Linux 101: What’s the difference between a desktop environment and a window manager?

If you were ever curious as to the difference between a Linux desktop environment and a window manager, Jack Wallen is here to clear that up.

Image: Jack Wallen

After using Linux for a while, you’ll come across an article or mention of a window manager. What does that mean? Is it a desktop environment? No. Is it a part of a desktop environment? Sometimes. I want to try and clear this up a bit, so you don’t wind up confusing one with the other. 

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The first thing to know is that they can both serve as your desktop interface. The biggest difference, however, is that one makes your Linux life considerably easier. Which one? The desktop environment. The thing about a desktop environment is that it focuses on a wholly integrated experience. That…

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