Linux - Design - User Interface

User Interface

The user interface, also known as the shell, is either a command line interface (CLI), a graphical user interface (GUI), or through controls attached to the associated hardware, which is common for embedded systems. For desktop systems, the default mode is usually a graphical user interface, although the CLI is available through terminal emulator windows or on a separate virtual console. Most low-level Linux components, including the GNU userland, use the CLI exclusively. The CLI is particularly suited for automation of repetitive or delayed tasks, and provides very simple inter-process communication.

On desktop systems, the most popular user interfaces are the extensive desktop environments KDE Plasma Desktop, GNOME, Unity and Xfce, though a variety of additional user interfaces exist. Most popular user interfaces are based on the X Window System, often simply called "X". It provides network transparency and permits a graphical application running on one system to be displayed on another where a user may interact with the application.

Other GUIs may be classified as simple X window managers, such as FVWM, Enlightenment, and Window Maker, which provide a minimalist functionality with respect to the desktop environments. A window manager provides a means to control the placement and appearance of individual application windows, and interacts with the X Window System. The desktop environments include window managers as part of their standard installations (Mutter for GNOME, KWin for KDE, Xfwm for Xfce as of January 2012) although users may choose to use a different window manager if preferred.

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Famous quotes containing the word user:

    A worker may be the hammer’s master, but the hammer still prevails. A tool knows exactly how it is meant to be handled, while the user of the tool can only have an approximate idea.
    Milan Kundera (b. 1929)