[conspire] Window managers

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Jan 26 13:04:36 PST 2005

The same gentleman as the EBLUG installfest I alluded to earlier
(the one with the ThinkPad 600) also was curious about what window
managers are available.  We discussed what a window manager is -- a
special-role X11 application that determines the appearance of (and
controls on) other X11 applications, and mediates the user's
interactions with them -- and how that is distinguishable from the
"desktop" frameworks sometimes superimposed above that, and typified by
KDE, GNOME, and GNUStep.

I mentioned to him that there is a hyperlink on my knowledgebase to the
canonical information site about window managers.  Here's how you get

Starting from the top of my knowledgebase, "http://linuxmafia.com/kb/"
(a Yahoo-like hierarchical directory using the PerlHoo CGI script),
one of the categories is "Hardware".  Within that category, one of the
entries is "Help Resources".  Go there.  It's a link-farm Web page, 
entitled "Help Resources".

Yes, I know that you wouldn't expect to find window manager information
under hardware.  The page in question is the outline for a general Linux
introductory talk I once gave, retroactively updated to flesh it out.
Its main purpose, these days, is to house all my hyperlinks to
informational sites about Linux driver support for various types of
hardware.  However, below that  are other things, including this:

  Which X window manager?
  Window Managers for X: http://xwinman.org/

The site is maintained by Matt Chapman.

Simple as that URL is, I can never remember it, which is one reason I
maintain a link-farm page.  (I couldn't remember the prior URL, either:
It was http://www.plig.org/xwinman/, which will still get you there, via
a redirect.)

The page in question, "Window Managers for X", has comprehensive
information, including screenshots, on 17 of the best known window
managers and several "desktops", plus links to the development sites of
several dozen more window managers and "desktops" ("desktop

It should be noted that half-baked, coded-but-then-unmaintained window
managers are common -- rather like the obligatory IRC client that many
journeyman coders seem to feel obliged to write.

More information about the conspire mailing list