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Changing graphical shell on free desktops

Changing graphical shell on free desktops

Posted Sep 15, 2013 11:40 UTC (Sun) by pjm (subscriber, #2080)
In reply to: Wireless Aside, Cr OS Linux Delivers the Best of Two Worlds (LinuxInsider) by maxiaojun
Parent article: Wireless Aside, Cr OS Linux Delivers the Best of Two Worlds (LinuxInsider)

For the benefit of people (like me) who aren't familiar with either openSUSE or MS Windows, can you explain a bit more what you mean?

Both kdm and (I'm fairly sure) gdm allow a choice of graphical shell (desktop environments and window managers) when logging in. I imagine that this works on openSUSE and any other distro. This menu gets populated from /usr/share/xsessions/. Pretty much any desktop environment or window manager (even twm!) will add a file to that directory, so you should get the choice of just about every desktop environment and window manager you have installed each time you log in. That seems fairly easy already.

Is the problem that you want more flexibility to change graphical shell mid-session? Certainly some things can be changed mid-session: many window managers allow switching to a different window manager without closing unrelated applications. I suppose a question arises as to what a user considers to be "part of the graphical shell": e.g. if starting a certain desktop environment starts a file manager, clipboard manager, auto-mounter etc., then logically those extra processes should be stopped when switching mid-session to a different graphical shell, whereas maybe the user doesn't want their current file views to disappear, or lose other state. I'm not very knowledgeable about such things, so I'll stop here.


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Changing graphical shell on free desktops

Posted Sep 16, 2013 0:17 UTC (Mon) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

Pretty much any desktop environment or window manager (even twm!) will add a file to that directory, so you should get the choice of just about every desktop environment and window manager you have installed each time you log in. That seems fairly easy already.

It's easy to select already-installed shell. It's not easy to install new shell not supported by your distribution. While in Windows world you just go and install whatever shell you want.

This being said I'm not so sure this advantage is all that important: few users ever installed alternative shells on Windows (till Windows 8, at least), and I don't know any alternative shells for MacOS (there are some extenders, though).

Most users just cope with whatever shell they get with their OS.

Changing graphical shell on free desktops

Posted Sep 16, 2013 1:06 UTC (Mon) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

well, what window manager are you wanting to install that isn't packaged for the major distros?

they tend to have just about every window manager (desktop environment) already packaged for you to install.

Yes, it's a pain if you want one that isn't packaged, but not _that_ much of a pain. Usually it's just downloading the source and compiling it.


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