WM(s) with CPU, Net, and Battery meters built in?
I've gotten a bit spoiled by IceWM. I like / love having the net and cpu meters in the taskbar. It lets me judge the "health" of things at a glance. The IceWM variant gives a graph over time. Are there other window managers that give these same features?
In XFCE I can get CPU and NET meters at the current time, but not a graph of the history at a glance. I find the graph more useful to see what screensavers or other things use what percentage after I exit them. So what other window managers can give me a taste of this, without making my aging gear feel old? Not having the meters in the taskbar is a deal breaker for me. Having just one taskbar is preferred for my limited screen real-estate.
Sure I could run conky, gkrellm, top, or other things to get the stats of sorts. But having them graphically at a glance in the taskbar and always there is just nicer. When things are not going the way I planned, having that at a glance tells me what's happening. Like if I'm playing a game and the CPU drops to 0% usage, I know it's not a network issue. Or if I'm watching a video online and the net meter drops to zero, I can initially assume something other than the player is having issues.
I guess I'm getting bored of IceWM and want to mingle a bit. Plus there's extras that don't seem to work in IceWM like cutting and pasting to a terminal with Cntrl+Shift+V, that seems to work in gnome and friends. But I don't want to hop if I have to leave those other things behind.
WindowMaker has applets for what you want. Probably WMsupermon is the applet you are looking for, as it provides all the information you mentioned, it's actually an all-in-one applet. There are, however, other Windowmaker applets for the purpose, such as WMND, YAWMPPP, wmgtemp, and many others you can look for in this site.
WindowMaker does not have a task bar, as IceWM, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. it's highly configurable (easier than IceWM,) and has applets for basically everything you can think of. It is also a very lightweight window manager, and will definitely run as fast as IceWM (probably faster) in an old machine with limited memory and limited resources in general. In fact, WindowMaker has a literally tiny memory footprint (~ 700 kb) and at the same time it's full of customization and applet choices. I believe it is worth a try, given your needs.
In one way or another, the applets I mentioned should run on other window managers as well. Never tested them on IceWM, but should run even there; they are not depending in the window manager too much.
If you really want a task bar as in IceWM, LXDE also has applets for graphically monitoring net traffic and CPU usage, but not as many as WindowMaker, plus LXDE is a more "heavy" window manager - although still a lightweight one, and should run on old machines as well.
As for the other goodies you mentioned, such as Ctrl+V etc, they should work on IceWM if you install gnome support (corresponding package in Debian is icewm-gnome-support; other distros might mention it as "icewm-gtk" or something similar.) In any case such keybindings work both on WindowMaker and LXDE.
I found cwm from the bsd genre. It's a tad too minimalist, but wow. Not for the meek as there is no window decorations or menus or taskbar. But it's surprisingly intuitive with hotkeys and mouse actions after less than five minutes of reading. The man page is quite short, and even though you have to compile it from source, it compiles fast as it's super small. If you do everything pretty much from the command line to start with, you might like cwm.
Just curious of the on screen eye candy available these days for cpu meter and clock. I know of conky and gkrellm from days past. But it would be nice to have a cpu meter on par with xclock, that I can allocate to my new found screen real-estate. And the couple extra fps I get on the usual games is refreshing. Reversing the trend of bloatware that makes my aging hardware seem old is refreshing.
So far for the clock:
$ xclock -digital -twelve -update 1 -fg yellow -bg black &
It would be neet to have a similar box for cpu, net, ram, swap, and file I/O graphs to keep on screen.
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