SEARCH

Enter your search query in the box above ^, or use the forum search tool.

You are not logged in.

#1 2012-03-05 22:16:05

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

30 Window Managers in 30 days

Many Window Managers are available in the Debian repos (or available to be built), and they can be easily installed to your #! machine. I have been WM hopping for a while now, and it occurred to me (with some encouragement) that others might find my experiences useful, or at least be able to build something useful from them.

So to that end, I present 30 Window Managers in 30 days. I will start with easy floating WMs we are probably all familiar with, and by necessity eventually progress to a few I have not even heard of yet.

I will be the first to admit that I am a relative noob, so if anyone has more experience with a WM I mention, or anything else to add, please feel free to add, correct, or admonish.

First off is the WM we all know and love, openbox. I'd like to combine this with a thread I have wanted to start concerning openbox config files and where they live.

Simple to use, simple to configure, openbox is (in my opinion) the penultimate floating window manager. "Everything you need, nothing you don't" -- it's why we all ended up here in #! land.

But we also want to be able to change, configure, and personalize it. There are gui tools like obconf and the tint2 config editor, but it's really much easier to tweak it by hand, and you learn a lot in the process.

The main right-click menu is controlled by ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml -- strangely enough, an XML file -- but don't let that scare you. It's super easy to add entries to the menu once you see how the existing entries are laid out in the file:

Want to change your terminal from terminator to sakura? just find this entry in menu.xml

<item label="Terminal">
    <action name="Execute">
        <execute>
            terminator
        </execute>
    </action>
</item>

and change it to

<item label="Terminal">
    <action name="Execute">
        <execute>
            sakura
        </execute>
    </action>
</item>

       
The keybindings and window definitions are in ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml.

Want to change the file manager that starts when you click Super-F? Just find this section in rc.xml:

<keybind key="W-f">
  <action name="Execute">
      <name>thunar</name>
    <command>thunar</command>
</keybind>

and change it to

<keybind key="W-f">
  <action name="Execute">
      <name>pcmanfm</name>
    <command>pcmanfm</command>
</keybind>

Simple. Elegant. It's why we love openbox.

Tint2 (the default panel) and conky have their own config files and web sites. They are both simple and easy to configure, or complex and feature-rich if you want or need them to be.

I won't say much more about openbox, as it's covered in detail on this forum and in the default menus provided with every #! install.

I will say though that I really mean what I say in my sig -- it's all in a config file somewhere, you just have to figure out where to look. And you can do it yourself if you just look at the existing file or the man pages... or ask for a little help from the forum. I can give you a fish, but you'd really rather I taught you how to fish for yourself; trust me. There's nothing like that first fish...

Let's see where this goes. Tomorrow we'll look at another simple floating WM; JWM, (also know as Joe's Window Manager). A little lighter, still easy to configure. Stay tuned. I won't give you an openbox screen shot, but starting tomorrow I'll add scrots if there's any interest.

And if you think this is a good idea or you think I'm insane, let me know! It will be a lot easier to do this if I know I have an audience of some sort..

(edit) already got feedback from gensym, who suggested a list of links to the WMs covered. Since I hope others will add their insights as well, I'll just link to the first post for each WM, and let it flow from there...

Stacking Window managers

Day 1.5 -- Housekeeping
Day 2 -- jwm
Day 3 -- flwm
Day 4 -- fluxbox
Day 5 -- pekwm
Day 6 -- twm
Day 7 -- evilwm
Day 8 -- windowlab
Day 9 -- lwm and wm2
Day 10 -- aewm

Tiling Window Managers

Day 11 -- scrotwm
Day 12 -- wmii
Day 13 -- i3
Day 14 -- wmfs
Day 15 -- dwm
Day 16 -- catwm and dminiwm
Day 17 -- snapwm and monsterwm
Day 18 -- musca
Day 19 -- tmux
Day 20 -- ratpoison

Random Other Window Managers

Day 21 -- sithwm
Day 22 -- euclid-wm
Day 23 -- oroborus
Day 24 -- icewm
Day 25 -- herbstluftwm
Day 26 -- dvtm
Day 27 -- sapphire and cwm
Day 28 -- echinus and larswm
Day 29 -- xmonad and awesome
Day 30 -- tinywm

Day N -- Amiwm -- joek review
Day N+1 -- AfterStep -- joek review

Moderator Edit - Add Additional Reviews

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-04-03 15:08:53)


Be eggsalad to each other.

Offline

Be excellent to each other!

