In the X window system, a window manager controls the way your desktop works, including how the windows look and act.

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22
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6answers
15k views

Tiling windows in GNOME

How can I get tiling windows in GNOME?
21
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11answers
7k views

the lightest way to have a GUI in Linux?

I have been using Gnome and KDE for a while, and I am now running Compiz standalone... Regarding system resource, I think the most heavy ones are feature-rich desktop environments (Gnome, KDE), then ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the architecture of Mac OS X's windowing system?

I am familiar with how the X11 system works, where clients connect via a socket to the server process and send operations to the window server to perform certain operations on their behalf. But I do ...
16
votes
11answers
3k views

Need advice in choosing a tiling WM

I've used GNOME's default window manager for some years, but now I want to try a tiling window manager. I want it to satisfy these two criteria: WM must be lightweight WM should not be complicated ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Setting the window dimensions of a running application

I'm trying to start an application within Ubuntu (xfce or gnome) and via the command line and was wondering if there's a generic way to set the dimensions of a given window of a given app that is ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

How to get rid of desktop environment and use a window manager only?

I have been using xterm for all my work. I realized that the features that desktop environments like GNOME has to provide are not of much use to me. Now, is it possible that I remove GNOME and KDE ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a way to virtually split my monitor (for maximizing windows)

My question is essentially if I can fake the behaviour one gets using usual window managers on linux if one has a dual head setup. That is, if I maximize a window it maximizes only on one part of the ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How to separate Awesome's `rc.lua` configuration into multiple files?

I've just moved to Awesome WM from OpenBox. I like that it's very extensible, customizable and I have huge control about window layout. I like structured and organized things and I'd like to separate ...
11
votes
1answer
494 views

Does window minimizing free memory usage?

Both the undisplayed maximized window and minimized window are invisible to the end user. By undisplayed I mean an inactive maximized window covered by the active window. There is a difference ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Invert colors of the active window

Sometimes I work in low light and I need to invert the color of specific windows to reduce my eye strain. This could be my pdf viewer to web pages for reference work. I know how to invert the entire ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Windows Managers vs Login Managers Vs Display Managers Vs Desktop Environment

I posted a question and noticed people weren't distinguishing correctly between many of these things: Windows Managers vs Login Managers Vs Display Managers Vs Desktop Environment. Can someone please ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

X, Xorg and D-Bus: what is the difference?

In the process of learning to do certain things in GUI programming (e.g., reserving space on the screen for an application), I have to learn more about the Window Manager, usually X11 on Linux (I'm ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

How to get alt+right mouse to resize windows again!

I'm frustrated that this was removed/altered in gnome-shell3. There are certain key bindings for resizing and moving windows like alt+right click etc, that I'd like back. I've tried to use the system ...
9
votes
2answers
356 views

Retrieve the window name and role

I'm running Eclipse and I detached some of the windows. Now I have 4 windows linked to Eclipse. What I need is to be able to identify each individual window and be able to control it. If I run tools ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between the various tiling modes in KWin, and how do I use them?

There are 3 tiling modes in KDE: spiral, columns and floating. What does each do and how do make them work for me? For example, spiral seems to cut my screen in half then the next half another way. Is ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Configure dwm to automatically open applications

I've just got dwm configured to my liking in terms of colors and tags. I'm just looking for one more thing: the ability to have certain applications automatically start with dwm on certain tags. For ...
8
votes
1answer
810 views

Assigning awesome keybinding for more than 9 tags

I'm using the awesome WM and the nine default tags (or "virtual desktops") are not anywhere near enough for me: I've got a lot of VMs and remote VNCs etc. In the past I've used window managers with ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the most compatible tiny X server?

I've been building LFS/BLFS for about a month now, with multiple failures and almost no successes, and I've just been informed that there exist Xorg-like window systems that are incredibly tiny, as ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

Xfce 4: Change global keyboard shortcuts

I use Alt+Space in Emacs, but in Xfce it pops up window manager menu at the upper left corner of a window. How do i disable Alt+Space for Xfce and change global keyboard shortcuts in general?
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Gnome, KDE, XFCE… which is most simple and customizable?

This'll be my first Linux install, so I've never had to choose between a desktop environment (I come from OS X) -- forgive me if I'm not fully literate on where exactly the OS ends and the desktop ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between a Window Manager and a Desktop Environment?

What exactly is the difference between between a Window Manager and a Desktop Environment? E.g.: sawfish vs. gnome.
7
votes
2answers
2k views

The most light-weight Compiz compatible environment?

I require Compiz for organizational reasons; I make heavy use of its window sorting features. But I like light-weight environments so that I can give as much of my system's resources to the ...
7
votes
3answers
432 views

I want my Ubuntu 9.04/9.10 back, is there any current similar distro?

I was switching to Linux in the optimal time, around Ubuntu 9.04/9.10. I am a programmer, so I don't want to be a "Linux guru", that's why Ubuntu was perfect for me - until Unity/Gnome3. In latest ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

Alternatives to FVWM window manager?

I've been using FVWM for over a decade, and for some time I've been concerned that the window manager is dying a slow death. I realize that 2.6.0 just came out a few days ago, and ironically that is ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

How to close any window in Awesome WM?

The shortcut to close individual applications completely depends on the application developer. Some examples: Ctrl-q for Firefox Meta-F4 for Chromium Ctrl-Shift-q for GNOME Shell To close ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Which window manager has Python bindings?

I've been coding bits here and there with Python and I'm most interested in Desktop Environments, for which I always have ideas I want to try out. I have tried to play around with python-xlib but ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Kde: how to bind permanently an application to a desktop/activity?

