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#201 2012-03-12 17:48:06

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

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

kri5 wrote:

A good one for the extreme minimalist out there. hmm

Wait until you see tomorrow's smile


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#202 2012-03-12 17:49:27

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

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

2ManyDogs wrote:

Wait until you see tomorrow's smile

Ooh! A teaser! big_smile


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#203 2012-03-12 18:52:06

saneks
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-10-01
Posts: 998

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

2many, you are the man.


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#204 2012-03-12 19:09:24

tartan
#! Junkie
From: Moscow
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 314

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Are you going to review fvwm?

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#205 2012-03-12 21:39:05

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

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

tartan wrote:

Are you going to review fvwm?

Probably not before I get to the tilers later this week. Maybe after I look at a few of those.


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#206 2012-03-12 23:39:19

PackRat
#! Die Hard
From: USA
Registered: 2011-03-03
Posts: 1,198

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Nice review; I've been curious about WindowLab.


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#207 2012-03-12 23:46:38

kbmonkey
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2011-01-14
Posts: 814
Website

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

First time I heard of WindowLab, it is a little ugly, a shame about the conky troubles. I enjoy reading your reviews smile

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#208 2012-03-13 00:05:31

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

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

PackRat wrote:

Nice review; I've been curious about WindowLab.

Awesome -- glad I could help. It's "interesting"...


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#209 2012-03-13 00:52:28

cJones
#! Junkie
From: Oregon
Registered: 2012-02-21
Posts: 447

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Good review but it doesn't really appeal to me as much as some of the others. Keep it up man!


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#210 2012-03-13 10:39:44

h8uthemost
#! Junkie
Registered: 2011-08-09
Posts: 293

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Another nice, review 2many. Thanks.

And because of your thread(and screens) I discovered a new way to take screenshots. wink

EDIT: By the way, 2many, I found out how to window group in Pekwm. You simply middle click on the titlebar and drag the window into the next(which I believe is the same behavior in Flux). You can read more about it here. I love this feature so much. I don't know why the OB devs never implemented it.

I'm really diggin' on Pekwm as a floating wm. I love the barebones approach. I'm going to play with it for a few days, but already I'm thinking this might replace OB as my floater. Very nice wm this is.

By the way here's a screen of the grouping. I'm using a dark theme so it may be a bit hard to see. But if you look at the title bar you'll see three strings of text. Each of those are three different windows. A file manager, a browser, and a text file. You can either click on each to go to them, or hit Mod4+Tab to cycle them.

2012_03_13_063118_1440x900_scrot.jpg

Last edited by h8uthemost (2012-03-13 12:00:11)


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#211 2012-03-13 12:55:09

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

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

You're welcome, and thank you for the update h8u. I also liked pekwm very much -- simple but powerful, and there are some really nices themes out there. They should really do something about that default theme though -- I almost didn't get past the ugly (at least to me) orange menu and window borders.

Stand by for today's installment -- it's two-for-one Tuesday! Still working through some simple stackers, then on to tilers starting with scrot(spectr)wm on Thursday, then maybe back to some more full-featured stackers. I know many other people don't appreciate the minimal WMs the way I do, but it's my thread and I can write about what I like smile

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-03-13 13:13:29)


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#212 2012-03-13 16:09:44

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

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

Two-for-one Tuesday! Today we will be looking at two more lightweight stacking window managers. I know not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the lightweigts, but it's my thread, so I'm going to write about what I like smile If everything goes according to plan, we will start the tilers with scrot(spectr)wm on Thursday.

