Following is the list of my preferred window managers that are known to be lightweight.

The lists below are far from complete. There might be many others which frankly I do not know about or have just omitted because of some other reason.

Window Managers

Floating Window Managers :

  • Blackbox – Simple and clean. Fluxbox and Openbox are also forks of Blackbox.
  • Fluxbox – All configuration is via text files. GUI apps like fluxconf, fluxmenu can also be used to change configuration.
  • Openbox – Similar to Fluxbox, but does not give you a panel. You can however install 3rd party panels. Configuration is via XML, although that is moot since there are GUI apps like obconf and obmenu to change configurations. The new version of Openbox is a complete re-write.
  • PekWM – a very light WM. gets you quickly to the desktop. The default doesn’t give you anything but the desktop. No panels and such.
  • IceWM – The default themes suck. You should definitely get IceBuntu, IceOSX and ThinBlack themes, if you plan to use this.
  • Enlightenment (DR16) – A new version DR17 has come out in beta. Although in beta, it is quite stable and quite an upgrade from DR16. You should probably use DR17 to get more features. You will have to compile from cvs if you use DR17. This WM is lightweight, yet supports a lot of eye candy.
  • JWM – a basic wm with a right click menu
  • FVWM – a great WM with lots of themes.
  • FVWM-Crystal – highly configurable and has a lot of cool themes. Gives built-in support for mpd and xmms.

Tiling Window Managers:

  • i3 – This is what I use currently. i3 is a tiling window manager, completely written from scratch but inspired from wmii
  • Musca – This is what I used before moving onto i3. A simple dynamic window manager for X, with features nicked from ratpoison and dwm
  • dwm – dwm is a dynamic window manager for X.
  • Ratpoison – this is geared more towards advanced users. Again this is for people who love to use the keyboard.
  • StumpWM – StumpWM is a tiling, keyboard driven X11 Window Manager written entirely in Common Lisp.
  • wmii – a tiling wm, good for using all the screen space without having to Alt+Tab all the time.
  • ion – a tiling wm for people more comfortable using the keyboard
  • ScrotWM – Scrotwm is a small dynamic tiling window manager for X11

5 Responses to “WMs”

  1. XMonad.

  2. absolutely cool collection!

    yea..I agree with Thoth (above)..

  3. Its been a while since I wrote this and I have had the opportunity to try some other cool WMs as well. I will update the entry with the ones that I have tried out later.

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