can i run GUI application without any dekstop enviroment


i have odd question, sorry i am newbie.. i am in learning mode and try to understand BSD/UNIX since i am falling in love with it.

is it possible to run an GUI application like pidgin without dekstop enviroment like KDE or Gnome ?

Take a look at FreeBSD's Handbook section on X.

XFCE is also a nice desktop environment and is GTK+ based so Pidgin would fall in just great. Also consider LXDE or Enlightenment as alternative DEs.

If window manager are more you thing then you have tons of choice: Fluxbox, Openbox, Pekk, dwm, windowmaker, xmonad, awesome, wmii, etc...
Sometimes a piece of software is a text based application with a GUI interface. For example pidgin, you can install it without GUI ( gtk ? ) support and use finch - the text mode client - instead.
The default "desktop environment" or "windows manager" that comes with xorg is twm, I believe. If you don't install something like Gnome, KDE, or Xfce, you will find yourself in the twm environment. I actually like twm, but it has very little features. So yes you can launch your standard desktop applications like pidgin or firefox using just twm.
If you want to be technical, you don't even need a window manager, just put (for example)
in your ~/.xinitrc and when X starts it will just be one big firefox window, can't do anything other than use firefox obviously, since you have no window manager.
start empty screen:

go back to system console (F1 - F8) :


go back to screen:

and you must see Xterm running without any window manager.
It quite sucks because you can't move,resize or iconify anything.