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Lesson 5Understanding window managers
ObjectiveExplain the need for a window manager to get the most out of X.

Understanding Window Managers in Red Hat

Without a window manager, X is not very useful. You can still launch applications without one, but you cannot resize or move the X windows, nor can you customize X windows appearance.
Enlightenment, the default Red Hat Linux window manager, is a versatile, highly customizable window manager. With Enlightenment you can:
  1. Move and resize windows
  2. Customize taskbars, title-bars, and borders
  3. Work with virtual screens

How to log in?

You can log in as either a regular user or as the root user:
  1. A regular user: As someone just using the Linux system, you probably have your own unique user name and password. Often, that name is associated with your real name (such as johnb, susanp, or ggould). If you are still not sure why you need a user login, see the sidebar
    "Why Do I Need a User Login?" You probably have at least one user account available that was added the first time you booted Fedora.
  2. The root user: Every Linux system has a root user assigned when Linux is installed. The root user (literally type the user name root) can run programs, use files, and change the computer setup in any way. Because the root user has special powers, and can therefore do special damage, you usually log in as a regular user (which allows access only to that user's files and those that are open to everyone). Logging in as the root user is not given as an option on the graphical login screen. You need to select Other to manually log in as root.

Some of Enlightenment's features

Enlightenment provides a launch Panel to centralize control of your X session. It contains buttons for fast access to frequently used applications and many other useful utilities.
Enlightenment also provides a virtual desktop, which treats your desktop as though it were much larger than your screen's physical size. By default, Enlightenment creates a virtual desktop equal to four physical screens, arranged in a 2x2 grid.
Finally, the GNOME-pager is one of the most useful Enlightenment utilities. It provides a task list and a high level view of your virtual desktop.
  1. This is the GNOME-pager. The 2x2 grid shows your virtual desktop, with the blue square indicating your current desktop. To the right of the 2x2 grid is the task list, which shows that gimp is currently running.
  2. This is the launch Panel, which provides buttons for commonly launched applications. By default, Red Hat Linux puts (from left to right) a help button, a configuration button, a terminal button, and a Mozilla button.
  3. This is the launch button, which pops open a window that allows you to select applications to run from a menu.
  4. Clicking this arrow allows you to minimize the Panel into a small unobtrusive block in the corner of the screen.

Window Managers
Click the RedHat Linux Panorama link above to view many of Enlightenment's features.
The next lesson lists the characteristics of various window managers.

Enlightenment Features

Before moving on to the next lesson, click the link below to view a diagram describing the features of Enlightenment.
Enlightenment Features