LWM

First up is LWM, the lightweight window manager. It's in the repos and it creates its own .desktop file, but we need to do a little work before we can start it. LWM is so lightweight that it needs (and expects) some help. If you have not already installed xbindkeys, you will need to do it now, and then create a .xbindkeysrc file:

sudo apt-get install xbindkeys
nano ~/.xbindkeysrc

Now put this in ~/.xbindkeysrc:

"terminator"
mod4 + t

"xterm"
mod4 + x

"dmenu_run"
alt + F3

Mod4 is the "super" or windows key. You can put in any other key-bind pairs you want, or you can do it later. Now we need to make sure LWM uses xbindkeys. Open the .desktop file as root:

sudo nano /usr/share/xsessions/lwm.desktop

And find the "Exec=" line. Change it to

Exec=/home/user/path/lwm-start

Where "user" is your user name and "path" is the path to the lwm-start script. Save the file, and create the start script. I keep my start files in ~/wmgrs, so

cd ~/wmgrs
nano lwm-start

and I put this in lwm-start:

#!/bin/bash

# script to "autostart" lwm

xbindkeys &
lwm

Save the file, and make it executable:

chmod +x ~/wmgrs/lwm-start

OK! Now we can start the window manager. LWM should be in your GDM sessions list. Log in. Dreaded black screen. Press super+x to start xterm, and it looks like this:

2012_03_13_062804_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

The default (and only) active window border and title bar are black. Inactive windows have gray borders and titlebars. The mouse works pretty much as you'd expect it to: Left-click on the title bar brings the window to the top of the stack and gives it focus. Left-click and drag on the tile bar moves the window. Left-click and drag on a border or corner resizes the window. Right click on the title bar minimizes (hides) the window, and shift-right-click on the title bar moves it to the back of the stack. Right click on the desktop (root window) gives you a menu containing any minimized windows and allows you to return them to their original size. Left click on the (only) title-bar button closes the window.

A bunch of open windows:

2012_03_13_063515_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

Some of them minimized, and the right-click menu:

2012_03_13_063537_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

The default focus mode is "sloppy" -- moving the mouse pointer into a window gives the window focus but does not bring it to the top of the stack. You must explicity click the title bar to change stack position.

That's it! There are no keyboard shortcuts for window movement, resizing, or stack position. There is no "maximize" funtion. To exit LWM, you must kill the window manager ("pkill lwm" works here).

Configuration

You can't change much in LWM. It understands a few options in your .Xresources file if you have one, including titlebar font, border width, focus mode, and mouse button behavior. I changed three of these parameters by adding these lines to my .Xresources file:

lwm.border:     2
lwm.focus:         click
lwm.titleFont:     -*-lucida-medium-r-sans-*-*-100-*-*-*-*-*-*

Changing the focus mode to "click" means that clicking anywhere in the window gives it the focus and brings it to the top of the stack.

LWM works well with conky and the panels, so it is actually possible to build something like a complete desktop. I don't typically use panels, but I added fbpanel to my LWM test config just to see how it worked. It was nice to have a launcher and taskbar but I don't know if I'd keep them if I used LWM for long. Here's what it looked like:

2012_03_12_142504_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

And what the final lwm-start script looks like:

#!/bin/bash

# script to "autostart" lwm

nitrogen --restore &
conky -c /home/bsh/.config/conky/conkyrc-top &
fbpanel &
xbindkeys &
lwm


What I Liked

Another mini WM. I have a soft spot for the minimalists. Not much to change, so not much to tweak. It works well with conky and the panels.

What I Didn't Like

I would like to be able to change the border color to something other than black. Black borders around active windows and gray borders around inactive windows was confusing at first.

Links

"man lwm"


WM2

Next stop, WM2. This one is even more minimal than LWM, with even fewer config options. You don't absolutely need xbindkeys for this one, but you will be glad you have them. WM2 is in the repos and it creates its own .desktop file. If you want to use xbindkeys (and you do) install it and create the .xbindkeysrc file as described above. Then create a wm2-start script like the lwm-start script, just change "lwm" to "wm2".

