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Old 07-03-2005, 02:41 AM   #1
i_m_meen
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Which lightweight, powerful windowmanager?


Until recently I have been using KDE, Gnome and XFCE. These are nice, but considering the fact that I have an interest in the inner workings of Linux (not kernel hacking :P but bash scripting and such) and programming, I was wondering if I still need the shiny buttons with all their bloat, or if can make them myself.
So I decided to move to a move from a DE to a WM. I have been looking at possible choices, before even thinking to install, and so far the options seem to be Fluxbox/FVWM2 and a remote third Kahakai.

What I need to know: which is more powerful (I mean gives the user more possibilities)?
And I saw that Kahakai has this trick which looks like a sort of lightweight TaskManager, but within a dynamic menu => kahakai.sourceforge.net/images/screenshots/thefifthpope-desktop.jpg (sorry about the trick, but it's the only way I could post the link)

All I want to know is which WM is more powerful, and allows me such tricks like generating dynamic menus. Not too minimalistic though, but if it can be made to look almost as good as the image in my link, it's good enough.

Kahakai is a dead project, and I'm not that enthusiastic about such projects.
 
Old 07-03-2005, 03:33 AM   #2
zsejk
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I'd go with fluxbox. I haven't really delved too deep into it myself, but I've been told it's quite nice in the customization department, which seems to be what you want. I'd give it a go for a few weeks... it's quite powerful, and easy to learn. The first version you'll see will prolly be a little too minimalistic for your tastes, but once again... it's very easily customizable, so you should be on your to your own preferences in no time.

I know this isn't a very helpful answer, but maybe it'll get you to at least give fluxbox a try if nothing else.



-zsejk

[EDIT: here's a link for ya: http://www.fluxbox.org/ ]

Last edited by zsejk; 07-03-2005 at 03:34 AM.
 
Old 07-03-2005, 03:50 AM   #3
i_m_meen
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It seems that Fluxbox goes well with my planned Gentoo box - but that proclist in the menus (Kahakai) has got me hooked(at least for watching the screenshot, as I haven't installed Kahakai)... Those damned features...they creep on you and you're lost. :P
 
Old 07-03-2005, 05:33 AM   #4
cs-cam
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Kahakai is actually very similar to fluxbox to use. It isn't in active development anymore though which is a definite downside. Another option, if you like the proclist in Kahakai, you can do that with the scripted menus in Openbox (and blackbox?) which is another very similar window manager.

Fluxbox is very good, I used it for a long time and it's the one I always go back to. I'll try something new and cool but I always find myself back at flux It's pretty configurable, very light and has a large following so if you don't want to learn it's config syntax there's plenty available for download.

Fvwm2 is the hardcore WM. You basically write the thing yourself in it's config files, that's how configurable it is. I never learnt it cause it seemed like too much effort but I've gotta say, you can do some pretty rad things with it!
 
Old 07-03-2005, 08:34 AM   #5
i_m_meen
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You mentioned OpenBox, BlackBox(maybe), and Fvwm2 could have scripted menus.
Does this mean that Fluxbox doesn't?
The "boxes" have an advantage as far as tabbed windows go - they're grrreat.

(I wouldn't use too much a dead end project, just because of that - what happens when there's a change of platform? I heard that Netcat for example doesn't even compile cleanly on newer platforms...)
 
Old 07-03-2005, 08:54 AM   #6
i_m_meen
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I think i found something, although it looks messy - it involves using cron: some scripting is obviously needed

So of to Fluxbox I (i think). Anyone who has a better plan is welcome.
 
Old 07-03-2005, 09:15 AM   #7
scuzzman
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You also might take a look at Enlightenment. A vrey powerful, easily customized WM, with as much or as little eyecandy as you want, and very little overhead.
 
Old 07-03-2005, 09:16 AM   #8
comprookie2000
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Gentoo + Fluxbox = Heaven
 
Old 07-03-2005, 09:21 AM   #9
i_m_meen
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I think I'll go the Gentoo Flux way.. I found something cool: just what the doctor ordered.
I know of Enlightenment, but I don't think it's as lightweight as Fluxbox. Don't get me wrong, it's fast, but I think it eats up more resources.

[rant]
Who needs KDE or Gnome anyway? If it's bigger than XFCE, i don't need it.
[/rant]
 
Old 07-03-2005, 10:47 AM   #10
exvor
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this script requires python.

the idea is farily simple tho i wonder if you could rewrite it in bash script

Im sure it could be done in C and the program being started by x or something actually it would be pretty eazy. but a script with direct access to the command line would be nice.
 
Old 07-03-2005, 11:11 AM   #11
oneandoneis2
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I don't think it's exaggerating to say that FVWM2 is the most powerful WM around, bar none.

It's got a long & involved man page, and you can spend many hours setting it up the way you want it, but I wouldn't use any other WM.
 
Old 07-03-2005, 11:50 AM   #12
Vgui
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Just a note, xfce4 is still considered a WM and lightweight, not as much as fluxbox of course, but let's not start comparing it to KDE.
 
Old 07-03-2005, 12:03 PM   #13
i_m_meen
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It looks like a close race between Fluxbox and FVWM...Flux seems easier to configure and with more examples/tutorials on the net, while FVWM looks a strong choice too (I like the fact that it's a survivor; it's the first major WM that appeared). I'll try both of them.

Python is faster than bash usually, so I think I'll just adjust it. As for C, maybe I'll write that other one - the one reading RSS feeds.

I haven't really compared it to KDE. I just want to say that of the huge bunch of apps which come with KDE, I would only use a few, and it's not worth it... I'm not afraid to configure a WM myself. Plus QT apps are good, but why use them when i have GTK? Except Kommander, I have everything I need here: Gaim, Gimp, Xzgv, Graveman,....
 
Old 07-03-2005, 12:30 PM   #14
craigevil
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Personally I like IceWm, it is very easy to configure and you can make it do pretty much anything you want. Plus between X86Free and Icewm the two only use about 20k ram.

It doesn't have as much 'eyecandy' as the others. But it is very lightweight.
 
  


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