See also the the Desktop environment and
Desktop Components Page
Low resource tiling and dynamic Window Managers
a framework dynamic window manager which follows Freedesktop
standards, EWMH compiliant,
and is extensible using Lua. It is packaged in Debian.
is a minimalistic window manager. It manages windows in tiling,
monocle -i.e. stacked_ and floating modes. It is part of the
suckless software and is packaged in
- i3 (BSD Licence)
is a tiling window manager written in C, it has a dynamic
switching to floating, on an individual window base.
- larswm last release 2004 a dynamic, tiling window manager
following 9wm model. It is (yet) packaged in Debian.
- RatPoison GPL is a simple light window manager with nographics, no window
corations, and no mouse/touchscreen/touchpad dependence.
e screen can be split into non-overlapping frames. All windows are kept maximized inside their frames.
- Wikipedia Ratpoison page
- RatPoison manual
- ArchLinux RatPoison tutorial
- Gentoo Ratpoison HowTo
- wmii is a dynamic window manager for X11,
which is highly customizable via scripts and
usable with keyboard and mouse. It supports conventional, tabbed and tiled
window management with low memory usage.
Low resource Stacking WM
- aewm (MIT License)
last release end 2007, which is controlled entirely with the
mouse. It is EWMH compliant and is in Debian.
- aewm++ (MIT License)
active project packaged in Debian
based on aewm but written in C++.
- aewm++ contains desktop utilities packaged in Debian as
aewm++-goodies, an apllication bar, a panel, and a session
It is EWMH compliant.
- evilwm (Artistic licence)
active project, A minimal keyboard driven window manager. It
supports EWMH and is packaged in
Debian. last release 2011
- Icewm (LGPL)
a light EWMH compliant wm,
fully usable with keyboard, with a task bar, multiple workspaces
and configuration tools.
It uses few libraries outside of standard X11, and its own library
libice; so its real footprint is quite low: 6.2M resident/4.5M
shared without desktop addons icewmtray 3M/2.3M, icewmbg 2.7M/2.2M
a background daemon is not mandatory, icewm-session 1.7M/1.3M.
- JWM (Joe's Window Manager)
(GPL) _actively maintened__ is a low resource (half the memory
footprint of Fvwm95) Window manager using only Xlib and
(optionally) the shape extension and libXpm. It is said to be
one of the window managers with less dependencies, and smaller footprints.
It supports EWMH
and is packaged in Debian.
- Oroborus minimal maintenance since
2005, but with bugfix in 2010 minimalistic window manager.
It is packaged in Debian.
- Oroborus comes with three small utilities KeyLaunch,
DeskMenu, and DeskLaunch that are in separate debian packages.
last release 2006, unmaintened
needs only Xorg/XFree86 standard libraries. Xft is optional.
- WindowMaker (GPL)
a tiny (1.3M rsz) and fully functional wm with numerous destop
compatibles apps either as dockapps or as full
Openbox is a window-manager with root menu, dock, no taskbar (use
fspanel, fbpanel, pypanel), a configuration management tool named
Openbox is the standard window manager of Lxde
It can be used with many file managers
most often PCManFM but also
Note that to interact with a window manager, it can be very usefull that it comply the
Extended Window Manager Hints (EWMH) specification.
This specification complete the
Inter-Client Communication Conventions Manual (ICCCM), which defines window manager interactions at a lower level.
The wmctrl page and the
Wikipedia EWMH page
give some window managers that implement EWMH
aewm, awsome, blackbox, edwm, enlightenment, fluxbox, fvwm, icewm, kwin, matchbox,
metacity, pekwm, penbox, sawfish, waimea, window maker, wmii, xmonad,
xfce and also some that do not implement EWMH
ratpoison, ion, pwm, evilwm, flwm, windowlab, ctwm. Of course this incomplete list is subject to change with new releases.
The Wikipedia ICCM page give a list of Window Managers that are ICCCM Compliant,
this list include the previous list, as it is the base of EWMH.
You can find on line the ICCM specification.