"Is that Linux?"

When some people see my computer screen, they ask me what OS I'm running, or "Is that Linux?". I find it hard to answer that question well, because any short answer won't explain what they're seeing.

To answer, I should unpack:

  • that the concepts of taskbar, system tray, notifications, file explorer, window manager, even hotkey daemon and desktop wallpaper, are not tied to OS, but all separate programs
  • that many Linux distributions can look identical; they differ in the nerdy details but rarely the visual – and that's not to say they all look the same way, but there are a thousand ways any of them can look, so nothing is determined by which Linux distribution you've got
  • to me, the most salient part of what I've got on screen tends to be Emacs, but again, its appearance isn't unique among text editors – it's just text on a background, and I can color the text and the background any way I like
    • there may also be eye-candy – that's not Emacs, that's just some other programs I've got

What links here

  • 2023-09-03
Created (8 months ago)