My Two Preferred X11 Window Managers

Today I want to talk about two interesting Window Managers for X11. Both are great choices to be used as a main desktop.

Also, I want to introduce some tools that I use with them to deliver a better desktop usability.

It is by their simplicity, low memory footprint and amicability that their names flourish among tons of Window Managers available to the community.

So here they are: IceWM and WindowMaker.

Their simplicity comes from the way we can get them installed up to the practical experience they deliver. Installing them, in most distributions, is a matter of using the default package manager that the distribution uses to accomplish such a task.

The low memory consumption they offer is also evident by the fast load time of their environment - instantaneous - and of course by just checking the top/htop meters of memory to see the truth. Both options are so lightweight that quest me the value of opting to use a huge and bloated DE (Desktop Environment) instead.

Windows95 disseminated the idea of how a computer desktop must appear and behave visually for PC users. Another not so common desktop look and feel comes from the NeXTSTEP operating system with its original and cool graphical user interface. So, that is why IceWM and WindowMaker respectively borrow those GUI's look and feel and cleverly presented us with a great and amicabily WM software.

They are also easily customizable although their default themes are enough to attend my fancy needs for a desktop.

That being said, I would like to complement the article with some other cool and lightweight tools that you may find useful as I do.

  1. Xfe ~ is a great and small file manager that uses the Fox Toolkit library. It also comes with simple tools like an editor, a calculator, an image viewer.
  2. Dillo ~ a lightweigh browser - really lightweight! - that you can use to navigate on not bloated websites!
  3. Ranger ~ a pretty cool terminal based file manager. Fast and functional.
  4. Dockapps ~ some dockable apps like a clock, battery, network displays to use with WindowMaker. Useful stuff!