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I'm looking for a window manager that is not based on the "standard" taskbar (which I find a poor idea and I'm completely tired of). I'm aware of tiling window managers and improvements in last versions of operating systems, but I can't find what I need.

I suppose that any window takes the whole screen (or can be tiled), and I imagine switching between windows like that: on a hotkey or mouse hot zone the screen becomes a task switcher where tasks are organized in a somewhat convenient manner. Well, it's a bit like a taskbar with autohide, but I think there could be some more convenient ideas than simply stacking icons and descriptions...

It is also supposed to be lightweight enough, for example to run on a netbook.

Any suggestions?

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What OS are you on? Some Linux I assume? –  Wuffers May 22 '10 at 23:43
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migrated from stackoverflow.com May 22 '10 at 11:44

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5 Answers

I'll assume you're using Linux.

I used xmonad for a while (written in Haskell). It's a tiling window manager that has hotkey and mouse bindings. It's very spartan, but it does the job pretty well. It's also lightweight and very fast. That might do the trick for you.

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Awesome, Xmonad, and dwm are all good choices for lightweight, configurable, usually tiling window managers. However, each have certain flaws. Xmonad isn't for mouse users. Awesome changes its configuration API with each update, so your config script breaks. I personally use Awesome. I enjoy using Lua to script my window behavior, and I also don't use a taskbar.

Note that Awesome also has good support for building whatever sort of UI widgets you could want, including a taskbar. It can tab windows as well.

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Sounds like LXDE with compiz without a panel or something like that. I personally use tint2 panel 0.1sec autohide (instant), with openbox and custom hotkeys. Can choose from the windows many ways, so I have no problem. Getting overwhelmed by windows is quite impossible because once you get used to multi desktop setups, you won't suffer from that. (Or you can use any desktop environment. Compiz provides that window choosing which you say, and there are many others with different managing. Like fluxbox can tab windows. Openbox provides a list of windows, a switcher, tint2 provides a taskbar for that, there is a tiling app which provides tiling for all of this..)

On Windows there are only a few usable replacements, mostly based on bb4win. They are not completely functional, can't really be used for daily work. ( I found them like this, maybe it works for someone, I talk only in my 'position'. )

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I used fvwm for many years. It doesn't have any extra stuff by default, and it was once even known for being low-memory -- and that was when we didn't have RAM like you do today!

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use fluxbox, you can disable / hide the taskbar (called 'toolbar') completely.

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