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How to use startx command, to get x-server and your DE of choice running.

Start file, ~~/.xinitrc

You start your DE from the file /home/yourname/.xinitrc %%% Uncomment your favourite, eg Gnome

# ~~/.xinitrc
# Executed by startx (run your window manager from here)
# exec ion
# exec wmaker
# exec startkde
# exec icewm
# exec blackbox
exec gnome-session
# exec startfluxbox
# exec startxfce4
# exec openbox

Small note: if you have a working .xinitrc, but just want to try other WM/DE you can run xinit from command line like this

xinit /full/path/to/window-manager

The full path is required. Optionally you can pass options to X server after -- Example:

xinit /usr/bin/enlightenment -- -br +bs -dpi 96