A window manager is a software that controls the appearance of windows created by applications. For example, when you start an application, a window manager is responsible for the placement and appearance of windows in the background.
It’s important to distinguish between a window manager and a desktop environment. Icons, windows, toolbars, directories, wallpapers, and screen widgets are common components of a desktop setting. They offer a collection of libraries and applications that are designed to work together. A window manager is built into a desktop environment.
Let’s take a look at some of the best Linux window managers and their basic features.
This well-documented Linux Display Manager – i3 is fully customizable. This manager can be customized in any way the user desires, from the location of open applications to personalized keyboard shortcuts. It does not require Haskell or LUA, and the plain-text configurations are easily readable.
Switching and controlling floating windows is also easy, as they can be toggled with $mod+shift+space. There is no gad in the window, and the production process is sane in terms of bug prevention. The terminal can also be used by the user to receive updates of completed activities.
2. Awesome WM
Awesome WM is one of the strongest Linux display managers since it allows you to port the asynchronous XCB library rather than the XLib. With the Awesome WM, you can use several tags to keep your workspace organized, and the LUA allows you to customize it completely. This can be customized, skinned, and is keyboard-friendly, as well as having the ability to use shortcuts.
This has a default configuration that supports multiple workspaces. The mouse can also be used to rearrange and resize tables. When configuring it, the user can easily adjust something.
If you need complete extensibility in Haskell, XMonad is the way to go. You will not be restricted to any pre-programmed action or layout; instead, you will be free to program something into the configuration. The fundamental settings are simple to change, and the codes are usually kept clean and safe. This is also lightweight and fast, and it can be used in any slow device.
This simple manager will guide you to crash-free experiences. This manager can also accommodate multi-monitor setups. This is a desktop-optimized window manager, and the Contrib modules will provide you with all you need.
This Linux display manager has a lot in common with Xmonad. It comes with a plain text setup that can be reloaded when the program is running. Users would be able to see the results of their configuration while editing without having to log out. The settings are the same, and any user will appreciate the ease of use of this Linux window manager.
It is very simple to use since it only has a few choices and does not require any kind of language to configure. If you are unfamiliar with Haskell, Spectrwm would be your best choice. It is ideal for beginners and comes with built-in keyboard shortcuts.
It’s simple to understand, and you can change its settings when running it from the command line. What it means is that if you want to customize Herbstluftwm in real-time, you can do so without having to reboot your device.
The best thing about this Linux display manager is that it provides a fantastic mix of automated and manual tiling options. Any user can allow automatic tiling for each app, or convert any automated tiling application to manual tiling.
For setup, the Herbstluftwm makes use of a simple bash script. The user can use different layouts in different frames, and they can also modify the layouts on the fly to their taste. It also supports multi-monitor, so you aren’t limited to only one monitor. It is one of the best Linux window managers because of all of these features and its simplicity.
This Linux display manager is part of the suckles suite, and it typically allows the user to customize and extend it by modifying the code. Essentially, this window manager is held under 2000 SLOC, and it is an example of highly readable and clean code. Dwm is also very lightweight on the system, and the user understands how it works. This is a low-resource manager with a basic interface.
Ratpoison’s setup is straightforward, and because of its simple structure, it will need less configuration. Since it supports keyboards, you will have very little mouse activity if you choose this display manager. You will also be able to use several desktops since it supports it. Ratpoison’s online documentation is regarded as excellent.
If you’re looking for the best Linux display managers that are also lightweight, Fluxbox is one of your best bets. It will run quickly on any device. Users can find it easy to use and configure.
It has its own panel and a range of wallpapers to make it the best window manager possible. The menu is straightforward and mouse-driven. Right-clicking will bring up the root menu for you.
You don’t need to know any programming languages to use Fluxbox, which makes editing and controlling the window easy. It comes with a variety of themes and configuration choices, as well as automatic tiling options.
This is one of the best Linux display managers to use because you don’t need any programming knowledge to set up the environment. Since the setup is achieved through a user interface, you can do it even though you don’t have any coding or editing experience. Enlightenment is extremely easy, and mouse-driven menus are perfect for laptop battery life.
You can easily customize it to your preferences, and you also have the option of adding one optional compositor. Enlightenment provides interactive desktop previews within the desktop widget, as well as the ability to turn the desktop within its own thumbnails.
Openbox is a lightweight Linux display manager that is also one of the most well-known. During the boot phase, this will only use about 100MB of your RAM. This is a lot more reliable, and it allows for more bug fixing and checking.
It is highly configurable and simple to use. You can easily edit a few of this manager’s configuration files, which will blend in nicely with standard desktop elements like bars, menu buttons, and so on.
To Sum Up…
We’ve gone through all of the features of the best Linux window managers available in 2021. Now it’s up to you to decide which one to use. There are more tiling window managers to choose from, but not all of them provide almost a full list of features as shown above.