Global Constant
Steve Nay's ramblings

One window manager to rule them all...?

Every Linux hacker has his favorite window manager (or maybe even just the console!). What is mine? Fluxbox.

I’ve used GNOME, Xfce, fluxbox, and xmonad, and I like fluxbox the best. Here is my reasoning:

  1. Speed It’s fast. Really fast. Not as fast as xmonad, but it retains enough of the elements of the more mainstream GUI WMs that you don’t feel quite so intimidated by it.
  2. Customizability Fluxbox lets you customize your theme, menu, hotkeys, and a few other things, and it gives you more control over those things than do GNOME or Xfce. Given, it’s all done from text files (unless you use fluxconf), so it takes some time to learn. But it’s quite powerful.
  3. Compatability All my normal software still runs fine under fluxbox. This might be just because I have GNOME installed, too, I’m not sure. But it works.
  4. Keyboard use It’s pretty easy to use virtually all the fluxbox-specific features from the keyboard (although it sometimes requires tweaking, as with the Alt+Tab behavior). And the terminal always occupies a front row seat on my desktop.
  5. Lean, green, computing machine Fluxbox just has the stuff you need, and no heavyweight GUIs to manage it. Of couse, that makes it harder for the beginning user, but both the power user and the novice can be productive with it.
I started using Linux under GNOME, and I still like it. Especially on Ubuntu (the distro I run), it makes it easy to do everything from text editing to web browsing to system administration from the GUI. And that’s good. But once I became more accustomed to the terminal and the command-oriented way of doing things, fluxbox was a great step forward.

All the same, I still don’t believe there is “one window manager to rule them all.” What are your thoughts on the plethora of window managers? Should it be a battle for the fittest, is the community headed in the right direction by providing so many choices?