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Confused about window managers and other Linux newbie questions

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I finally took the plunge and installed Suse as the primary OS on my new laptop. My previous experience with Linux/Unix is via telnet from Windows so Linux GUI stuff is pretty new to me. I think I understand the difference between X and window managers like KDE/Gnome but it's rather confusing. I'll start simple - Suse apparently installs KDE by default. There are some apps I would like to run that are Gnome. Can KDE apps and Gnome apps run side-by-side or does KDE/Gnome "take over" the desktop in some way? I tried to just install a gnome app to see how it went but the resulting mass of missing dependencies that rpm spit out made me give it up. If they do run side by side do they interop at all? e.g. do they share the clipboard? Speaking of rpm... There has to be a better way. Every single thing I've installed had tons of dependencies. While it was nice of rpm to tell me what the missing dependencies were it then left it to me to find and download them. It doesn't help that some dependencies are not named the same as thier corresponding .rpm file or that some .rpm's can satisfy multiple dependencies. I think the shortest time it's taken for me to install a non-trivial app was a few hours of intensely manual babysitting, and the longest was 3 days, not counting the "I give up" kde/gnome debate above. And finally a simple question - what's the Linux equivalent to "cls". I know about "clear" but that only clears the current view into the console buffer - I want to wipe the whole thing and start over without actually closing the window and opening a new one.

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X Windows is the basic windowing environment, I think it basicly interacts with the hardware on behalf of the windowing envireonment(KDE or gnome). Yeas, you can run gnome apps from KDE, it's just requires that the libraries be installed, I'm kind of suprised that suse doesn't install them with the system.

With RPMs you need a package manager that will install them and resolve all the dependencies for you. Sorry I can't remember what suse uses for package management, I think it might be the control panel thingy, or you could look to see if KPackage is installed!

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Quote:

If you want to avoid depedency hell install slackware


How does slackware acheive this marvalous feat! I personnaly use Gentoo and portage takes care of dependencies for me but does slack have a apt-get system of some sort?

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Quote:
Original post by technomancer
Quote:

If you want to avoid depedency hell install slackware


How does slackware acheive this marvalous feat!


I don't know much about other distros but Slack comes with lots of libraries, I really didn't need to install "many" additional libraries to install other software that doesn't already comes with the distro.

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X

KDE and Gnome are not window managers: they are desktop environments.

They contain various components that make up a desktop environment. These include file managers, editors, control panels, media players. They also include window managers.

Generally, you don't have to use a component from an environment if you don't want to. You can use a window manager designed for Gnome, such as metacity, on a primarily KDE desktop.

Themselves, Gnome and KDE represent different design strategies for desktop environments. Gnome is a collection of independant components that are gathered together. KDE is a collection of components that are created for KDE.

For example, Gnome doesn't have a window manager, a file manager or a sound server. Instead there are window managers, file managers and sound servers that work with Gnome. Conversely, KDE has its own window manager, file manager and sound server. Although you can use non-KDE components in KDE, it isn't designed with that in mind.

Gnome and KDE use the same clipboard, because the clipboard lives in X. Beware, however, that some non-Gnome/KDE programs use their own clipboards. Moving data in and out of such programs can be difficult, but it is that program that is misbehaving, not everything else on your computer.

Slackware
Slackware doesn't solve the dependancy problem.

It lets you install packages without insisting that you check that dependencies are also installed. It does that because it doesn't even know what packages another package depends upon.

So Slackware users are still in dependancy hell. They just don't know it as soon as RPM users.

I use Gentoo and it installs everything you need automatically. I've never had a problem with package managment in Gentoo, except for the compile times for very large sets of packages (like KDE and Gnome).

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Quote:
Original post by Mayrel
X

KDE and Gnome are not window managers: they are desktop environments.

Slackware
Slackware doesn't solve the dependancy problem.

So Slackware users are still in dependancy hell. They just don't know it as soon as RPM users.


Acurate.

Anyway, I stand that I didn't pass trough hell to install many apps (and games) I use. I prefer to search for the dependencies myself, to visit the creator's site and read about them, what they do and what problems do they have, before I install them on my system. Based on that information I decide if the app is worth to be installed.

If I didn't care about that, I would use Ms. Windows instead of Linux.

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I prefer to base my decision to install a package on the merits of the package itself, and not its dependencies.

In addition, I use Linux because it enables me to be productive without forking out huge wads of cash, not because I wish to 'stick it to the man'.

Finally, if I wanted to deal with the hassle of manually finding and installing the right versions of packages so that I can actually use my computer, I'd use Windows. Not quite sure what gave you the impression Windows wasn't more of a dependency hell than Linux.

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Quote:
Original post by Mayrel
I prefer to base my decision to install a package on the merits of the package itself, and not its dependencies.

In addition, I use Linux because it enables me to be productive without forking out huge wads of cash, not because I wish to 'stick it to the man'.

