Minimal Window Managers: Day 1

By | 2009/09/24

After getting a lot of feedback from the crowd regarding window managers I’ve decided to try a few out. Initially I’ve tried awesome and wmii, and I’m fairly impressed with both. I do wish I could combine some of the features that I like from each one–and maybe that is possible. Below are my thoughts on each:

This window manager seems like it is very actively developed and has a decent following. It has a lot of features that I haven’t even looked at yet, but for basic window management it works well. It has a decent default configuration and is easy to navigate once you familiarize yourself with the keys.

I like the pre-defined layouts that you can toggle through with mod-space. This allows you to really easily toggle between vertical, horizontal and many more layouts without a lot of work.

I also like that the configuration is so simple. I really haven’t found a need to change much (yet), but the lua based config is very readable from what I’ve seen.


This window manager seems just as minimal as awesome, and even has a few things that I like that I didn’t find in awesome. The only immediate difference in wmii and awesome is the mod key is different (alt on wmii, super on awesome). wmii also swaps the status bar to the bottom vs the top and only displays the space/tag if there are open applications.

I like the dmenu (alt-a) as well as alt-p. I find the auto-find of dmenu a little more dynamic than the super-r ‘run dialog’ of awesome. This is one of the things I like most about wmii vs awesome.

It seems to be easier to arrange windows in different layouts in awesome than it is in wmii, but it is possible just the same.

At the end of the day my machine is still running wmii, but I’m yet undecided. Can anyone offer more tips on usage, scripts, plugins, etc of either?

One thought on “Minimal Window Managers: Day 1

  1. Tim

    I've always been afraid to switch my window manager from gnome due to the trouble i find in configuring and understanding the new managers. Fluxbox and others that i cant remember, seem nice but i have no idea what im doing. Hell even KDE sometimes throws me for a loop.

    Based of this series of articles, i think i may try some of the managers you're running to see how they fit. After all, linux is designed to be customizable!

    Keep it up.

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