icons, and menus
  • xfprint - The Xfce Print package
  • xfwm4 - Xfce Window Manager
  • xfwm4-themes - Themes for Xfce Window Manager

For more information, see Xfce

Installing Enlightenment in a nutshell

Enlightenment has two versions:

  • DR16, the older code, originally released 2000, with most recent release 2003.
  • DR17, the newer code, still in pre-alpha (although quite stable).

Enlightenment Development Release 16

You can install Enlightenment DR16 by simply typing the following in a root terminal:

pacman -S enlightenment

It seems that E16 is only the window manager, and not a whole Desktop Environment; See Window_Managers_and_Desktop_Environments_-_What_are_they? for more info.

Enlightenment Development Release 17

You can install Enlightenment DR17 by enabling the community repositories, then typing the following in a root terminal:

pacman -S e17

Enlightenment DR17 Has a similar group of packages to KDE, GNOME and Xfce. Total downloads for E17 is 31.8MB (As of 4-2006). Below is a list of packages in the e17 group.

E17 Packages

  • e - The window manager
  • ecore - Event Abstraction and Modular Convenience
  • edb-devel - E Database Development package
  • edje - Interface Abstraction Library & Tools
  • eet - Distribution Container Libraries & Tools
  • embryo - Embeddable scripting language for enlightenment
  • emotion - Video smart-object library for evas
  • entice - An Image Viewer
  • entrance - The E Display Manager
  • epeg - For thumbnailing JPEGs
  • epsilon - Freedesktop.org thumbnailing library
  • esmart - A collection of evas smart objects
  • etox - Text Layout and Manipulation
  • evas - Canvas Library
  • ewl - Enlightenment Widget Library
  • imlib2-devel - Image Rendering and Manipulation Library
  • imlib2_loaders - Loaders for the Image Rendering and Manipulation Library

For more information, see Enlightenment and/or E17

Configuring the Desktop Environment

Under KDE

After installing kdeadmin, from the konsole, type 'kcontrol', or go K Menu --> Control Center


Use the prefrences menu to drop down to whatever you'd like to change.

Under Xfce

Right click on the desktop and pull down to the settings menu. From there you can open the "settings manager".

Under E17

Navigate from the E17 menu (or left click the desktop), go Configuration --> Configuration Panel



Internal Links

External links


In the package lists, those marked with a * require citation of package use.