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AIX Version 4.3 Quick Beginnings

Starting AIXwindows

When you log in to your system, you start in either the command line interface, AIXwindows, or AIX Common Desktop Environment, depending on how your system is set up. If you start up in the command line interface, this does not necessarily mean you do not have AIXwindows. Try to start AIXwindows to see if it comes up. If you do not have AIXwindows, an error message displays.

To try starting AIXwindows, at the prompt, enter:


If AIXwindows comes up, your display will look like the following illustration:

AIXwindows Components

On window management screens, programs and messages appear within rectangular areas known as windows. Many windows can appear on the same screen, beside other windows, or overlapping or hiding other windows.

Client Area

The center of each window contains the client area, in which the input and output of the program take place. If the window is running the aixterm command, then the area is known as the terminal window.

Root Window

The background area of the screen is known as the root window. Other windows are placed on top of the root window and can overlap each other. By pressing the left mouse button on the root window, you can reveal the root menu. With the options in this menu, you can position windows above and below each other, open new terminal windows, refresh the window, and restart the Window Manager.

Resize Handles

Resize handles surround the edges of most windows. You can change the size of the windows by moving the mouse pointer to an appropriate border, pressing the left mouse button, and dragging the border to the appropriate size. For example, to make the window taller or shorter, you can drag the top resize handle up or down.

Title Bar

The top of most windows, just below the resize borders, contains the title bar. The center of the title bar usually displays the title of the program. (The program can also set the title bar to display other information. If the title bar is not given title information, it displays a series of asterisks where the title would be.)

Window Menu Button

The window menu button appears at the left of the title bar. If you click on the window menu button with the left mouse button, the window displays a menu, with which you can move the window, resize it, move it in front of other windows or behind them, or end the program that is running within the window. (If you press the Esc key or click the left mouse button outside the menu while the menu is visible, the menu closes.)

Minimize Button

The minimize button appears to the right of the title. If you click on this button, the window is converted into an icon. You can restore the window by clicking on the window's icon.

Maximize Button

The maximize button appears at the extreme right of the title bar. When you click on the maximize button with the left mouse button, the window expands to its maximum size (often the full screen), or, if the window is already at maximum size, contracts to its previous size.

Window Selection

Before a window can receive input, it must be active. To activate or select a window, point to any part of the window, and click the left mouse button. When a window is active, the window frame changes color. Also, characters that you type appear on the command line in the active window. If no window is active, everything you type is lost or ignored.

The following illustration points out the parts of a window.

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