Time to change Window Manager again?

Posted by – 18/03/2012

Ten years ago I was a fan of NEXTSTEP desktops and a die hard user of Window Maker. I love dockapps, and used to collect them.

Things changed, and, as I moved from Desktops to Laptops, I began using simpler Window Managers. The powerful keyboard-shortcuts Fluxbox along with its capability to join windows with tabbing won me over and I began using it in my Laptop, while preserving Window Maker in my Desktop. In time, Fluxbox were used in both sides.

Then the netbooks came and I bought an EeePC. The screen was so small that even the non-obstructive nature of Fluxbox were not enough. I began to try tiling window managers and I settle for Awesome. I was using Fluxbox in my Desktop and my Laptop, but Awesome was running in my Netbook. Tiling was making a lot of more sense and I could be productive, even in a small Netbook. Eventually, I started using Bluetile in my Laptop. Also, Bluetile was written in Haskell, and I was interested in Functional Languages by that time…

Now I got a new Laptop, and, since it features a Realtek 8191SE Wi-fi card, I had to install Wheezy (in my laptop, I usually run stable). Wheezy comes with the new GNOME 3 desktop, of which I read a lot.

I decided to give it a try. I am missing advanced tiling (it seems that GNOME3 tiling works just in the side-by-side approach)… and I also think that creating custom launchers should be improved… but so far I am not disliking it, which is a good step toward adopting it. I’ll give it a week to convince me. Let’s see how it works its charm on me 🙂

11 Comments on Time to change Window Manager again?

  1. spectra says:

    @lachlan, @Chris Irwin,

    I installed gTile, and it works quite good. If only I had the chance to add some custom keyboard shortcuts for that, it would make a difference in my experience…

    I am checking shellshape, which promises to be more Bluetile-like… It seems a pain to install, though…

  2. Albin says:

    I’m using xmonad on my main computer (it’s got two screens, so anything else would’ve meant a lot of work moving the windows around), but my laptop runs pure Gnome 3. I’ve been thinking about trying to modify gTile to dynamically tile windows, but so far I haven’t done anything except looking a bit at the code and hoping someone else will do it.

  3. lachlan says:


    tiling for gnome 3 that looks actually quite awesome in it’s pedigree! 😉

  4. Chris Irwin says:

    You might want to grab the gTile extension. It is not as fluid as using a true tiling window manager, and it still needs mouse action to move your windows. I use the keyboard shortcut META+T to pop it up.

  5. Hyde Stevenson says:

    So far I still prefer awesome …even if I was a Gnome, Flubox and wmaker user for a long time 🙂 Awesome fits just all my needs and I wont go somewhere else anytime soon …

    • spectra says:

      Yes… I still use awesome in my netbook… But that is because I configured it once and left it that way. The fact one should learn lua to do that annoys me.

      • rjc says:

        I second – was tempted to simply put +1 ;^)

        To configure your WM, MUA, web broswer, * one should not have to learn a (new) programming language.

        I still like and use Awesome with Luakit on all of my machines as they fit my needs perfectly.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Suggestion: give it a week to convince you, and then if you mostly like it but a few things drive you crazy, consider using (or writing) extensions to fix those things.

  7. john says:

    IMO, Gnome 3 is the first Gnome where the hassle of using it is less than the hassle of setting up a new DE. However, I find with Gnome Shell that I don’t tile anymore, everything is full-screen.

    • spectra says:

      So far this has been my impression also… Maybe Gnome Shell will replace the tiling I liked so much.

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