#2 2012-03-05 22:33:02

Forthy
#! CrunchBanger
From: Warwickshire, UK
Registered: 2012-01-16
Posts: 181

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

/subscribed

smile

Looking forward to your insights.

Offline

#3 2012-03-05 22:43:07

gensym
#! Junkie
Registered: 2011-10-17
Posts: 447

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

2ManyDogs wrote:

And if you think this is a good idea or you think I'm insane, let me know! It will be a lot easier to do this if I know I have an audience of some sort..

Those two don't necessarily have to be mutally exclusive smile
Nice work!

Last edited by gensym (2012-03-05 22:44:54)


'Multiple exclamation marks,' he went on, shaking his head, 'are a sure sign of a diseased mind.', {Eric}

Offline

#4 2012-03-05 23:43:48

anticapitalista
#! Member
Registered: 2010-08-03
Posts: 91

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Looking forward to this smile

Offline

#5 2012-03-05 23:50:37

damo
#! gimpbanger
From: N51.5 W002.8 (mostly)
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 2,149

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

<keybind key="W-f">
  <action name="Execute">
      <name>pcmanfm</name>
    <command>thunar</command>
</keybind>

I guess it's a typo, or is there some wizzy under-the-hood thing going on? smile

Or is there a "t" missing between the "W" and "f"? big_smile


Artwork at deviantArt;  Iceweasel Personas;  SLiM #! Themes;  Openbox themes

Offline

#6 2012-03-06 00:48:30

Rumpelstiltskin
#! Member
Registered: 2011-02-22
Posts: 92

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

I'm amazed at the fact that there are at least 30 window managers in linux =O

It's a great idea, so keep it up ^o^

Offline

#7 2012-03-06 04:27:50

ivanovnegro
Ivan #000000
From: unstable madness
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,419

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

I subscribe, so encourage you. smile

Offline

#8 2012-03-06 04:58:56

sqlpython
#! Die Hard
From: New England
Registered: 2011-11-28
Posts: 928

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

/subscribed

I'm signed up..
This would also make a great Blog/Review outside the #! forums..
As an Xfce guy I was surprised to find myself configuring OpenBox on Wheezy this Weekend..it is very addictive.
OpenBox is all about how inventive you are...
When ever I installed it on past Distros I found my self faced upon boot with that Blank Desktop...I thought..Well, good for a Server.
Once I saw #! I finally could see the potentials of OpenBox...

Looking forward to the Next 29 installments..


OHCG #!, Jessie,, Siduction-13.1,  Slackware 14,  Bridge,, Sabayon 13.4,

Offline

#9 2012-03-06 05:06:01

ivanovnegro
Ivan #000000
From: unstable madness
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,419

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

sqlpython wrote:

This would also make a great Blog/Review outside the #! forums..

That is true, we have already some Arch people lurking here because Scrotwm is not that popular over there. smile

Offline

#10 2012-03-06 06:40:04

Ferre
#! Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2011-02-19
Posts: 74

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

/subscribed

I knew there were many WM's but 30 ??? Looking forward to it smile


A computer without Windows is like a pie without mustard #!

Offline

#11 2012-03-06 11:18:46

rhowaldt
#!*$%:)
Registered: 2011-03-09
Posts: 4,396

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

awesome dogman! great idea.

Offline

#12 2012-03-06 11:27:29

el_koraco
#!/loony/bun
From: inside Ed
Registered: 2011-07-25
Posts: 4,747

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

ivanovnegro wrote:

we have already some Arch people lurking here

Off with their heads!

Offline

#13 2012-03-06 11:40:08

xaos52
The Good Doctor
From: Planet of the @s
Registered: 2011-06-24
Posts: 4,595

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

/subscribed

Are you sacrificing 30days off from work? big_smile

Offline

#14 2012-03-06 11:44:10

gutterslob
#! Resident Bum
Registered: 2009-11-03
Posts: 2,924

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ Dunno about work, but pretty sure he's sacrificing 30 days off from having a life. lol


Point & Squirt

Offline

#15 2012-03-06 11:55:10

SabreWolfy
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-03-09
Posts: 1,285

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

el_koraco wrote:

Off with their heads!

Their what? smile

xaos52 wrote:

Are you sacrificing 30days off from work? big_smile

Yes, the real world is what's preventing me from doing the same. What better way to spend a month than workking through a whole host of tiling/minimal window managers! smile


Support #!Waldorf • Debian sid • Xubuntu • siduction • Peppermint • OpenBox • Xfce • LXDE •

Offline

#16 2012-03-06 13:50:31

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 11,443

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

SabreWolfy wrote:
el_koraco wrote:

Off with their heads!

