Alternative windowmanagers

Ivan Frosty ivanfrosty at
Sat Aug 6 00:53:57 UTC 2011

On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 4:23 PM, Chad Perrin <perrin at> wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 05, 2011 at 09:12:14PM +0200, Christian Barthel wrote:
>> I read on slashdot that Linus Torvalds moved from Gnome 2.3x to Xfce. It
>> seems that he isn't thrilled by xfce, but it's far better than Gnome3.
> As I recall, he made the switch from KDE to GNOME because of KDE 4 being
> a steaming turd, too.  He must be getting tired of his favorite desktop
> environments going south on him.
>> As a Gnome 2.3x user too, I am also a bit nervouse. Gnome 3 is a big
>> mistake. And there are also rumors that Gnome will be Linux only. Maybe,
>> we will never see Gnome3 under FreeBSD, but this is not a tragedy :)
>> I am not very interested in eyecandy: I want a stable and fast wm (less
>> memory and cpu, quick access to important places), different workspaces,
>> and it should be configurable with ordinary files. Of course, It must
>> run under FreeBSD.
> With these preferences, I wonder why you ever used GNOME at all.  I
> commend your evolving preferences, though.  I, too, like a window manager
> that stays out of my way and offers what I need to boost productivity
> rather than to coddle a desire for bells and whistles.  Spinning cubes,
> menu fade effects, and panels/bars/docks strewn about the edges of my
> display do not serve those needs.
>> I sniffed into AfterStep, fvwm2 and fluxbox (I don't want to use KDE). I
>> think, fluxbox is a nice wm and for my future, it will be the default wm
>> for me. It's also very fast and easy to configure.
> Fluxbox is definitely a step in the direction you seem to want to take
> with your future selection of window managers.  It tends to be very
> "intuitive" to people who are familiar with the Windows, Icons, Menus,
> and Pointers model, including taskbars -- even though it does not by
> default support desktop icons (thank goodness).  As a way to move toward
> less cluttered working environments, it is something I am often compelled
> to recommend for those who are used to the common style of UI dominated
> by panels/bars/docks and menus.  I don't think of Fluxbox as a
> destination, though, so much as a stepping stone.
>> Are there any other window manager worth looking?
> FreeBSD, last I checked, has a rare window manager called AHWM in ports.
> For floating window environments that interact well with the mouse, but
> are lightweight, with heavy support for keyboard-driven operation (in
> fact it leaves menu management up to third-party utilities, and otherwise
> assumes you will configure keyboard shortcuts; I skipped the menu and
> went with the keyboard shortcuts for everything), it is about as good and
> get-out-of-the-way efficient as a window manager can get.  I'd bet money
> it involves fewer lines of code, smaller binary size, fewer dependencies,
> and smaller memory footprint than your terminal emulator; it's fast,
> stable, and flexible, and pretty much offers no eye candy at all
> whatsoever.
> After a long path from KDE through a dozen or so window managers over the
> years, I ended up with AHWM in 2005 or 2006, and stuck with it until the
> beginning of this year.  As floating window environments go, it is easily
> my favorite window manager, period.  This year, though, I finally started
> using a tiling window manager heavily.
>> What is your window manager?
> I use i3 these days.  It has some similarities to wmii, but i3 is pretty
> much the ideal introductory window manager for someone new to tiling
> window managers.  That doesn't mean it's only good for beginners, though;
> it's really quite nice in its own right.  If you aren't ready for a
> tiling window manager, or just don't like the tiling model, I refer you
> back to Fluxbox and AHWM, depending on how far down the rabbit hole you
> want to go.
> I hope that helps.
> --
> Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]

fvwm2 anytime.


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