Linux Know-How provides a collection of introductory texts on often needed Linux skills.

Basics of X-windows

xinit &

Start a barebone X-windows server (without a windows manager). The "&" makes the command run in the background.

startx &

Start an X-windows server and the default windows manager. Works like typing "win" under DOS with Win3.1.

startx -- :1 &

Start another X-windows session on the display 1 (the default is opened on display 0). You can have several GUI terminals running concurrently. Switch between them using <Ctrl><Alt><F7>, <Ctrl><Alt><F8>, etc.


(in X terminal) Run a simple X-windows terminal. Typing exit will close it. There are other, more advanced "virtual" terminals for Xwindows. I like the popular ones: konsole and kvt (both come with kde) and gnome-terminal (comes with gnome). If you need something more fancy-looking, try Eterm. For something plain and fast, I could select rxvt.








(in X terminal, 7 different commands, use the one which starts your fav windows manager) Start your favourite windows manager in an X terminal on bare X server.

kstart --desktop 4 --iconify kwrite

(In X terminal) Start kwrite program on the 4th desktop (both KDE and Gnome can have multiple "desktops" for the user to switch between, so that you can keep yourself better organized with all the windows) and minimize the program on startup. This can be useful when starting multiple GUI programs from scripts in such a way that they do not interfere too much with your current work in the GUI.

Last Update: 2010-12-16