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#1 2024-01-19 00:17:43

Mike
Member
From: East Texas, USA
Registered: 2023-12-31
Posts: 35  

requesting recomendations for a small window manager

mike@DevuanPI4b:~> uname -a
Linux MikesDevuanPI 6.1.70 #1 SMP PREEMPT Sun Jan  7 04:13:59 CET 2024 aarch64 GNU/Linux

After my initial install with LXDE I broke the system trying to remove it so reinstalled from scratch then installed twm.
I've got it working but LibreOffice tools don't play well and I use calc daily. Changing calc's window size throws it for  loop and I must close it then reload it to make it usable again.
Looking through the output of `apt-cache dumpavail' I see several window managers who install under 100,000 bytes. Among them 9wm, cwm, dwm, evilwm, flwm, lwm and windowlab and many wouldn't require adding more libs than twm has already installed.
I was wondering if anyone here had tried any of those and liked them.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Mike

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#2 2024-01-19 03:51:04

stultumanto
Member
Registered: 2023-12-12
Posts: 58  

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

I currently have cwm installed on all my Devuan machines. It takes a bit of time to get used to the complete lack of window decorations, but once you learn the keyboard shortcuts, it's really not an issue. Configuration is extremely easy via the .cwmrc file.

If you decide to try cwm, you'll probably want to replicate some of the functionality offered by DEs and more advanced WMs. I currently have some hotkeys bound to scripts that adjust my volume and screen brightness using amixer and brightnessctl. They call xosd to briefly display the current settings.

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#3 2024-01-19 09:54:22

Camtaf
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Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 413  

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

Those quoted WMs are a bit basic, I would think more on the lines of fluxbox, jwm, icewm, or similar.....enough functionality, without a lot of dependancies.

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#4 2024-01-19 15:33:59

stopAI
Member
Registered: 2023-04-04
Posts: 138  

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

Just use cwm. It is minimal, plays well with modern software.

P.S.

Twm is a very old wm and this unmaintained.

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#5 2024-01-20 12:25:12

Kelsoo
Member
Registered: 2016-12-09
Posts: 56  

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

TWM is a great wm.. once you've configured it.

https://invidious.protokolla.fi/watch?v=tCcNGAivHLM

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#6 2024-01-20 21:34:35

manyroads
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From: 20 Jan 2021 ~ "Free at last"
Registered: 2020-08-18
Posts: 73  
Website

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

FWIW My signature block shows what I use...


Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - ManyRoads
i3wm, bspwm, dkwm, dwm, hlwm, sway, openbox on Sid/ ceres ~ Linux #449130
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." -- H. L. Mencken

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#7 2024-01-21 05:38:21

Danielsan
Member
Registered: 2020-07-14
Posts: 174  

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

Not sure whats wrong with XFCE4 but I use daily Window Manager and I really enjoy, although is hard to customize and GTK3/4 apps did not fits well ... If you like something that does a little bit more than a drawing a window you may also try Fluxbox.

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#8 2024-01-21 21:26:55

stultumanto
Member
Registered: 2023-12-12
Posts: 58  

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

Not sure whats wrong with XFCE4

I wouldn't say there's anything's wrong with it, but it's in an entirely different class from the other WMs being discussed here. It's not so much a window manager as a full-blown desktop environment. I checked in aptitiude, and installing XFCE4 on my system would require downloading 500 MB of new files. It depends on PulseAudio and a whole bunch of other things I don't have installed. By contrast, cwm is less than 200 KB, and twm, if you include the menu package, is less than 2 MB. They don't depend on anything that's not already installed on my (very basic) system.

I'm not saying that makes them better, it's just a different way of doing things. It certainly makes them more suitable for running on older hardware with marginal specs. I have Devuan running on one machine that's 15 years old, with a 1.4 GHz processor, and it's perfectly usable. I'm pretty sure it would chug with XFCE, and Gnome or KDE would almost certainly be unusable.

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#9 2024-01-22 01:05:33

brocashelm
Member
Registered: 2020-06-29
Posts: 114  

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

stultumanto wrote:

I checked in aptitiude, and installing XFCE4 on my system would require downloading 500 MB of new files. It depends on PulseAudio and a whole bunch of other things I don't have installed.

