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I'm a great fan of Tiling Window Managers, but It's odd that I couldn't find any Linux Distro that features one as main WM.

For example, Crunchbang features OpenBox, Bodhi features E17, so... wich one features Xmonad/Awesome/I3/DWM...?

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2  
What is the “main WM” of a distribution? Most distributions ship a large number of window managers, and each user can choose his favorite. –  Gilles Nov 1 '11 at 21:50

6 Answers 6

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Salix Ratpoison 13.37 is released! This is probably the first ever linux distribution release featuring Ratpoison as the main window manager. The aim of the Ratpoison edition is to create a system that is fully usable with the keyboard only...

(via http://www.linux.org.ru/news/slackware/6856589 (a news item, in Russian))

Salix OS is a derivative of Slackware (via Zenwalk), as explained in the news item where I've read about it.

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Nice. That one slipped under my radar. –  gregnotcraig Nov 2 '11 at 0:20
    
This is the first answer that directly answers the question! –  phunehehe Nov 22 '11 at 5:52

I don't believe there is. The reason for this is probably that people that use tiling window managers tend to be a) quite technically proficient, and b) tend towards minimalism—or exacting standards of control over their setups.

Neither of these two conditions lends themselves naturally to pre-built solutions.

If your window manager of choice is dwm, for example, why would you want to install a distro where someone else had made the majority of the decisions about the packages, environment etc for you?

You would be much better off with a minimal install of your base distro and configuring everything else yourself – which undermines the rationale for a tiling distribution.

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Ubuntu rocks ;-) The problem of assembling a custom distribution yourself is even more maintenance. Most distributions only do well when you use the default configuration, the rest is usually terribly tested. If one really wants to take that road, I recommend Linux from Scratch or Gentoo. That way you have at least some reasonable source package management framework. Or if you want to win some speed-typing competition, stow is not bad. –  Philip Nov 22 '11 at 0:25
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I have had no issues with Arch Linux (where this is the default) or with using the same approach from a minimal Debian install. –  jasonwryan Nov 22 '11 at 0:30
    
Last time I tried Debian was 3 years ago. I tried 3 releases and none was able to detect Harddrive and CD-ROM drive at the same time without any magic applied. Unfortunately I never tried Arch Linux... –  Philip Nov 22 '11 at 0:37
    
@Philip Please try Debian Wheezy now. It's ready for you buddy :) –  capdragon Jul 30 '13 at 15:58

Your best bet is to go for a "minimal install" of your favorite distro and then "build up" from there. A few distros I have used that offer minimalist installations:

  • Arch Linux would actually be perfect for the minimalist approach as you only install what you want (and dependencies). Awesome, Scrotwm, dwm xmonad, and other tiling WM are available either in community, extra or the AUR
  • Ubuntu offers an alternative download
  • The OpenSuSE DVD has a "minimal X" installation
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Upvote for Arch Linux mention. –  laebshade Nov 1 '11 at 22:33

Just seen another note about a distro featuring such a window manager:

Awesome has been around for a few years now, but may be gaining some visibility now that Sabayon Linux has added an awesome edition. Guest author Koen Vervloesem has been using awesome for a number of years, and subscribers can click below for his look at the window manager from this week's edition.

Full Story

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http://bloggerspath.com/5-best-lightweight-linux-distributions-your-old-computers/

Zenix comes very close. Although I can't tell whether "Awesome" is the default window manager, at least the distro's website is full of it.

Besides that... You have to ask yourself the question whether you really want to do this. Those niche distributions usually suck when it comes to up-to-date packages and long time support. (Or they are for other reasons heavy in maintenance like Gentoo...)

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I'm currently using Awesome on Manjaro (netinstall) and everyting is going well.

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This doesn't really answer the question as Manjaro doesn't ship with Awesome as a default WM... –  jasonwryan Jul 20 '13 at 5:14
    
In fact, there is a Manjaro respin featuring Awesome as the default WM. sourceforge.net/projects/manjaro-awesome-respin –  Jean-François Mongrain Apr 16 at 23:25

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