When you start WM2, it's black screen time again. If you installed xbindkeys, you can use mod+t to start a terminal. You can also left-click on the WM2 desktop for a "menu" -- if there are no minimized windows, the only menu item is "new" -- this starts a new terminal. If there are minimized windows, they will also be listed in this menu; you can return them to their original size by clicking on the menu:

2012_03_13_091637_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

Sideways titlebars again -- remember them from flwm? WM2 is one of the "influences" for flwm. Left-click on the titlebar or window frame brings the window to the top of the stack. Left-click and drag on the titlebar moves the window. Windows can only be resized by left-click and drag on their lower-right corner. Right-click on the titlebar moves a window to the bottom of the stack. The mouse pointer automatically moves to the titlebar on the next activated window, so repeated right clicks on the titlebar will cycle through the stack, no matter what position windows occupy on the desktop. Clicking on the (only) button on the title bar minimizes (hides) the window. Windows close when you close the application running in them, or you can force a window closed by left-click and hold on the titlebar button for at least 1.5 seconds (until the cursor changes to a cross) and then release. The man page says this about this process: "I know, it's not very easy. On the other hand, things like Window95 tend to obscure the fact that most windows have a perfectly good close option."

Like LWM, the default focus mode is "sloppy" -- moving the mouse pointer into a window gives the window focus but does not bring it to the top of the stack. You must explicity click the title bar to change stack position.

To exit WM2 you can kill the process, or move the mouse pointer to the extreme lower right corener of the screen and left-click the mouse. The menu will appear with an "exit WM2" option on it. Selecting this option closes WM2.

That's it! Like LWM, there are no built-in keyboard shortcuts.

Configuration

Hah! You can't change anything without recompiling. From the man page again: "WM2 is not configurable, except by editing the source and recompiling the code, and is really intended for people who don't particularly want their window manager to be too friendly".

WM2 does work with conky but not with any panels I tried.

I'll let the developer speak for himself in this last screen shot:

2012_03_12_143715_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

What I Liked

It's different. It's fast and small, and works well for what it does. It handles opaque window movement well on my Celeron (good thing, because there's no way to change it!). I don't need menus and panels, and if they're not available I don't spend any time tweaking them.

What I Didn't Like

Not much, really, once I got used to it. There are other window managers out there I definitely like better, but there are also many I like a lot less. I really don't need menus and panels. But I could definitely see how many people would really dislike this one.

Links

"man wm2"
wm2 home page

back to the top

One more stacker (aewm) tomorrow, then scrotwm on Thursday.

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-04-03 02:12:12)


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#213 2012-03-13 16:30:12

kri5
#! Die Hard
From: L.G.C. UK
Registered: 2011-11-10
Posts: 568

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

@2ManyDogs.. You weren't kidding when you said 'wait until tomorrows.'  That's extreme minimalist indeed, so much so that I may just have to try it, my wife will be totally stumped. lol


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#214 2012-03-13 16:32:17

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

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ that's another thing I definitely like about the minimals -- they're so cryptic to anyone who doesn't know the magic words... smile


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#215 2012-03-13 17:31:31

saneks
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Registered: 2009-10-01
Posts: 998

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

i will remember that wm2 thing.


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#216 2012-03-13 17:39:21

damo
#! gimpbanger
From: N51.5 W002.8 (mostly)
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 2,688

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

I'll let the developer speak for himself in this last screen shot
2012_03_12_143715_1280x1024_scrot.jpg

Priceless big_smile

Last edited by damo (2012-03-14 14:55:09)


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#217 2012-03-13 17:45:02

xaos52
The Good Doctor
From: Planet of the @s
Registered: 2011-06-24
Posts: 4,602

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ You got us all curious now. Mind adding a link to a readable image. smile

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#218 2012-03-13 17:48:20

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

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ I think he just meant to reference the last image in my post -- click that one for a readable version.


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#219 2012-03-13 17:51:05

damo
#! gimpbanger
From: N51.5 W002.8 (mostly)
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 2,688

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

^ Yeah, it was just a quick C&P, I didn't check the link sorry. Click on 2Many's scrot


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

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#220 2012-03-13 18:24:09

PackRat
#! Die Hard
From: USA
Registered: 2011-03-03
Posts: 1,198

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

@2ManyDogs - good stuff as usual; looking forward to the tilers.

I'm curious though, have you been tracking the memory footprint of these wm's - if so, how do these minimals compare to openbox with/without the panel?

