Window manager

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Not to be confused with display manager.

Resources

Each system with an X server installed should have a window manager. The window manager manages the creation, manipulation, and destruction of on-screen windows.

Classification

Windows managers can be dynamic, stacking or tiling in their behavior. Stacking window managers behave analogously to pieces of paper on a physical desktop, they can be stacked on top of one another, with the one at the top of the stack being the one that the user sees and interacts with. Tiling window managers represent windows as tiles, or split views, with windows displayed next to one another, but with none of the windows overlapping. Dynamic window managers are window managers that can dynamically switch between these two paradigms.

Available software

Here are some window manager packages available in Gentoo:

Name Package Homepage Description
aewm x11-wm/aewm http://www.red-bean.com/decklin/aewm/ A minimalistic, dynamic X11 window manager.
aewm++ x11-wm/aewm++ https://github.com/frankhale/aewmpp A dynamic window manager with more modern features than aewm but with the same look and feel.
AfterStep x11-wm/afterstep http://www.afterstep.org/ A feature rich, stacking NeXTish window manager.
amiwm x11-wm/amiwm https://www.lysator.liu.se/~marcus/amiwm.html A stacking window manager that resembles the Amiga Workbench user interface.
awesome x11-wm/awesome https://awesomewm.org a highly configurable, next generation, dynamic window manager for X.
blackbox x11-wm/blackbox http://blackboxwm.sourceforge.net/ A small, fast, full-featured, stacking window manager for X.
bspwm x11-wm/bspwm https://github.com/baskerville/bspwm a lightweight, tiling, minimalist window manager that is written in C and represents its windows as leaves on a binary tree.
Compiz x11-wm/compiz http://www.compiz.org an open-source compositing window manager for X11
CTWM x11-wm/ctwm https://www.ctwm.org/index.html A lightweight, stacking window manager.
cwm x11-wm/cwm http://cvsweb.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/xenocara/app/cwm/ A lightweight, stacking window manager originally developed for OpenBSD.
dwm x11-wm/dwm http://dwm.suckless.org a dynamic window manager for X11.
echinus x11-wm/echinus http://plhk.ru/ A lightweight tiling and floating window manager forked from dwm.
Enlightenment x11-wm/enlightenment https://www.enlightenment.org/ an eye-candy, compositing and stacking window manager that is released under the permissive BSD License.
evilwm x11-wm/evilwm http://www.6809.org.uk/evilwm/ A lightweight, stacking window manager.
fluxbox x11-wm/fluxbox http://fluxbox.org/ an open-source stacking window manager for X11 that was originally forked from Blackbox.
FVWM x11-wm/fvwm http://fvwm.org a stacking window manager for X11.
goomwwm x11-wm/goomwwm https://github.com/seanpringle/goomwwm Get out of my way, Window Manager!
herbstluftwm x11-wm/herbstluftwm https://herbstluftwm.org/ A manual tiling window manager.
JWM x11-wm/jwm https://joewing.net/projects/jwm an extremely lightweight window manager for the X window system.
i3 x11-wm/i3 https://i3wm.org/ a minimalist window manager, focusing on keyboard commands to manipulate windows.
IceWM x11-wm/icewm http://www.icewm.org/ a free and open-source, lightweight, stacking window manager for X11.
KWin kde-plasma/kwin https://userbase.kde.org/KWin KDE's compositing window manager.
larswm x11-wm/larswm http://porneia.free.fr/larswm/larswm.html A tiling window manager for X11, based on 9wm.
lwm x11-wm/lwm http://www.jfc.org.uk/software/lwm.html A lightweight, stacking window manager.
Marco x11-wm/marco https://github.com/mate-desktop/marco MATE's window manager, forked from Metacity, the window manager of GNOME 2.
matwm2 x11-wm/matwm2 https://github.com/segin/matwm2 Simple EWMH compatible window manager with titlebars and frames.
Muffin x11-wm/muffin https://github.com/linuxmint/muffin Cinnamon's compositing window manager.
Musca x11-wm/musca https://launchpad.net/musca A simple dynamic window manager, with features nicked from ratpoison and dwm.
Mutter x11-wm/mutter https://git.gnome.org/browse/mutter/ GNOME's compositing window manager.
Notion x11-wm/notion http://notion.sourceforge.net/ A tiling, tabbed window manager for X11.
Openbox x11-wm/openbox http://openbox.org/ a highly configurable, next generation, stacking window manager for X11 with extensive standards support.
oroborus x11-wm/oroborus https://www.oroborus.org/ A small and fast window manager.
page x11-wm/page https://www.hzog.net/index.php/About A mouse-friendly tiling window manager.
PekWM x11-wm/pekwm https://pekwm.org/ A lightweight, dynamic window manager originally forked from aewm++.
Qtile x11-wm/qtile http://www.qtile.org/ A hackable, tiling window manager written in Python.
ratpoison x11-wm/ratpoison http://ratpoison.nongnu.org/ a tiling window manager modeled after screen.
Sawfish x11-wm/sawfish http://sawfish.tuxfamily.org an extensible window manager using a Lisp-based scripting language.
Sith WM x11-wm/sithwm http://sithwm.darkside.no/ A minimalist window manager for X11.
spectrwm x11-wm/spectrwm http://srobb.net/spectrwm.html A small dynamic tiling window manager for X11.
StumpWM x11-wm/stumpwm https://stumpwm.github.io/ A tiling window manager written entirely in Common Lisp.
Subtle x11-wm/subtle http://subforge.org/projects/subtle/wiki A simple tiling window manager.
twm x11-wm/twm https://www.x.org/wiki/ A simple stacking window manager started written in C.
WindowLab x11-wm/windowlab https://github.com/nickgravgaard/windowlab A small and simple window manager of novel design.
Window Maker x11-wm/windowmaker http://www.windowmaker.org/ The fast and light GNUstep window manager.
wm2 x11-wm/wm2 http://www.all-day-breakfast.com/wm2/ Small, unconfigurable window manager.
Xfwm xfce-base/xfwm4 https://docs.xfce.org/xfce/xfwm4/start Xfce's compositing window manager.
xmonad x11-wm/xmonad http://xmonad.org/ a fast and lightweight tiling window manager for X11

feh and imv can be used for setting the desktop background for tiling window managers like i3. See a full and current list of window managers by issuing (requires app-portage/eix):

user $eix --category x11-wm

See also

  • Desktop environment — An article listing desktop environments available in Gentoo Linux.
  • Display manager — An article listing display managers available in Gentoo Linux.