Common Desktop Environment (CDE)

Common Desktop Environment (CDE) is a graphical interface that provides a consistent look and feel across UNIX environments. To help you organize and manage your work, the desktop provides windows, workspaces, controls, menus, and the Front Panel. These objects provide a new standard for user and application interfaces based on the X Window System and Motif.

Using CDE

CDE has more features and functionality than Open Windows or X Windows and has a much friendlier user interface. To use CDE, type in your username and password as prompted in the Desktop Login box.

CDE Desktop

Once you login, you will see a Terminal window and a Console window. You can execute UNIX commands in the Terminal window. The Console window will
display system messages to you. You will also see a Front Panel with several icons across the bottom of the screen.

Desktop Window Manager (dtwm)

The dtwm window manager is an integral part of the CDE. It communicates with and facilitates access to
other components in the environment, such as the Session Manager (dtsession) and the Style Manager (dtstyle). Many other components are started through interactions with the Front Panel.

The dtwm window manager includes functions that facilitate control (by the user and the programmer) of
elements of window state such as placement, size, icon/normal display, and input-focus ownership.

In addition, dtwm provides workspace management. Workspaces provide a way of grouping together logically related windows. Each workspace is shown independent of the other workspaces so that only those windows related to the immediate task are visible. Workspaces give you a tool to organize windows by task and make efficient use of screen real estate.

Tour of the Front Panel

The default front panel includes the following controls. Since it can be customized, your Front Panel may contain additional or different controls. These terms are used to describe controls:

    Click – What happens when you click the control
    Drop – What happens when you drag and drop a file or folder icon onto the control
    Indicator – What the image of the control represents
cde_clock.jpg Clock

    Indicator: Displays the current time.
cde_calendar.jpg Calendar (dtcm)

    Click: Starts the Calendar application
    Indicator: Displays the current date.
cde_filemanager.jpg File Manager-Home (dtfile)

    Click: Opens a File Manager view of your home folder.
    Drop: Opens a File Manager view of the dropped folder.
cde_texteditor.jpg Text Editor (dtpad)

    Click: Starts the desktop Text Editor application.
    Drop: Opens the dropped file in a new Text Editor window.
cde_mailer.jpg Mailer (dtmail)

    Click: Starts the Mailer.
    Drop: Opens the file's contents in Mailer's Compose window.
    Indicator: Indicates new mail arrival.
cde_terminal.jpg Terminal (dtterm)

    Click: Starts a terminal emulator.

    Click: Locks your workstation, preventing input.
cde_workspace.jpg Workspace switch

    Click: Displays other workspaces.
cde_exit.jpg Exit

    Click: Logs you out of the current session.
cde_busy.jpg Busy Light

    Indicator: Blinks when the system is running an action.
cde_netscape.jpg Netscape (netscape)

    Click: Starts Netscape.
cde_printmanager.jpg Print Manager (dtprintinfo)

    Click: Opens the Print Manager window.
    Drop: Prints the file on the default printer.
cde_style.jpg Style Manager (dtstyle)

    Click: Starts the Style Manager. If it is already running, its window
    is raised to the top of the window stack.
cde_application.jpg Application Manager (dtfile)

    Click: Opens an Application Manager window.
cde_help.jpg Help Manager (dthelpview)

    Click: Opens a Help Viewer window displaying the top level of help
cde_trash.jpg Trash Can (dtfile)

    Click: Opens the Trash Can window.
    Drop: Moves the file or folder to the Trash Can.

Running other windowing environments instead of CDE

To run GNOME, from the Options menu on the Desktop Login box, select Session and then GNOME. Then type in your username and password as prompted in the Desktop Login box. Please refer to the GNOMEdocumentation for more information.

Getting Help

For help on CDE, click on the Help Manager. It will bring up the Help Viewer window. Select the topic Common Desktop Environment. For further questions, please contact the ITS Customer Support Center.