WM

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Window Managers

xwm

xnwm

uwm

1985

developed by the Digital Equipment Corporation for their Ultrix operating system. It was released in 1985. Shortly thereafter, it became included as part of the base X Window System distribution, beginning with X10R3. Initially, it was distributed alongside two other window managers (xwm and xnwm).

In 1986, the X Window System switched to version 11 of the protocol. Only uwm was ported, so it became the only window manager for X Window System until X11R4 release, where it was replaced by twm. uwm has never been updated since.

twm

1987

The name originally stood for Tom's Window Manager, but the software was renamed Tab Window Manager by the X Consortium when they adopted it in 1989 (X11R4).

twm is a re-parenting window manager that provides title bars, shaped windows and icon management. It is highly configurable and extensible. twm was a breakthrough achievement in its time, but it has been largely superseded by other window managers which, unlike twm, use a widget toolkit rather than writing directly against Xlib.

Various other window managers—such as vtwm, tvtwm, CTWM, and FVWM—were built on twm's source code.

awm

1988

descended from uwm.

olvm / olvwm

1989 / 1996?

OPEN LOOK Window Manager was the default stacking window manager for OpenWindows, the original desktop environment included with SunOS and Solaris. Its unique characteristic is its implementation of the OPEN LOOK look and feel.

Scott Oaks developed a variant of olwm, called olvwm (the OPEN LOOK Virtual Window Manager), which implements a virtual root window with dimensions greater than those of the video display.

swm

1989

Developed by Tom LaStrange at Solbourne Computer (computer workstations and servers based on the SPARC microprocessor architecture, largely compatible with Sun Microsystems' Sun-4 systems) in 1990. The most important innovation of swm was the introduction of the virtual desktop. It also introduced a primitive form of session management (restoring programs in use at the time of shutdown) to X.

Vtwm

1990

tvtwm

1991

Derived from twm to which it adds the virtual desktop feature from swm. All of these window managers were originally written by Tom LaStrange.

Unlike most more recent virtual window managers, tvtwm models the root window as a single large space, with the physical desktop being a viewport onto that virtual root window. The user can scroll the viewport around the virtual desktop either by pressing certain keys or by clicking into a scaled down representation of the virtual desktop, the so-called panner.

CTWM

1992

Claude Lecommandeur from the source code for twm, which, inspired by HP's vuewm, he extended to allow for virtual desktops ("workspaces" in CTWM's terminology.)

PieWM

1992

tvtwm fork, Has pie menus (circle around the mouse).

mwm

1992

Motif Window Manager

FVWM

1993

Derived from twm, has lots of forks: Afterstep, Xfce, Enlightenment, WindowMaker, Metisse, Bowman, AmiWM, FVWM-XPM (pre-Enlightenment), NWM, MVLWM, SCWM

9wm

1994

ADAM

1995

AmiWM

1996?

wm2 / wmx

1996 / 1998

Window Maker

1997


Blackbox

1997

IceWM

1997

MLVWM

1997

Xfwm

Xfwm - used in Xfce, intially based on fvwm2, itself derived from twm, redesigned to minimize memory consumption, provide a 3-D look to window frames, and provide a simple virtual desktop.

4Dwm

1998?

derived from mwm. uses the Motif widget toolkit, normally used on Silicon Graphics workstations running IRIX.

aewm

1998

AfterStep

1999

Scwm

1999

plwm

1999

PWM

2000

Tiling

Succeeded by Ion

Ion

2000

Tiling

Successor to PWM, development dead

Fork: Notion

Sawfish

2000

  • Sawfish is an extensible window manager using a Lisp-based scripting language. Its policy is very minimal compared to most window managers. Its aim is simply to manage windows in the most flexible and attractive manner possible. All high-level WM functions are implemented in Lisp for future extensibility or redefinition. what i wanted when using litestep

larswm

2000

ratpoison

2000

PLWM

2000

Fluxbox

2001

WindowLab

2001

Fork of aewm. Stacking.

evilwm

2001

Stacking, minimal/small.

Openbox

2002

Metacity

2002

miwm

2002

Hackedbox

2002

Oroborus

2002

NovaWM

2002

Stumpwm

2003

cwm

2004

Calm Window Manager, stacking. was based on evilwm, rewritten as a 9wn fork, then rewritten

wmii

2005

Tiling/stacking, plan9 like interface.

PekWM

2005

Stacking

JWM

2005

Stacking, Windows 98 like.

whimsy

2005

Python, stackable.

dwm

2006

Tiling, configuration in source header file.

spectrwm

2006

  • spectrwm is a small dynamic tiling window manager for X11. It tries to stay out of the way so that valuable screen real estate can be used for much more important stuff. It has sane defaults and does not require one to learn a language to do any configuration. It was written by hackers for hackers and it strives to be small, compact and fast. It was largely inspired by xmonad and dwm.

