Graphical Environments

This chapter contains instructions to build and configure a graphical user environment.

For a long time the only graphical environment usable with GNU/Linux has been the X Window System. It uses a client/server model which allows writing applications completely independent of the graphical hardware. This has the drawback that accessing modern hardware acceleration is difficult, so that other approaches are developed. Two new systems are available: Wayland and Vulkan. The former is a simpler replacement for X, easier to develop and maintain, using the OpenGL framework. The main desktop environments GNOME and KDE have been ported to it. The later allows direct access to graphical hardware through a portable interface. It is newer and not yet included in BLFS.

This chapter provides the basic components of the X Window System and Wayland. For X, the chosen implementation is Xorg, which is a modular implementation and requires more than 100 packages to be installed. The distribution of Xorg is given a release number by the developers, in this case Xorg-7, and is referred to as the "katamari" by the upstream developers. Individual packages are updated as needed without changing this number.

Table of Contents