Solaris Transition Guide

What Is the Solaris Common Desktop Environment?

The Common Desktop Environment (CDE) is one of two desktops packaged with the Solaris 7 environment (the other is the OpenWindows desktop). CDE is designed to be used as the standard desktop for Sun, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell and many others in the UNIX workstation market. With the release of Solaris 7, Sun has enhanced CDE with many new desktop features not included in the previous versions of CDE. Some of these new features are described later in this chapter.

Solaris CDE includes a desktop server, a Session Manager, a Window Manager (based on Hewlett-Packard's Visual User Environment), and numerous desktop utilities.

To learn how to use Solaris CDE, see Solaris Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide.

Developers, End Users, and CDE

Because CDE provides a consistent computing environment across major UNIX platforms, end users can easily move between different machines. CDE also aids application development by supplying a single, standard set of programming interfaces for any conforming Sun, HP, IBM, or Novell platform. A single API enables developers to create applications that are consistent in appearance and behavior across CDE-compliant systems.

The CDE development environment is based on the X11R5 server and produces applications with a look and feel based on the Open Software Foundation's Motif 1.2 specification.