Their what? smile

Dirty! big_smile


Yes; as a matter of fact, I am a cop.  Why do you ask? cool
I'm a moderator here.  How are we doing?  Feedback is encouraged.

Offline

#17 2012-03-06 14:20:01

dubois
The Old Codger
Registered: 2010-09-03
Posts: 2,238

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

2Dogs, I really think you ought to have a screenshot or two of each of the window managers you profile, sort of like a teaser or, if I may make the analogy, an image of the dish that accompanies a recipe.  It give the consumer more of an idea of what they'll be getting by doing things the way you present them.  wink

Offline

#18 2012-03-06 15:12:27

SabreWolfy
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-03-09
Posts: 1,285

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ Ooh, yes, that's a good idea!


Support #!Waldorf • Debian sid • Xubuntu • siduction • Peppermint • OpenBox • Xfce • LXDE •

Offline

#19 2012-03-06 15:14:30

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Window Manager project day two. Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. To anyone who is concerned about me giving up work for 30 days, don't worry. I am semi-retired and work one or two days a week, so I have plenty of time for this project. To anyone who thinks I don't have a life, be assured that I have not had a life for some time, so I did not give up anything to do this project. Plus, how much of a life can you have if you have time to read all this? smile

Now, an interlude and a little preparation. Installing a new window manager from the repo is easy; just apt-get and you're done. But now what? How do you start your new toy, and then what?

Well-behaved window managers will create a .desktop file in /usr/share/xsessions. Once this is done, the new WM will show up in the "sessions" in GDM or LightDM. You'll still have to do a little more work to get it to show up in SLiM. Some window managers don't provide their own .desktop file. If you want the WM in the sessions list you will need to create one. (Hold your questions until the end of the talk please, I'll provide a list of links.)

Another way is to simply ditch your login manager entirely, and start the appropriate window manager manually by placing the call to the WM in ~/.xinitrc and running "startx" from the console. I used the GDM method for months, but now I have no login manager on my test machine and I start X when I'm ready. This gives me time to edit .xinitrc and prepare any startup files that might be necessary -- some window managers don't have a built-in "autostart" feature, so you'll need to create a script if you want to start conky or nitrogen along with the WM. (I'll cover this when I get to the WMs where you need to do this).

So -- your choice -- use one of the already GDM-enabled versions of #!, install GDM or LightDM if you have SLiM, figure out how to use SLiM, or use the "startx" method.

Once you have your new WM started, then what? Faced with a black screen and no-right click menu, what do you do? I mentioned in another thread that I found it useful to know two things before I started a new WM: how to start a terminal, and how to log out. If you know at least these two things you can start any app from the terminal and/or bail if you know how to log out. I will try to provide links to a wiki or home page for each WM I talk about; do a little research before you startx!

Here are the links I promised:

adding a new session to GDM
starting a new session with SLiM
starting X without a login manager

Now, on to today's installment -- Joe's Window Manager, or JWM.

back to the top

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-03-07 15:07:50)


Be eggsalad to each other.

Offline

#20 2012-03-06 15:49:02

2ManyDogs
dv#!
From: elsewhere
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 1,346

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Day Two -- JWM

Today we are installing JWM; Joe's Window Manager. It's another floating window manager, a little lighter on resources (uses less memory) and slightly faster on old hardware (in my opinion and experience) than openbox.
Not so much different that it's instantly obvious, but if you watch conky like a hawk (and I do at times) you may notice a difference, and I think it starts from the login manager much more quickly.

Installing

JWM is in the repos, so just

sudo apt-get install jwm

JWM creates a .desktop file, so just log out of openbox, and select "jwm" from the list of sessions in GDM. The default JWM config is a little ugly (in my opinion) but perfectly usable.

2012_03_06_071908_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

It's got a built-in menu and a built-in panel with a menu, a pager, a taskbar and a clock. You can either right-click the desktop to get a menu, or left click the JWM at the lower left corner of the screen. You get the full Debian menu, with all kinds of stuff you may or may not want.

Configuring

JWM is even easier to configure than openbox. It uses a single config file called jwmrc. When you first install jwm, it uses its default config file, /etc/jwm/jwmrc. To modify it, you just copy that file to your home folder and tweak it from there:

cp /etc/jwm/jwmrc .jwmrc
geany .jwmrc

.jwmrc is xml like openbox, but it's an even simpler format, and all the config is in just the one file. There is an awesome web site here and a bunch of people on this board who have created some really nice looking jwm themes and menus.

