The X Window System, of which XFree86 is a free implementation of, is currently
at version X11R6.
Window Managers control the appearance of windows and provide a means by
which the user can interact with them.
Changing window manager.
(Not for all, but most common)
'xinit' actually starts the X Window System, but usually needs certian options.
'startx' is a script which sets up variables, preforms any needed tasks
specific to the local system, then calls xinit. If startx is avalible,
use it, otherwise you have to use xinit.
Startx uses a configuration file. It will try to use the users config
file and if it is not present then it will use the system config file. You
can find the name of these files by looking in the startx script. Make
sure you are looking at the right script bu using 'which startx'
system location varies from system to system but will be something like /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc
user location is almost always ~/.xinitrc
Look in the system file xinitrc to see where it calls the default window
manager and edit appropriately. It is safest to edit the users ~/.xinitrc.
Make sure the scriptends with "exec [windowmanager]". a simple
script would be:
The exec command is used to replace the script process with the process of
the window manager itself. This is because X shuts down when the script
finishes running, but if the window manager replaces it, it will shut down
when the window manager quits instead.
I checked Mandrake 9.0. The last line in /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc was:
exec /etc/X11/Xsession $*
what does this mean?
Running X from a graphical login such as XDM
XDM is the X Display Manager. It starts X when the machine boots up
and provides a graphical login box instaed of the command line. Configuration
is simular but now the files are:
system - /etc/X11/xdm/Xsession
user - ~/.Xsession
Note : CDE uses DTWM which operates differently.
There are some more note here