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So, I'm by no means a Linux novice, and I've used a lot of minimalistic and lightweight software (read: the stuff arch linux users use, then laugh at you for not using). One thing I've never tried is a tiling window manager. I've done a fair amount of research on them, but they all have a lot of features that are not immediately apparent from their introductory documentation. So, I'm asking you to recommend me one, and explain why you think it's a good choice.

My Criteria:

  • Lightweight in memory use and dependencies (so no awesome or xmonad, sorry)
  • Does not require me to configure it in an obscure language (such as haskell, lua, common lisp, etc.)
  • Cooperates with programs that need to float (such as gimp, openoffice, etc)
  • Integrates nicely with or provides substitutes for things like dzen and dmenu
  • Is not so elitist that documentation is cryptic or incomplete
  • Xinerama support would be nice (but probably still not using xmonad)

So far, I think my best options are dwm, wmii, and scrotwm. So, please help me pick between the three, or, if there's another one you just love, tell me what it is, and why I should love it too.

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closed as not constructive by Sathya Feb 24 '12 at 13:40

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Look at Tiling Window Manager – Sathya Aug 5 '10 at 20:11
I did, and none of the replies there really helped me, that's why I asked the question to begin with. Those replies all say either "use awesome," "use xmonad," or "use compiz." I specifically said not awesome or xmonad in my question, and lightweight in memory use, which compiz isn't. One guy said to use ion3, but I've heard its developer is kind of uncooperative, and another person said to use musca, which uses common lisp for configuration (which again, I specifically said no to). Not to be picky, I just don't want people to think I didn't search first. – Gnats Aug 5 '10 at 22:29
Next time, link at the end or middle to the other question and tell people why that doesn't meet your needs and why it's not a dupe of. Otherwise, people will think you didn't search first. – random Aug 5 '10 at 22:46
Ok, sorry. I will in the future. – Gnats Aug 5 '10 at 23:56
i still think its a duplicate. – matthias krull Aug 6 '10 at 13:29

There are most certainly no actively developed tiling window managers not mentioned in the other answers.

The smaller projects disappear to easily because they get abandoned or just take to long to implement the basics in a modern way.

awesome wm checks every point on your list.

You can even integrate it with the gnome desktop environment quickly. That is quiet handy if you want to keep some of the concepts that your are used to.

It used to be poorly documented but that changed with version 3. Take a look at the wiki to get started.

Beeing elitist is part of every tiling window manager community ;)

I am using awesome for about 4 years now and every attempt to change back to something else fails because i miss the lightwight yet powerful .. i would even say awesome .. window manager.

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Awesome and XMonad. These are the two major tiling WMs there. – Shiki Aug 6 '10 at 13:26
+1, awesome is just awesome. – whitequark Aug 17 '10 at 8:46

anion3 (Based on ion3) is quite good, I think. I used ion3 for years in situations I needed to mostly use shells and login to dozens of servers. It really pumped up my productivity back then. The initial learning curve was very steep, but after couple of days I was staggered about how fast I was able to switch to the ssh session I needed to find.

You may give anion3 a try and see if it works well enough for you in case of Firefox etc. For me it did, about you, I don't know.

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You might find that i3 is your friend. Active development, relatively straightforward configuration, relatively lightweight, usually handles floating windows intelligently...

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I've tried some of these tiling window managers (dwm, wmii, awesome) and I've been used awesome for a long time as I found it more versatile, you can nearly do everything with its API and the Lua language. But it's just too much for a lightweight and easy to maintain configuration, also its documentation isn't exhaustive at all; in short, a pain.

I must say that the tiling part of most of these window manager is quite poor, with the exception of wmii. It has an excellent window management, it groups windows in columns and it lets you create as many columns as you want, each one can be resized and can contain a number of windows arranged in different a layout (default, maximum, stacking: tab-like). This is quite near to what I want from a tiling window manager.

wmii can be configured nearly in any language as you use the wmiir application as interface.

But it has some drawbacks like: some ugly bars on the side of the screen that can't be removed without patching the code (maybe it's different now, but I don't think so) and the floating part has some oddity. I've not tested the lastest version yet, but I think it's worth to take a try, I'll do that.

Now I'm using Openbox as I think that the world of the tiling window managers is not ready yet or developers don't put too much effort in it, imho, at least in the right direction.

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