I’ve spent quite a lot of time over the last year trying to find the perfect window manager, without success.
I had been using WindowMaker for a long time. WindowMaker is great, and I highly recommend it, but I wanted to see if there was another window manager that would suit me better: I’m not a typical user. I hate WIMP systems, but I use them because I like crisp Unicode fonts on my tty and browser, and I occasionally need to use some WIMPy applications.
I switched to ratpoison as it was designed for people who share my WIMP hatred; ion is similar. I would really like to use one of these two, but those occasional WIMPy applications really get confused.
I used Oroborus for many months after that. It isn’t the greatest WM, but it is one of the least annoying, and it allows me to center new windows.
During the next phase of my search I discovered a few interesting window managers that I will keep my eye on: cwwm is small and simple, but has most of the features I want; golem has a set of plugins that can be mixed to get the features I want and ignore the ones I don’t; waimea lets me configure behaviour for certain X events to make it do what I want. Unfortunately, none of these three are ready for me to use in anger.
I’m currently using pwm, believed to be the first window manager to use tabbed windows. In addition it has good keyboard control and multiple desktops, my top 2 requirements.
There are man more window managers out there. I have only tried the ones that have official Debian packages, but I will probably try some others in the future.
Memory usage is a topic that appears frequently in discussions about window managers. When I started my search I wasn’t sure if WM memory use would matter to me, so I kept a rough note on the relative memory sizes of the window managers I tried. It turned out that even the hungriest WM didn’t stress my ThinkPad at all. But it might matter to someone else, so…
|Window manager||Virtual mem||Resident Set Size|