Im pretty new to Kde 4.8 and i can not figure out how to get this behaviour that i used to have in Gnome: Desktop 1: developer/misc (browser, editor/ide, diff, etc..) Desktop 2: virtual machines ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to identify which xterm a shell or process is running in?

I usually use long running X sessions with several virtual desktops and many many xterms. I also use job control in the shell (zsh). Sometimes I wish I could identify an xterm a shell or process is ...
6
votes
1answer
197 views

What kind of notification is Firefox sending when a download has finished?

I'm using the dynamic window manager of suckless (dwm). I noticed that firefox is able to send nice notifications when a download has finished. See the two figures When I'm on a different tag, I ...
6
votes
1answer
517 views

Emacs and windows manager keyboard shortcuts without “Super” key

I found a classic M-series keyboard and I want to use it. However, it does not have the "Windows" key (a.k.a "Super"), only the Shift, Control and Alt modifiers. My keyboard shortcuts are cluttered ...
6
votes
2answers
104 views

Window with activity in GNOME, notifies but doesn't show itself after Alt+Tab?

When a process that has an open window is activated, it remains un-focused and hidden underneath other windows but gives a small notification below that there was action. This is particularly evident ...
6
votes
3answers
699 views

KDE: how do I make applications present on all activities by default

When I'm at work, I use KDE activities and map them to my projects. I always use the same applications on every project, so I'd like to keep my windows visible when I change the activity. For the ...
5
votes
1answer
476 views

Understanding linux desktop

I use debian wheezy xfce and want to set up my desktop. But I read some settings are redundant. Hence I want to understand how everything works, but I am massively lost. Can someone please sort, ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between a Console, Shell, Terminal, Terminal emulator, Terminal multiplexer, and a Window manager?

For example. What is the difference between a default 'interface/console' of FreeBSD/archlinux, vs Terminal, vs Terminal emulator like Xterm, vs Terminal multiplexer like tmux, vs Window manager like ...
5
votes
2answers
984 views

Get current Virtual Desktop - number/name/tag/id?

How to get number and/or name (or tag/id... etc) of currently used virtual desktop ? Command line, scripting, C/C++ solutions allowed (, while portable to C/C++ are preferred). ;) I'm mostly ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Easily switching over to a dynamic window manager from KDE

I've been using KDE on Opensuse for some time now and I feel like improving performance and using the most of my dual screens. I discovered tiling window managers and thought it would be a cool thing ...
5
votes
2answers
473 views

What are the user interface subsystems, their components and responsibilities?

I am trying to understand the different subsystems that are in charge of the user interface, the terminology to refer to them, and how they are structured; so far I know there are: At the top level: ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

i3 and XFCE: how to get rid of the Desktop container, float windows and shutdown the machine?

I'm using the i3 Window Manager, and am quite happy so far, but I have a few issues. Using XFCE, my "Desktop" is seen as a separate container (window). That means that when I open a new program in ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

i3wm : start applications on specific workspaces when i3 starts

How can I start applications on specific workspaces in i3 when it starts? Why is this not working in my config file? : workspace 1; exec firefox; workspace 2; exec chromium; workspace 1
5
votes
1answer
48 views

What is the difference between a windowing system and a window manager?

What is the difference between a windowing system (for example X11, Wayland) and a window manager (Awesome, Compiz, OpenBox)?
4
votes
3answers
799 views

Drag and drop between windows in tiling i.e. minimalist WMs?

Do any any minimal WMs, like scrotwm or xmonad (OR any others), support drag and drop between windows out of the box? If so which? If not, is there a way to enable such functionality? A classic ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Window manager and desktop environment for touchscreens

What are some good choices for desktop environments and window manager for touchscreens? Currently I am using XFCE with custom GTK settings for making the controls larger, but that is far from ...
4
votes
2answers
187 views

Can you tell a window to spawn behind others?

I have a script that recompiles and relaunches a software project I am building in linux. However, I don't usually want to see my program's window immediately after it has launched, as I want to keep ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Graphical interface on a remote server?

I've got a VPS with Debian running on it. I connect to it using SSH and configure it in a console mode. Now I want to install some graphical interface to it and use my VPS in graphical mode from my ...
4
votes
2answers
272 views

Need a programmers advice on *X display manager, window manager and composit manager combination

First of all: I asked this question on SuperUser, when I wasn't thinking about a StackExchange Site for Linux-related questions. So if this violates any rules please feel free to close. I have ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Windows 8 style window manager for Linux

Are there any windows managers out there for Linux that offers the "metro" style window management that Windows 8 offers? Actually it's not just Windows 8 that offers the style I'm looking for. iOS, ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Terminal and web browser combination

I often use only two applications, terminal and web browser. I like the tmux application which enables to split a terminal window into more regions. I noticed that I can open lynx in another region ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

How to make Mutter default window manager

I'm running Debian Squeeze and removed Metacity in favor of Mutter. How do I avoid having to run mutter --replace each time I start Xorg (GNOME)?
4
votes
3answers
439 views

Is there is tool similar to ShiftIt on OS X?

I'm looking for a keyboard controlled window sizing utility similar to ShiftIt on Mac OS X: https://github.com/fikovnik/ShiftIt
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Fullscreen game messes with my xrandr dual-monitor setup

I have Gentoo Linux, the Awesome window manager and an open-source ATI driver. Here's my xorg.conf: Section "Files" #ModulePath "/usr/lib64/xorg/modules" FontPath ...