Tiling window managers: the right way to manage windows

Over the last few days I have been trying out various TWM’s or Tiling Window Managers’s, I have tried Awesome, dwm, xmonad, ratpoison and ion3. After having a fiddle and a play with them all I have finally settled on xmonad, although I may change my mind sometime down the road.

Why did I choose xmonad, you ask?

I chose xmonad for 3 reasons in the end, the first was ease of configuration. This was a toss-up between Awesome and xmonad, Awesome uses a small Lua config file where its pretty easy to find the settings you want, plus it’s also well documented. However, the reason I chose xmonad is because I didn’t like the way that awesome arranged the windows, I tried various configurations but I still couldn’t get it the way I wanted it. I found that xmonad’s use of a Haskell config file was just as easy as Awesome’s but without the annoying window behaviour.

The second reason was extensibility. Most of the one’s I tried had some form of extensions or addons, although I found xmonad’s the easiest to install and the most appealing to use, dmenu is an example of one. I didn’t like the fact that I had to write C code for dwm, even though I know C it was pretty off-putting.

The last reason was low resource consumption. I found them all to be very lightweight but both dwm and ratpoison lagged and were a little slower bringing up applications than xmonad was.
I’m quite enjoying using xmonad even though I only have a 19″ screen, it’s still well worth it. A word to all those eye-candy and shiny theme lovers out there: don’t bother using a tiling window manager, they have the downside of looking a little ugly, although I dont mind.

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13 Comments on “Tiling window managers: the right way to manage windows”

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