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Is there any good resource about these low level graphic configuration? It is all fuzzy to me.

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Actually, it technically doesn't require /usr/bin/X, if you leave out the display manager.

Desktop environments, and the graphical programs that comprise them, depend on the package x11-common in Ubuntu. That can be installed without the X server itself being installed.

Without an X server, you have no graphical user interface on the system that doesn't have the X server. But you can connect to that system remotely, and run graphical programs on it, making them produce their windows on the remote administration client.

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I can recommend the wikipedia article for the X Window System, pecifically the section about User Interfaces as a start. As you said it: X is low level, Gnome/KDE (very roughly speaking) does the actual interface drawing.

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