Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Five Window Managers You Should Try

1.) FVWM - http://www.fvwm.org
A lightweight highly customizable window manager for the minimalist in all of us. It can be tweaked and turned into just about anything you want it to be. Although I found one of it's forks, FVWM-Crystal, to be more to my liking, there's no denying that this is the base that makes Crystal such a joy to use.

2.) IceWM - http://www.icewm.org
My personal favorite and the window manager that runs my infamous development oriented laptop from the recent How-tos. Easy to configure and easy to use. This manager is compliant enough with gnome (and even have an official gnome support version) that I was able to run a bunch of gnome apps and even the gnome menu bar within it without a hitch. Lightest memory footprint I've recorded occupying only 3.9% of my laptops 512MB RAM at the most. Anyone looking for sheer performance and a remarkably easy setup would do well to look at this. Check out the IceWM Configuration How-to on this site for tips if you need help.

3.) Enlightenment - http://www.enlightenment.org
I didn't like it but what do I know. One of the more popular lightweight environments availible. While I had a multitude of problems with it sheer number of users alone justifies at least taking a look. It's a real hit and miss on this one. You either love it or hate it. I will say that it can be made to look exceptionally nice when the effort is put in.

4.) Fluxbox - http://fluxbox.sourceforge.net
The ultimate in simplicity. Designed to be as usable as possible, any sort of attractiveness seems to be an after thought. Which as far as I'm concerned is a good thing. When testing this window manager I was pleased with the results but I suffered from extreme configuration issues. My laptop wouldn't do much with it even after fetching the latest version off the website. I'm still not entirely sure what the problem was. So I had to run it on one of my testing desktops. As a result the test results are somewhat tough to analyze as that desktop has far more processing power then my laptop does. Suffice to say it was pleasant enough and I'm confident that when and if I work those issues out that it will run well on the laptop too.

5.) Wm2 - http://www.all-day-breakfast.com/wm2/
If all you really want is frames around your X programs, that's about all you're gonna find here. That is it's one and only selling point. There's a narrow niche for this window manager but a real one. If you hate extras of any kind this is the one for you.

There you have it. If you think I left one or two off let me know!

Until then.

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