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Lesson 7Selecting window managers
ObjectiveUse the GNOME Control Center to select a window manager.

Selecting Window Managers in Red Hat

Let us say after you installed Red Hat Linux and used Enlightenment for a while, you discovered its functionality just was not meeting your needs. As you might suspect, you need to change your configuration to start a new window manager and set some new preferences. Fortunately, the GNOME system provides an X application called the GNOME Control Center that allows you to set X preferences without having to edit text files. These preferences include changing your window manager, editing your own window manager's settings, or changing the X resources used regardless of the window manager.

Changing your window manager

You launch the GNOME Control Center by clicking toolbox button on the GNOME launch Panel.
The following simulation shows you how to use the Control Center to change your window manager to twm from Enlightenment.

Using the GNOME Control Center to select a new window manager

  1. Click the toolbox button on the launch Panel.
  2. Click Window manager under the Desktop entry.
  3. Select the twm option in the box on the right.
  4. Click the Try button.
  5. Click the Save session later button.
  6. This completes the simulation.

The Gnome Control Center allows you to configure various parts of your system using a collection of tools called "capplets".
These capplets may be associated with the core set of Gnome applications or other applications for which the developers have written capplets. Your Control Center may contain more capplets than are documented here depending on the applications installed on your system.
Control Center is a part of Gnome desktop environment; it is included in control-center package.
You may start the Control Center one of three ways. To launch the Control Center without any particular active capplet select the Control Center menu item from the Settings submenu in the Main Menu or type the command gnomecc at the command line prompt. If you know which capplet you would like to edit you may start that capplet by selecting the correct menu item in the Settings menu.

To change preferences for your new window manager, use the GNOME Control Panel.
The next lesson explains how to run remote X clients on the local machine.

Why you Need a User Login

If you are working on a PC, and you are the only one using your Linux computer, you may wonder why you need a user account and password. Unlike Windows, Linux (as its predecessor UNIX) was designed from the ground up to be a multiuser system. Here are several good reasons why you should use separate user accounts:
  1. Even as the only person using Linux, you want a user name other than root for running applications and working with files so you do not change critical system files by mistake during everyday computer use.
  2. If several people are using a Linux system, separate user accounts let you protect your files from being accessed or changed by others.
  3. Networking is probably the best reason for using a Linux system. If you are on a network, a unique user name is useful in many ways. Your user name can be associated with resources on other computers: file systems, application programs, and mailboxes to name a few. Sometimes a root user is not allowed to share resources on remote Linux systems.
  4. Over time, you will probably change personal configuration information associated with your account. For example, you may add aliases, create your own utility programs, or set properties for the applications you use. By gathering this information in one place, it’s easy to move your account or add a new account to another computer in the future.
  5. Keeping all your data files and settings under a home login directory (such as /home/chris) makes it easier to back up the data and restore it later if needed.