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So, for the sake of comparison, here's the lightest WMs for both 32- and 64-bit. Note that most of the favorites called out in this thread (Xfce, LXDE, IceWM, Openbox, fluxbox, Enlightenment) do not show up in the top 20-30ish lightest WMs.
Some might argue that there's a balance here between minimalism and functionality. I suppose it all depends on your needs. I personally find that DEs and many WMs simply have a lot of stuff and bloat that I just don't need. I want to quickly open a terminal window or launch a program and get down to business, without having to use a mouse. I don't care about icons, panels, whiz-bang effects, launchers, etc. I get enough of that using Macs professionally all day.
^ Thanks, this is good to know! I went back and sorted by rss, and indeed the results were different. The same WMs in the top 20-30, just in different order now. Some of my favs are represented amongst the lightest: sithwm, larswm, evilwm. Just get yourself a nice .Xresources file, and you can make these all look great.
2. They may have odd habits. For example, wmii uses Alt by default for its keyboard shortcuts, so that has to be altered or most programs won't work.
3. They have to installed as replacements for the standard interface issued by a distro, which then has to be configured to use it — this may be easy or not. Then, unlike desktops, they don't generate their own menus, so you have that to do.
4. If you use a GUI that doesn't come as a default, the quality of the implementation may not be good. Distros like OpenSUSE and Fedora can't deliver a good Xfce, let alone a window manager. Slackware (and hence Salix) seems to be the only distro where all the GUIs are of the same quality.
Xfce lighter than GNOME and KDE. [And Cinnamon, Unity etc.] But it's heavier than LXDE, IceWM and all tiling WMs. I suggest to you, use Openbox or PekWM. Super light and easy to configure than other tiling WMs.
Hi. There are a lot of goods lights windows manager. I am using blackbox (it is really light, solid and easy to configure and personalized). Is really simple and quick. It is good for you to navigate with firefox or other browser.
Another lights windows managers are: afterstep, wmaker, fvwm1, fvwm2, fvwm95 (fvwms are olds but goods).
Try them. They are a good solution for navigate in internet and/or to use a PC with little ram and chip.
Have you a nice day.
Rox Filer is a good fast capable file manager that does drag and drop and displays desktop icons. Fluxbox is a lightweight full featured window manager. When you put them together you have an environment that is almost instantaneously responsive on any hardware and looks good too.