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  iMacLinux Edition Wednesday, 04 June 2003  

TuxPPC: Desktops Section [Click to View Screenshots Page]

Linux on the PowerPC can be used as a great desktop OS. Many applications similar to those on Mac OS are avaible on Linux. This page will introduce you to how a Linux desktop works, and try to help you locate information on all areas of the Linux desktop.

Linux desktops are quite different from what you are used to seeing and using on Mac OS or Windows. They are far more flexable and extracted from the core OS, then Mac OS and Windows, and you can replace almost any componet of them.

How Graphical Linux Desktops Work

A typical Linux desktop is built out of layers roughtly like this:

Hardware -> Linux Kernel -> X11 Server -> Widget Set / Window Manager -> X11 Clients (Graphical Applications)

Of course, it's far more complex then that, and in many cases it doesn't follow that order, but that gives you a basic idea on how a typical graphical Linux desktop works.

Components of a desktop

Each component is important enough, we have provided you with pages with relevant information on each.

  • Applications (X11 Clients) - Provides the actual programs you use to do work on Linux.
  • Window Managers - Decorates Borders of Windows, and Provides Control Over Moving, Hiding and Closing Windows.
  • Desktop Enviroments - Collections of software designed to work together, using an consistant interface, to provide you with a desktop similar to what you would find with Apple's Mac OS or Microsoft's Windows.
  • X11 Windowing System - A piece of software that allows Linux to draw graphical interfaces, with the ability to work over a network, and support multiple platforms. This is the core of any desktop.


Everybody in the Linux world loves screenshots. They demonstrate what a desktop is capable of doing, without having to install it and try it out.

Our collection is based on the contributions of the many different PowerPC Linux users who visit our site, and have sent them in to us.

You can take a look at them here.

Author:   Andrew B. Arthur
Version:   2.0
Last Update:   2001-11-14 11:34:04
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