Follow Techotopia on Twitter

On-line Guides
All Guides
eBook Store
iOS / Android
Linux for Beginners
Office Productivity
Linux Installation
Linux Security
Linux Utilities
Linux Virtualization
Linux Kernel
System/Network Admin
Scripting Languages
Development Tools
Web Development
GUI Toolkits/Desktop
Mail Systems
Eclipse Documentation

How To Guides
General System Admin
Linux Security
Linux Filesystems
Web Servers
Graphics & Desktop
PC Hardware
Problem Solutions
Privacy Policy




Window Managers

There is an enormous variety of window managers for the X Window System. A good index of window managers and desktop enviroments under the X Window System can be found at

gnome ( is a Desktop and Session Manager. metacity is a Window Manager. kde ( is a gnome alternative and windowmaker and enlightenment and sawfish are alternatives to metacity.

Both gnome and kde provide a desktop environment and an application development framework. A desktop environment usually consists of a window manager, task bar, and perhaps a file manager and documentation browser. A development framework provides libraries and a GUI toolkit for application development.

Applications like windowmaker, and enlightenment are desktop environments which tend not to provide development frameworks. They do, however, tend to provide session management. While you can use these with desktop environments like gnome and kde their functionality sometimes overlap, and may even conflict.

XFCE provides a simple and very small desktop requiring minimal resources but providing a sufficient feature set for the genral user. XFCE is actually based on the GTK+ toolkit as is the Gnome desktop.

For Gnome the default window manager is called metacity.


  • Alt-LMB will move a window around.
  • Alt-LMB for a maximised window will un-maximise the window and move it around. Move the window back to the top of the screen and it gets re-maximised!

Copyright © 1995-2006 [email protected]

  Published under the terms fo the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire