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OK, so I've tried the following window managers: KDE Gnome Fluxbox Pekwm Enlightenment XFCE ...and some My favorites so far have been Enlightenment and XFCE, but I was also really ...
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  1. #1
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    Window manager recommendation...


    OK, so I've tried the following window managers:
    KDE
    Gnome
    Fluxbox
    Pekwm
    Enlightenment
    XFCE
    ...and some

    My favorites so far have been Enlightenment and XFCE, but I was also really impressed by the tabbed window management of Pekwm.

    What I've found I'm looking for in a window manger is:
    tabbed window management
    style (enlightenment)
    quick (enlightenment, xfce, fluxbox)
    easy to use (gnome, kde, enlightenment, xfce)
    flexibility (xfce, enlightenment)......as in, it can run both kde and gnome programs

    So, is there a window manager that is similar to Enlightenment (how quick/flashy/easy it was) but also has tabbed window management like Pekwm and is fairly easy to use/configure (I had trouble settiing fluxbox up how I wanted it....but I could set XFCE up fairly easily....I just don't want to manually edit config files---or rarely edit them)? What window manager do you recommend?

  2. #2
    oz
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    It seems that you've already tried most of the more popular WMs/DEs. I too have used all those and a few more, and like you, can't find the one that keeps me happy on a continual basis.

    Maybe try Openbox if you haven't already. Fluxbox used to be my choice when it comes to the "....box" WMs, but now it's Openbox. I don't know that it will meet all your expectations, though.

    Some other options that you might find interesting would be ion3, and wmii. I don't think either of them are really what you are looking for, but they are fun to play with and it's good to know how they work. FVWM is another great WM that you should consider. It can do just about anything you could possibly want to do, but the configuration procedure can be a major chore.

    That said, I find myself continually changing back and forth between Pekwm, XFCE4, and Openbox. My next task is to give FVWM yet another go. I've tried it 3 or 4 times in the past but usually get about half way through the configs, then call it quits.

    Hope this helps...

  3. #3
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
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    I've not used Openbox (though I may have to try it out), but I'm really gonna have to go with Fluxbox on this one (until E17 hits stable release, at least).

    1) Fluxbox has tabs: http://www.fluxbox.org/docbook/en/html/chap-tabs.html

    2) NOTHING beats E17 for style. Sadly, I don't find it stable enough for actual use. However, Flux is easy to configure, and holds to a minimalist theme, which is nice.

    3) Quick: As you note, very quick

    4) Easy to use: I'm curious what you found difficult. Personally, the ability to right-click and get the menu is one of the most time-saving and convenient features I've ever seen.

    5) Flexibility: Fluxbox can definitely run KDE apps (I've run them from it), and I'm 99% sure it can run GNOME apps as well. It can definitely run Gaim.


    As far as the config files for Fluxbox, you really only need a ~/.xinitrc and a ~/.fluxbox/menu.

    The syntax for the menu isn't too tough, and there is a tool that will autodetect a number of apps. It is called fluxbox-generate_menu. Gentoo has a modified version that apparently detects a lot more stuff, but I dunno if it will work on a non-Gentoo system.

    So yeah...that's my recommendation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozar
    It seems that you've already tried most of the more popular WMs/DEs. I too have used all those and a few more, and like you, can't find the one that keeps me happy on a continual basis.

    Maybe try Openbox if you haven't already. Fluxbox used to be my choice when it comes to the "....box" WMs, but now it's Openbox. I don't know that it will meet all your expectations, though.

    Some other options that you might find interesting would be ion3, and wmii. I don't think either of them are really what you are looking for, but they are fun to play with and it's good to know how they work. FVWM is another great WM that you should consider. It can do just about anything you could possibly want to do, but the configuration procedure can be a major chore.

    That said, I find myself continually changing back and forth between Pekwm, XFCE4, and Openbox. My next task is to give FVWM yet another go. I've tried it 3 or 4 times in the past but usually get about half way through the configs, then call it quits.

    Hope this helps...
    thanks for the recommendation....i gave openbox a try and installed obconf (apparently a tool that configures openbox), but obconf wouldn't save it's settings (or quit without me forcing it to). i quickly lost hope in openbox, but i did enjoy how minamilistic it was .

    i've also tried ion3 and wmii. i personally enjoy wmii a lot, but i can't get over it's very basic style.....it looks very text based (very very basic gui), especially the menu. and i can't customize the menu (or atleast don't know how to). if those could be fixed than i'd more than likely use wmii

    i looked at fvwm and had trouble getting past the way it looks too. i tried for a while but it looked (like wmii's gui) very very basic to me. i'll probably also try it again in the future at some point.

    thanks for recommendations

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabhan
    I've not used Openbox (though I may have to try it out), but I'm really gonna have to go with Fluxbox on this one (until E17 hits stable release, at least).

    1) Fluxbox has tabs: http://www.fluxbox.org/docbook/en/html/chap-tabs.html

    2) NOTHING beats E17 for style. Sadly, I don't find it stable enough for actual use. However, Flux is easy to configure, and holds to a minimalist theme, which is nice.

    3) Quick: As you note, very quick

    4) Easy to use: I'm curious what you found difficult. Personally, the ability to right-click and get the menu is one of the most time-saving and convenient features I've ever seen.

    5) Flexibility: Fluxbox can definitely run KDE apps (I've run them from it), and I'm 99% sure it can run GNOME apps as well. It can definitely run Gaim.


    As far as the config files for Fluxbox, you really only need a ~/.xinitrc and a ~/.fluxbox/menu.

    The syntax for the menu isn't too tough, and there is a tool that will autodetect a number of apps. It is called fluxbox-generate_menu. Gentoo has a modified version that apparently detects a lot more stuff, but I dunno if it will work on a non-Gentoo system.

