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Encyclopedia > Desktop environment
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This article has been tagged since July 2007.

In graphical computing, a desktop environment (DE, sometimes desktop manager) offers a graphical user interface (GUI) to the computer. The name is derived from the desktop metaphor used by most of these interfaces, as opposed to the earlier, textual command line interfaces (CLI). A DE typically provides icons, windows, toolbars, folders, wallpapers, and abilities like drag and drop. As a whole, the particularities of design and function of a desktop environment endow it with a distinctive look and feel. A graphical user interface (GUI) is a type of user interface which allows people to interact with a computer and computer-controlled devices which employ graphical icons, visual indicators or special graphical elements called widgets, along with text labels or text navigation to represent the information and actions available to... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Desktop_environment. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Nuvola icons for KDE are available in PNG format, which come in six sizes, and SVG format, which is scalable On computer displays, a computer icon is a small pictogram. ... An example of a graphical user interface in Windows XP, with the My Music window displayed In computing, a window is a visual area, usually rectangular in shape, containing some kind of user interface, displaying the output of and allowing input for one of a number of simultaneously running computer... An early toolbar on a Xerox Alto Computer In a graphical user interface on a computer monitor a toolbar is a row, column, or block of onscreen buttons or icons that, when clicked, activate certain functions of the program. ... In computing, a directory, catalog, or folder, is an entity in a file system which can contain a group of files and/or other directories. ... A screenshot of Ubuntu 6. ... In computer graphical user interfaces, drag-and-drop is the action of (or support for the action of) clicking on a virtual object and dragging it to a different location or onto another virtual object. ... Look and feel refers to design aspects of a graphical user interface - in terms of both colours, shapes, layout, typefaces, etc (the look); and, the behaviour of dynamic elements such as buttons, boxes, and menus (the feel). It is used in reference to both software and websites. ...


The desktop environments for the popular proprietary operating systems Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X are, in their intended use, relatively unalterable. This imposes a consistent user experience. However, there are alternative themes and third-party software that can completely change both the appearance of common interface elements (such as windows, buttons and icons) and the interface model itself. In Windows, this is accomplished by replacing the default Explorer shell. It has been suggested that closed source be merged into this article or section. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the lead section of this article may need to be expanded. ... Mac OS X (official IPA pronunciation: ) is a line of proprietary, graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... In computing, a theme is a preset package containing graphical appearance details, used to customise the look and feel of (typically) an operating system, widget set or window manager. ... Windows Explorer running on Windows Vista Windows Explorer running on Windows XP Windows Explorer is an application that is part of modern versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system that provides a graphical user interface for accessing the file systems. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Shell_(computing). ...


Apple had the first desktop environment on a personal computer, featured on the lisa. Apple Inc. ... The Apple Lisa was a revolutionary personal computer designed at Apple Computer during the early 1980s. ...


On systems running the X Window System (typically Unix-like systems), the desktop environment is much more flexible. In this context, a DE typically consists of a window manager (such as Metacity or KWin), a file manager (such as Konqueror or Nautilus), a set of themes, and programs and libraries for managing the desktop. All of these individual modules can be exchanged and individually configured to achieve a unique combination, but most desktop environments provide a default configuration that requires minimal user input. KDE 3. ... Diagram of the relationships between several Unix-like systems A Unix-like operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system, while not necessarily conforming to or being certified to any version of the Single UNIX Specification. ... A window manager is computer software that controls the placement and appearance of windows within a windowing system in a graphical user interface. ... Metacity is the default window manager for the GNOME desktop environment. ... In Unix computing, Kwin is a window manager for the X Window System. ... A screenshot of File Manager displaying a folder and the contents of the C drive. ... Konqueror is a file manager, web browser and file viewer, which was developed as part of the K Desktop Environment (KDE) by volunteers and runs on most Unix-like operating systems. ... Nautilus is the official file manager for the GNOME desktop. ... In computing, skins and themes are custom graphical appearances (GUIs) that can be applied to certain software and websites in order to suit the different tastes of different users. ...


Not all of the program code that is part of a DE has effects which are directly visible to the user. Some of it may be low-level code. KDE, for example, provides so-called KIOslaves which give the user access to a wide range of virtual devices. These I/O slaves are not available outside the KDE environment. KDE (K Desktop Environment) (IPA: ) is a free software project which aims to be a powerful system for an easy-to-use desktop environment. ... KIO is part of the KDE architecture. ...


Examples of desktop environments

The most common desktop environment on personal computers is the one provided by Microsoft Windows; another common environment is the one provided by Apple Mac OS X.


Other mainstream desktop environments for Unix-like operating systems using the X Window System include KDE, GNOME, Xfce and CDE. KDE (K Desktop Environment) (IPA: ) is a free software project which aims to be a powerful system for an easy-to-use desktop environment. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Xfce ([1]) is a free software desktop environment for Unix and other Unix-like platforms, such as Linux, Solaris and BSD. Its configuration is entirely mouse-driven and the configuration files are hidden from the casual user. ... CDE on Unix (Solaris 8) DECwindows CDE on OpenVMS 7. ...


