Since more than ten years I use IceWM, a clean and compact window manager for X. I can only recommend it.
IceWM in its own words: The goal of IceWM is speed, simplicity, and not getting in the user’s way.
These goals are nicely met.
Among the features of IceWM:
- multiple workspaces
- easily move windows between workspaces
- roll-in and roll-up of windows (just like a carpet)
- task bar can be hidden or positioned top, bottom
- user defined keys and shortcuts
My computer is set-up as a server, i.e., I do not start a window manager after boot. How do I start IceWM? In
/etc/bash.bashrc I defined
alias myx='xinit /usr/bin/icewm & sleep 5; exit'
I log-in to the text terminal, then I type
By this I do not leave a shell open.
My desktop does not have icons. I do not like them, I do not miss them. Instead, I start some programs by key shortcuts, other by just typing in the command in a terminal. Here is my
keys file in
key "Alt+Ctrl+d" xclock -geometry 57x35-0+0 -d -strftime "%H:%M" key "Alt+Ctrl+j" jpilot key "Alt+Ctrl+l" xlock -mode blank key "Alt+Ctrl+t" uxterm -r key "Alt+Ctrl+v" xawtv key "Alt+Ctrl+e" nedit key "Alt+Ctrl+g" geeqie key "Alt+Ctrl+m" /opt/google/chrome/chrome --incognito key "Alt+Ctrl+n" /opt/google/chrome/chrome
The most important shortcuts are
- Alt+Ctrl+t for a terminal window
- Alt+Ctrl+n for Google Chrome
A comparison of various window managers can be found in Wikipedia: Comparison of Window Managers.