FLWM

2006?

Stacking, based on the FLTK toolkit

Matchbox

2007

xmonad

2007

  • xmonad is a dynamically tiling X11 window manager that is written and configured in Haskell. In a normal WM, you spend half your time aligning and searching for windows. xmonad makes work easier, by automating this.

Config

cabal --recompile
  after changing ~/.xmonad/xmonad.hs

Hotkeys

mod shift enter
  start terminal
mod shift c
  close current window

mod w
  reload xmonad

mod space
  rotate through window layouts
mod shift space
  reset to workspace default
mod tab
  tab through windows
super 2
  switch to workspace 2

Awesome

2007

Config

echo 'naughty.notify({ text = "hello from tty" })' | awesome-client

debug rc.lua changes;

Xephyr :1 -ac -br -noreset -screen 1152x720 &
DISPLAY=:1.0 awesome -c ~/.config/awesome/rc.lua.new

If xdg/awesome default config loads instead of .config/awesome, this is due to error in the rc.lua.

Usage

[mod]-Enter
  new terminal window
[mod]-c
  close window

[mod]-j
  rotate window selection clockwise
[mod]-k
  rotate window selection anticlockwise
[mod]-J
  move active window clockwise
[mod]-K
  move active window anticlockwise

[mod]-f
  fullscreen active window

[mod]-a
  create new tag
[mod]-s
  rename active tag
[mod]-shift-r
  reload awesome (to resource config)

Multihead

Wibox

Widgets

Colours

The color format in awesome is either a standard X color name (blue, darkblue, lightred, etc) or a hexadecimal formatted color (#rrggbb or #rrggbbaa). By using the hexadecimal format, you can also specify an alpha channel: that means that #00ff00 will draw pure green, but #00ff00aa will set the alpha channel to ‘aa’ and will blend the green with the color under it.

Text format

You can use Pango markup in a text string. This allows formating the text rendered inside widgets. Pango markup documentation can be found in the Pango documentation at http://library.gnome.org/devel/pango/stable/PangoMarkupFormat.html.

A Pango markup example: .

Shifty

Revelation

Expose-like client selection.

Freedesktop menu

MPD

Other

manager.


3.5

subtle

2007

  • subtle is a manual tiling window manager with a rather uncommon approach of tiling: Instead of relying on predefined layouts, subtle divides the screen into a grid with customizeable slots (called gravities). For better understanding, the default config uses a 3x3 grid and maps each gravity to one key of the numpad. With those keys, windows can be moved directly to the desired gravity - the same can be done with tagging rules in the config. Another unique concept is the strict tagging: Unlike other tiling window managers, subtle doesn't allow weak tagging and always maps windows to virtual desktops (called views) with matching tags, regardless of the current active view.

Echinus

2007

Tritium

2007?

  • https://github.com/stew/tritium - a tabbed/tiling window manager. tritium is a tiling/tabbed window manager for the X Window System inspired by the ion3 window manager. It was written completely from scratch in python and shares no actual code with ion3. tritium is implemented in python using the plwm ("pointless window manager") library

SithWM

2007

wmfs

2008

CLFSWM

2008

Lucca WM

2008?

i3

2009

Based on wmii, tiling/floating.






i3-msg exec application
  # start your application on the workspace where it was called






bindsym $mod+n exec i3-msg move to container workspace $(($(wmctrl -d | wc -l) + 1))
  # move to next numbered workspace whether existing or empty




  • https://github.com/joepestro/i3session - remembers what's running in your i3 workspaces by saving a session file (in ~/.i3/session). It is then able to restore the running processes (and their simple orientation) to one or more workspaces. Since i3session executes i3 commands sequentially (tree traversal), changing focus during restore will affect where clients open. By default, the i3-nagbar will appear during restore with a message to remind you of this.
  • https://github.com/pitkley/i3nator - Tmuxinator for the i3 window manager. It allows you to manage what are called "projects", which are used to easily restore saved i3 layouts (see Layout saving in i3) and extending i3's base functionality by allowing you to automatically start applications too.



jq:

.[].num

.[] | select(.visible and .focused).num+1)

if ([(.[][] | select(.visible == true) | select(.focused == true).num)+1] as $desk | [.[][].num] as $array | $array | contains($desk)) == true then "one" else "two" end