    So yeah...that's my recommendation.
    1) i actually didn't know fluxbox had tabs....had i known that i would have given it a more worth-while try

    2) i definately understand....enlightenment is nice. quick and stylish. very good combination. will e17 ever actually come out?? i checked to see the last time e16 was released, and it said 12/24/2004....and their site doesn't work (on sourceforge or their own site), so i'm slowly starting to believe we might not see another come out (or atleast not for a long while).

    3) fluxbox is quick ...that's what first made me look at it a while back

    4) i don't find clicking the desktop for a menu difficult at all. actually, that's one thing i enjoy a lot about enlightenment.....you right-click the desktop and you get settings, left-click: you get programs, middle-click: you get a combination of both with some maintenance as well. i like the menu being accessible from the desktop. what i found difficult was having to write my own menu....but i didn't know there was a tool to help

    5) that's great news....that's a must-have for me. it needs to run both gnome and kde apps, as my system's split between the two fairly well

    automatic menu generating programs is one thing i was looking for....i really wanted one, as i don't really like sitting and taking the time to build the menu from code....you can call me lazy (i know i am :P), it's just that i'd rather try anything but that first. especially now that i have a lot of programs installed.....nearly 9 gigs within my /usr/ directory

    can you tell me what the fluxbox menu generator is called? that's not genmenu is it?

    thanks for the suggestion....i'm giving fluxbox a try again

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    i really like fluxbox...and the menu generator (genmenu) helped set it up really quickly. i looked through the tutorial on how to set up tabs and found that i'm missing some things that seem to be installed with fluxbox, relating to tabs.

    i don't get the option: menu > configuration > use tabs
    i checked the init file and it's already set to true...and it works, as i can third-click drag a titlebar to another titlebar and get tabs.
    also, my ./.fluxbox/groups file doesn't seem to be doing anything even though i think i put the correct window names in there and i added it to the init file. i tested it by putting firefox-bin and xterm in the same group but nothing happens...they don't group together

    can someone help me get the tabs to work similar to wmii or pekwm....just simple tabs in the window's titlebar for all open windows in that workspace

    thanks a lot in advance

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    Re: Window manager recommendation...

    Quote Originally Posted by josolanes
    flexibility (xfce, enlightenment)......as in, it can run both kde and gnome programs
    I'd just like to point out that, so long as you have the GTK and QT libraries installed, and the Gnome and KDE applications installed, you can use Gnome and KDE programs in ANY Xserver WM. Including the failsafe X that starts up with a few consoles.

    That being said, KDE 3.5-beta2 and -rc1 are much much better than KDE used to be. Although I hate the clutter it comes with. Around 100 apps that start with K... Just... What the balls. I've recently been using Xfce instead of my normal Fluxbox, because I'm not using the RAM space and Xfce is, I must say, very respectable. The configuration tools are godly and light compared to other WMs (except *box). I personally don't like Gnome at all because the GTK libraries haven't gotten much better lately and are not keeping up with QT. Doesn't mean I never use GTK applications, because I do (like Gaim! ^^).

    That being said, don't listen to my fanboyish preferences. Pick for yourself. ^^
    --Dachnaz [Fuzzy Llama]

  8. #8
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by josolanes
    i looked at fvwm and had trouble getting past the way it looks too. i tried for a while but it looked (like wmii's gui) very very basic to me. i'll probably also try it again in the future at some point.
    Hehe... yeah, fvwm is ugly as sin when you first start it up.

    I have no idea why they ship it out with such an ugly default look. However, some of the best looking Linux desktops I've seen have come from those that took the time to customize fvwm. Of course, the heavy configuration thingy is what you said you want to avoid. While fvwm can be perhaps the best WM out there, it's probably the most work to make it that way, at least in my opinion.

    You know, I've come to think the WM/DE hopping thing is every bit as addictive as that distro hopping routine so many of us do.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ozar
    Quote Originally Posted by josolanes
    i looked at fvwm and had trouble getting past the way it looks too. i tried for a while but it looked (like wmii's gui) very very basic to me. i'll probably also try it again in the future at some point.
    Hehe... yeah, fvwm is ugly as sin when you first start it up.

    I have no idea why they ship it out with such an ugly default look. However, some of the best looking Linux desktops I've seen have come from those that took the time to customize fvwm. Of course, the heavy configuration thingy is what you said you want to avoid. While fvwm can be perhaps the best WM out there, it's probably the most work to make it that way, at least in my opinion.

    You know, I've come to think the WM/DE hopping thing is every bit as addictive as that distro hopping routine so many of us do.
    yea, it looks really bad at first...like something a very outdated computer would use. i'll give it another shot once i find (another) wm/de that i really like. so far, i had xfce set up exactly as i want but i just wanted to try something different (that's what i'm looking for now). enlightenment was the temporary fix but i wanted more (tabbed windows lol).

    i couldn't agree more about wm/de hopping. it really is as fun as changing distros. i'm going through a phase right now

  10. #10
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by josolanes
    yea, it looks really bad at first...like something a very outdated computer would use. i'll give it another shot once i find (another) wm/de that i really like. so far, i had xfce set up exactly as i want but i just wanted to try something different (that's what i'm looking for now). enlightenment was the temporary fix but i wanted more (tabbed windows lol).

    i couldn't agree more about wm/de hopping. it really is as fun as changing distros. i'm going through a phase right now
    Ah... I just noticed in the screenshots thread that you've gone ahead and switched to fvwm, afterall. It looks really good.

    I plan to work on my fvwm configs over the weekend, so with any luck, I'll be posting a screenshot before the weekend is out, too.

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