@h8uthemost - that's one way to do the grouping/tabbing in pekwm and fluxbox; both also use a file to auto-group window classes - learn how to use that, and you'll really see the convenience of tabbing - I really prefer it to tiling.

Last edited by PackRat (2012-03-13 18:26:54)


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#221 2012-03-13 18:37:17

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

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

@PackRat -- yes I have been checking the memory footprint of most of them, and I just restarted Openbox to see what I got there. On my Celeron machine, Openbox with just conky, tint2, and iceweasel running uses ~168 M. If you look at that last screen shot in the wm2 review, you'll see it is using 79.6 M with iceweasel, thunar, conky, and sakura running. I'd say that's a little lighter, but probably not significant when most people have 1G of RAM or more.

I tried to have conky running in most of the final scrots so people could see how much memory was being used. In the LWM shot you can see it's using 126 M, but it's running a few more apps.

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-03-13 18:41:36)


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#222 2012-03-13 18:49:26

h8uthemost
#! Junkie
Registered: 2011-08-09
Posts: 293

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

2ManyDogs wrote:

On my Celeron machine, Openbox with just conky, tint2, and iceweasel running uses ~168 M. If you look at that last screen shot in the wm2 review, you'll see it is using 79.6 M with iceweasel, thunar, conky, and sakura running. I'd say that's a little lighter

oh...shit. That's a ton lighter. OB and IceWM were always the lightest floaters that I've came across(RAM wise that is, and yeah, you should definitely review IceWM). I was going to dismiss wm2 because of the whole configuration thing, but maybe I'll give it a shot now. Having 512mb of RAM I'm always looking for light wm's.

I'm wondering what Pekwm runs at with my usual Sakura, Sylpheed, Clipit, Swiftfox running. For some reason I can't get my conky running in it. I'll have to figure out how you do that single line conky at the top of the screen and see if that works.

And once again, thanks for the reviews. I freakin' love this thread. 2many is becoming a #! forums legend. And anyone that disagrees can go slam their fingers in a door...


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#223 2012-03-13 18:55:55

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

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

h8uthemost wrote:

I'm wondering what Pekwm runs at with my usual Sakura, Sylpheed, Clipit, Swiftfox running. For some reason I can't get my conky running in it. I'll have to figure out how you do that single line conky at the top of the screen and see if that works.

You can always run htop in a terminal if you can't get conky to work (you might need to install it first). Or just buy another 512 M on ebay and stop worrying about it smile

I'm in pekwm now with iceweasel, conky, and sakura open and it's using 158 M, so about the same as Openbox.

I've been playing with IceWM today -- I'll think I'll get back to it after the tilers.

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-03-13 18:59:38)


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#224 2012-03-13 19:15:39

ivanovnegro
Ivan #000000
From: unstable madness
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,422

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

h8uthemost wrote:

I'll have to figure out how you do that single line conky at the top of the screen and see if that works.

The single line conky is easy, just make a single line in your ~/.conkyrc for the text display.

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#225 2012-03-13 22:01:13

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

Re: 30 Window Managers in 30 days

h8uthemost wrote:

That's a ton lighter. OB and IceWM were always the lightest floaters that I've came across(RAM wise that is, and yeah, you should definitely review IceWM). I was going to dismiss wm2 because of the whole configuration thing, but maybe I'll give it a shot now. Having 512mb of RAM I'm always looking for light wm's.

I lied. I went back and looked at the screen shot and that's luakit, not iceweasel. I started iceweasel, thunar, and sakura and now wm2 is using 131 M, more in line with LWM and the other lightweights. But that's a good point -- if you really want to save memory you might look at luakit as a browser rather than changing WMs.

And I just checked IceWM, JWM, pekwm, and blackbox, and they all use about 125 M with iceweasel, thunar, and sakura running, but only ~75 when I switch the browser to luakit. Iceweasel is bloat smile

Last edited by 2ManyDogs (2012-03-13 22:15:12)


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