That's because xfce4 itself is a metapackage, so of course it's going to install everything under the sun.

You'd want a "minimal" Xfce install with the following command (feel free to adjust to your own liking with more or less packages):

sudo apt install xfce4-terminal xfce4-session xfce4-settings xfwm4 xfdesktop4 xfce4-panel xfce4-power-manager thunar --no-install-recommends

In fact, you could do away with xfwm4 and just use something like openbox, i3wm, or fvwm in its place. Hell, even just keep xfce4-panel and use feh or xwallpaper for setting your desktop wallpaper without the need for xfdesktop4. thunar is recommended for full functionality, but you could swap it out for rox-filer or spacefm (not the icky GTK3 build, of course) and still use those for a "desktop" UI.

The point is that Xfce is what you make of it, and it can work for various use cases.

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#10 2024-01-22 02:00:52

stultumanto
Member
Registered: 2023-12-12
Posts: 58  

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

I looked up the xfce4 metapackage because that was the way Danielsan cited it, but certainly, your minimal install would be a lot leaner, about 90% by the looks of it. I was actually considering xfce recently until I saw the elogind dependency. I'm not trying to change anyone's mind about the issue, but there's a thread about it here if anyone's interested:
https://dev1galaxy.org/viewtopic.php?id=5909
I haven't checked to see exactly which of those core packages is dependent on elogind, so it may be possible to use significant parts of xfce without elogind.

Twm is a very old wm and this unmaintained.

Why do you say that? The gitlab shows commits as recent as two weeks ago.
https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/xorg/app/twm

Last edited by stultumanto (2024-01-22 02:18:20)

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#11 2024-01-22 12:06:31

stopAI
Member
Registered: 2023-04-04
Posts: 138  

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

thunar is recommended for full functionality

No, you're wrong. Thunar is not a recommended package. It is an essential package…I mean when you install xfce4. After installation, you can use another file browser, but thunar is required.

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#12 2024-01-22 18:35:55

JWM-Kit
Member
Registered: 2020-06-29
Posts: 117  
Website

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

Mike wrote:

9wm, cwm, dwm, evilwm, flwm, lwm and windowlab . . . .
I was wondering if anyone here had tried any of those and liked them.

It seems the tread has spiraled away from the question.  I have tried all of these in the past, but it's been awhile. From my experience I have to agree with @Camtaf . Not only are the listed WMs very basic, they fail to be take the crown for being lightweight. In opinion you can't beat JWM. I've not seen any WM as lightweight, but when configured properly is very nice.

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#13 2024-01-24 08:49:29

stultumanto
Member
Registered: 2023-12-12
Posts: 58  

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

Hey, JWM is great! Thanks for suggesting it. It's not as tiny as cwm, but it's still pretty small.

I've been using cwm long enough that some of its quirks are starting to wear on me. It does this annoying thing where new windows will grab the pointer and center it over themselves. There doesn't appear to be any way to change this behavior, at least, I couldn't find anything about it in the documentation. No other WMs I tried do this, it's really weird.

I also tried twm and ctwm, but I could not figure out how to keep focus from following the pointer. There's a program list called AutoRaise in the configuration file, but whether I put a program in it or not, it doesn't seem to do anything.

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#14 2024-02-12 03:08:48

Mike
Member
From: East Texas, USA
Registered: 2023-12-31
Posts: 35  

Re: requesting recomendations for a small window manager

Kelsoo,
    You praised twm so I assume it works for you. I've got .twmrc pretty much how I want it but not having any luck with f.warpring 'next'. I've hooked it to Alt Tab even written a short function:
Function "warp-and-raise"
{   f.warpring "next"
    f.raise
    f.focus
}

but it doesn't raise the different windows.
What am I missing?
The three windows I use most are named in WindowRing{}.
The other thing that I haven't managed to get a handle on is as stultumanto mentioned the text insertion follows the mouse. NoTitleFocus, if I understand the docs, says it should prevent the keyboard input from changing just because the mouse cursor moves into the window, yet that isn't how it seems to work.
AutoRelativeResize doesn't work for me. Perhaps you can explain how to make that work too.

Thanks and be well,
Mike

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