Finally, if I wanted to deal with the hassle of manually finding and installing the right versions of packages so that I can actually use my computer, I'd use Windows. Not quite sure what gave you the impression Windows wasn't more of a dependency hell than Linux.


I do not install/keep applications that use buggy/unsecure libraries, no matter the merits of the app.

I certainly never had dependency problems on Windows beyond DirectX, DivX, MDAC, DCOM and maybe once MFC/VB runtime libs.

Even if I don't share them, I do not question your reasons for using linux at all.

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I wasn't being serious, folks [grin]. Every distro can suffer from dependency hell, slackware being one of the worst if you don't know what you're using. This is because while slacker does indeed have a package management system, it does not check for dependencies. It lets you go on your merry way until you attempt to execute the program. I just can't believe I got rated down for saying something that I didn't think could possibly be taken serious [smile]. It's my fault though, I should have used [sarcarsm] tags instead.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by flukus
Yeas, you can run gnome apps from KDE, it's just requires that the libraries be installed, I'm kind of suprised that suse doesn't install them with the system.

It does. The Gtk2/Metacity libs are all installed by default, and Gnome apps will run on KDE. Note that Suse will not install the full Gnome suite by default. A simple click on the "Gnome Windowing system" in the software installation section will install the entire Gnome system (you can choose the desktop system to run at the login screen).

Suse is excellent at avoiding dependencies. If using Yast2, you won't ever be confronted with unresolved dependencies. Everything is resolved automagically. If you're a beginner, you might want to use Yast2's online update / online software installer to add software instead of doing it manually with RPMs. Yast2 will handle all dependencies transparently, and Suse is pretty good at keeping their software database uptodate.

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Quote:
Original post by ontheheap
[Senseless Promotion]
If you want to avoid depedency hell install slackware
[/Senseless Promotion]
Without even reading the thread further, I must say that you are INSANE! edit: and it appears I wasn't the only one.

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Quote:
Original post by C-Junkie
Quote:
Original post by ontheheap
[Senseless Promotion]
If you want to avoid depedency hell install slackware
[/Senseless Promotion]
Without even reading the thread further, I must say that you are INSANE! edit: and it appears I wasn't the only one.


You didn't read far enough [grin].

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Quote:
Original post by ontheheap
I just can't believe I got rated down for saying something that I didn't think could possibly be taken serious [smile].
You guys need to stop obsessing over your ratings, and stop assuming that you know where your ratings came from. It's just naive.

Quote:
Original post by Mayrel
Gnome and KDE use the same clipboard, because the clipboard lives in X.
Unfortunately, this truth has wrinkles to it. GNOME has always relied on the X clipboard, but KDE maintained its own for the longest while (perhaps an artifact of the Qt dependency?) The FreeDesktop.org Project finally applied enough pressure on KDE in the name of "unifying the Linux desktop" and "promoting interoperability" to rectify the situation.

Thankfully, this was fixed around KDE 3.0.

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Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
You guys need to stop obsessing over your ratings, and stop assuming that you know where your ratings came from. It's just naive.


I'm going to rate you down for not using that weird i with two dots in naïve. [razz]

/jk

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regarding the slackware comments:
While the slackware packaging system doesn't support dependency checking. There are thrid-party tools that does, like swaret and slack-get.

By using one of them, you get automatic dependency checking in slack too.


/Nico

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Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Quote:
Original post by Mayrel
Gnome and KDE use the same clipboard, because the clipboard lives in X.
Unfortunately, this truth has wrinkles to it. GNOME has always relied on the X clipboard, but KDE maintained its own for the longest while (perhaps an artifact of the Qt dependency?) The FreeDesktop.org Project finally applied enough pressure on KDE in the name of "unifying the Linux desktop" and "promoting interoperability" to rectify the situation.

Thankfully, this was fixed around KDE 3.0.

Ick. I didn't really use KDE until 3.0, so I was lucky enough that I never noticed. Although I suppose the fault really lies with Qt for not using the X clipboard.

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Yeah Slackware doesn't have dependency checking so I wouldn't say we are out of dependency hell.. I would say the best Distro I have seen handle dependencies would be Gentoo. Their Portage system is sweet.

I use Slackware though and I haven't encountered any problems yet with dependencies. I don't really mind Slackware's package managing system since most of the time I know quite well what I am installing and what it uses.

As for the Window manager question. KDE and Gnome are not really Window Managers they are really Enviroments which have a lot of apps that do many different things. As far as I know apps written for KDE will work on Gnome and vice versa... I don't know about the configuration apps and a lot of the other KDE specific apps and the Gnome specific apps. But I really am not sure since I run Fluxbox :)

And Mayrel: I think Slack does come with slack-get and swaret... and if it doesn't they are really easy to get off the internet. They aren't perfect but they are nice.

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