TinyWM

Notion

2010

Tiling, tabbed



Fork of Ion

Musca

2009

Bluetile

2010

  • Bluetile is a tiling window manager for Linux, designed to integrate with the GNOME desktop environment. It provides both a traditional, stacking layout mode as well as tiling layouts where windows are arranged to use the entire screen without overlapping. Bluetile tries to make the tiling paradigm easily accessible to users coming from traditional window managers by drawing on known conventions and providing both mouse and keyboard access for all features. based on Xmonad

mcwm

2010

catwm

2010

euclid-wm

2010

wind

2010

Wind is a window manager for the X Window System. It supports virtual desktops, optional Xft font rendering, and is pretty standards compliant. It provides overlapping window management with click-to-type focus. Unlike most window managers, Wind does not have the concept of minimized or hidden windows. Instead of hiding and unhiding windows, the virtual desktops abstraction makes it easy to group similar tasks and switch between these groups instantly using convenient key bindings. Standards compliancy is a prominent goal of the project, and Wind supports almost all mandatory parts of the ICCCM and the Extended Window Manager Hints specifications. Full compliancy is expected in the next major release.

marco

2011

Fork of metacity, used by MATE.

i5

2011

Tiling, fork of i3 with touchscreen features.

herbstluftwm

2011

  • herbstluftwm is a manual tiling window manager for X11 using Xlib and Glib. Its main features can be described with: the layout is based on splitting frames into subframes which can be split again or can be filled with windows (similar to i3/ musca). tags (or workspaces or virtual desktops or …) can be added/removed at runtime. Each tag contains an own layout. exactly one tag is viewed on each monitor. The tags are monitor independent (similar to xmonad). it is configured at runtime via ipc calls from herbstclient. So the configuration file is just a script which is run on startup. (similar to wmii/ musca)

monsterwm

2011

  • monsterwm is a minimal, lightweight, tiny but monstrous dynamic tiling window manager. It will try to stay as small as possible. Currently under 700 lines with the config file included. It provides a set of four different layout modes (vertical stack, bottom stack, grid and monocle/fullscreen) by default, and has floating mode support. Each virtual desktop has its own properties, unaffected by other desktops' settings. Finally monsterwm supports multiple monitors setups.

tilenol

2011

nwm

2011

  • nwm - A dynamic window manager for X11 written with Node.js

Mer

2011

dminiwm / snapwm

2011

Minimal and lightweight dynamic tiling window manager. Fork of catwm.

wingo

2011

Floating and tiling, per monitor desktops. Written in Go.

no-wm

2011

Foo-Wm

Aura

TTWM / Alopex

2012

  • https://github.com/TrilbyWhite/alopex
  • https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Alopex
  • TTWM is a minimal tiling window manager combining concepts or elements from TinyWM, DWM, and i3wm. Inspiration has also been drawn from other great tilers like MonserWM. TinyTiler is currently under 650 lines of code. In contrast to other tilers, TinyTiler does not have modes nor does have window rules. TinyTiler has only two layouts: right stack and bottom stack. These choices were by design. TinyTiler instead provides two screen sections, the master and the stack. In TinyTiler only one stack window is visibile at a time, the others have tabs in the statusbar.

Qtile

2012

Goomwwm

2012

bspwm

2012

Very nice and atomic.

bspc set focused_border_color '#ff0000'
bspc set border_width '3px'
bspc set window_gap 0
bspc set focus_follows_pointer true

Deep Space Window Manager

2012

Piwm

2013

  • Piwm is a very small window manager written in Bash. Following are the 5 task it performs : 1) Ctrl + t : Opens xterm, 2) Ctrl + f : Makes current window full screen, 3) Alt + Mouseleft : Moves the window, 4) Alt + Mouseright : Rescales the window, 5) Ctrl + F1 : Refocus the window

Guile-WM

2013

FrankenWM

2014

dynamic tiling WM featuring the v-stack, b-stack, grid, fibonacci, dualstack, equal and monocle layouts out of the box. If you want to, you can add gaps between the windows as well. monsterwm-xcb fork, thus coming from monsterwm, thus coming from dminiwm, thus coming from catwm.

howm

2014

wtftw

2014

written in rust

adwm

2014

  • https://github.com/bbidulock/adwm - originally a fork of Echinus which in turn was a fork of dwm, and borrows concepts from velox, awesome and spectrwm. What it includes is a full rewrite with significant updates and additions resulting in full EWMH (NetwM), WMH (WinWM), MWMH (CDE/Motif), ICCCM 2.0 compliance and support.

See also the XDE apps.

eggwm

2014

swm

2014

exwm

2015

katriawm

2015

non-reparenting, tiling window manager with window decorations. It’s a learning project started in December 2015.

Lunchbox Window Manager

2015

Way Cooler

2016

other tiling