Here is what a sub-menu looks like in .jwmrc:

<Menu label="applications">
    <Program label="catfish">catfish --hidden --path=/</Program>
    <Program label="geany">geany</Program>
    <Program label="truecrypt">truecrypt</Program>
    <Program label="viewnior">viewnior</Program>
    <Program label="screenshot">xfce4-screenshooter</Program>
    <Program label="grsync">grsync</Program>
</Menu>

Window style:

<WindowStyle>
      <Font>liberation.sans-8</Font>
      <Width>3</Width>
      <Height>16</Height>

      <Active>
         <Text>white</Text>
         <Title>#4b4b4b:#3c3c3c</Title>
         <Outline>#3c3c3c</Outline>
      </Active>

      <Inactive>
         <Text>#9c9c9c</Text>
         <Title>#4b4b4b:#3c3c3c</Title>
         <Outline>#3c3c3c</Outline>
      </Inactive>
</WindowStyle>

and key binding:

<Key mask="A" key="F3">exec:dmenu_run</Key>

   
jwm also has one really nice feature for WM hoppers and config junkies. After you edit .jwmrc, you can run

jwm -p

and it will parse .jwmrc and tell you if it finds errors. This can save you a lot of grief if you make a mistake, but if you do make a mistake in .jwmrc, it's not usually fatal; you'll just end up with a really ugly theme with big red borders around everything.

2012_03_06_073557_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

The same conky config that works with openbox will work well with jwm. Just add it to the top of .jwmrc in the <startupcommand> section:

<StartupCommand>
    /home/bsh/.scripts/random-wallpaper
    conky -c /home/bsh/.config/conky/.conkyrc-jwm
</StartupCommand>

If you don't like the built-in bar, you can disable it and run tint2 (or any other panel) from the startupcommand section.

And when you make changes to .jwmrc, it's simple to run "restart" from the menu to cause the changes to take effect. Some changes require a logout/login (like adding things to StartupCommand) but restart will usually work.

Here is a scrot of how I have jwm set up on my main machine now. When I'm not using spectrwm I use jwm with this config.

2012_03_05_175438_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

What I Like

I like jwm a lot; I didn't at first (I thought it was really ugly) but it's now my favorite floating window manager (sorry openbox). It's especially useful for old slow machines with crummy graphics, especially if you change the window move mode from opaque to outline:

<MoveMode>outline</MoveMode>

Then jwm doesn't redraw the window until you're done moving it.

I also like the built-in config file parser (jwm -p) and how it defaults to a really ugly theme if you make a mistake in jwmrc.

What I Don't Like

Not much really. The default config is ugly, in my opinion. It takes some time (or borrowing the work of other people) to make it look nice.

Links

joewing.net (configuration info)
themes and menus on the #! site (bigbenaugust's famous jwm topic)
more themes and menus in jens' thread

What will we try tomorrow? The fast light window manager (flwm) perhaps?

back to the top

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-03-14 20:44:16)


Be eggsalad to each other.

Offline

#21 2012-03-06 15:53:49

rhowaldt
#!*$%:)
Registered: 2011-03-09
Posts: 4,396

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

fantastic post on JWM. looking forward to tomorrow's!

Offline

#22 2012-03-06 15:53:59

dubois
The Old Codger
Registered: 2010-09-03
Posts: 2,238

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Nicely done.

Offline

#23 2012-03-06 15:54:24

SlowMutant
#! CrunchBanger
From: End-World
Registered: 2012-02-26
Posts: 138

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

nice!!

looking forward to the tilers. Always wanted but never did try them. This will make is easier.

Thanks a lot!


Nothing 'real' is solid.

Offline

#24 2012-03-06 18:41:41

ivanovnegro
Ivan #000000
From: unstable madness
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,419

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

This is definitely better than watching TV. smile

Offline

Help fund CrunchBang, donate to the project!

#25 2012-03-06 19:00:17

Istvan
#! CrunchBanger
From: Budapest, Hungary
Registered: 2010-02-20
Posts: 148

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

OMG, it's an absolute mad thing :-) But I love it. 
Waiting for Musca and Ratposon :-)


Ha ezt el tudod olvasni, biztosan nem vagy rövidlátó.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB

Copyright © 2012 CrunchBang Linux.
Proudly powered by Debian. Hosted by Linode.
Debian is a registered trademark of Software in the Public Interest, Inc.

Debian Logo