A number of other desktop environments also exist, including (but not limited to): Aston, EDE, GEM, IRIX Interactive Desktop, Mezzo, Project Looking Glass, ROX Desktop, UDE, Xito. Aston (also known as Astonshell and Aston Shell) is a commercial shell replacement application for Microsoft Windows 9x/NT/ME/2K/XP. Developed by Gladiators Software in the beginning of 1999, Aston has become quite popular and at present time its one of the most actively developed shell replacement... EDE or Equinox Desktop Environment is a small desktop environment that is meant to be simple and fast. ... GEM (Graphical Environment Manager) was a windowing system created by Digital Research, Inc. ... IRIX Interactive Desktop (originally called Indigo Magic) is a desktop environment normally used as the default desktop on Silicon Graphics workstations running IRIX. The IRIX Interactive Desktop uses the Motif widget toolkit on top of the X Window System found on most Unix systems. ... Mezzo is the desktop environment created by Jason Spisak. ... Project Looking Glass is a free software project under the GPL to create an innovative 3D desktop environment for Linux, Solaris, and Windows. ... A screenshot of the ROX desktop. ... UDE Screenshot In computing, UDE, the Unix Desktop Environment, is a desktop environment for the X Window System. ... Xito is a portable object desktop. ...


X window managers that are meant to be usable stand-alone — without another desktop environment — also include elements reminiscent of those found in typical desktop environments, most prominently Enlightenment. Other examples include Window Maker and AfterStep, which both feature the NEXTSTEP GUI look and feel. An X window manager is software that controls the placement and appearance of windows under the X Window System, a windowing system mainly used on Unix-like systems. ... Enlightenment, also known simply as E, is a free software/open source window manager for the X Window System which can be used alone or in conjunction with a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE. It has a rich feature set, including extensive support for themes and advanced graphics... Window Maker is a window manager for the X Window System, which allows graphical applications to be run on Unix-like operating-systems. ... In Unix computing, AfterStep is a window manager for the X Window System. ... NEXTSTEP is the original object-oriented, multitasking operating system that NeXT Computer, Inc. ... GUI can refer to the following: GUI is short for graphical user interface, a term used to describe a type of interface in computing. ...


The Amiga approach to desktop environment was noteworthy; the original Workbench desktop environment in AmigaOS evolved through time to originate an entire family of descendants. Some of those descendants are the AmigaOS 4.0 Workbench based on the ReAction object oriented GUI engine, the Ambient desktop of MorphOS based on the MUI (Magical User Interface) object-oriented GUI engine, the ScalOS third-party desktop environment for Amiga, the Zune graphical environment of the AROS open source OS, and the Feelin third party programming environment which has its internal GUI engine built on the XML markup language. The original Amiga 1000 (1985) with various peripherals The Amiga 500 (1987) was the most popular variant of the Amiga. ... Amiga Workbench (1985) Workbench is the name given to both the core AmigaOS software that is not stored in the Kickstart ROM (the Workbench disk), and also the native graphical shell for the Amiga computer. ... AmigaOS is the default native operating system of the Amiga personal computer. ... AmigaOS is the default native operating system of the Amiga personal computer. ... A screenshot of the desktop with panels in the lower right corner. ... MorphOS is a mixed proprietary and open source operating system produced for the Pegasos PowerPC (PPC)-processor-based computer, most models of PPC-accelerated classic Amiga computers, and the EFIKA PPC consumer device. ... The Magic User Interface is an object oriented system by Stefan Stuntz to generate and maintain graphical user interfaces. ... What is AROS? AROS (Amiga Research Operating System) is an open source implementation of the AmigaOS 3. ... The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a general-purpose markup language. ...


There is the Workplace Shell that runs on IBM OS/2 or eComStation. The OS/2 Warp 4 desktop (with some third-party enhancements installed as SOM classes) The Workplace Shell (WPS) is an award-winning object-oriented desktop shell produced by IBMs Boca Raton development lab for OS/2 2. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... eComStation is a PC operating system based on OS/2, published by Serenity Systems International, USA. It includes several additions and accompanying software. ...


The BumpTop project is an experimental desktop environment. Its main objective is to replace the 2D paradigm with a "real world" 3D implementation, where documents can be freely manipulated across a virtual table. BumpTop is a prototype Graphical User Interface, designed to enhance traditional computer desktop functionality by more closely supporting the normal behavior of a real world desk. ...


StarBlue is the actual tab-based desktop environmement for Virtual OS and many other Web desktops. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Desktop environment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (359 words)
The name is derived from the desktop metaphor used by most of these interfaces.
The desktop environments for the popular operating systems Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X are, in their intended use, relatively static.
However, a number of other desktop environments also exist, including (but are not limited to): EDE, UDE, Mezzo, ROX Desktop, GEM, PerlTop, XPde, Xito, IRIX Interactive Desktop and arm0nia.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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