Any window managers more lightweight than Fluxbox?


20 posts
by tawalker » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:40 pm
As a long-standing fan of the Fluxbox window manager (mainly due, for me, to its light "weight" and uncluttered interface), it was an obvious choice to use with my RasPi.

However, I have wondered about trying a couple of other lightweight WMs (not LXDE; I already have that as an option). I've installed awesome, and am already tinkering with that; however, has anyone here tried other "light" WMs, perhaps something like FVWM or IceWM?

I'm especially interested if there is an alternative WM even less demanding of system resources than Fluxbox - are there any? :)
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by Nr90 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:52 pm
Openbox might be slightly lighter.
Won't be much lighter though.
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by tawalker » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:27 am
Nr90 wrote:Openbox might be slightly lighter.
Won't be much lighter though.

I've wondered about Openbox (which I'm using - almost without thinking - if I boot into LXDE). As I'm guessing OB is installed because of LXDE, I also guess it must be possible to set up OB so I can boot directly into it. (Still interested in trying FVWM, just for the 90s nostalgia kick ;) )

On a related note: I spotted that when I've started X and Fluxbox, the memory usage is already up to around 50% (though to be fair, some of that will be other services that I've started). I wonder if the RAM of the RPi Model A was boosted from 128MB to 256MB, as the former probably wouldn't have left enough after starting X, to run many programs (if any)?
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by AndrewS » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:17 pm
tawalker wrote:I wonder if the RAM of the RPi Model A was boosted from 128MB to 256MB, as the former probably wouldn't have left enough after starting X, to run many programs (if any)?

I suspect that was one of the considerations, but IMHO it may be because the 256MB RAM modules fell in price enough that they could be included in the cheaper ModelA too.
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by dfeerst » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:30 am
As soon as I realized openbox was installed I switched to that. significantly faster than lxde. not sure how it compares to flux box. I wasn't able to get it to run without starting GDM first. I don't know a lot about login managers, so I don't know why.

I'm kind of interested in trying a lighter login manager is GDM is really slow. Has anyone tried slim?
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by AndrewS » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:49 am
dfeerst wrote:I'm kind of interested in trying a lighter login manager is GDM is really slow. Has anyone tried slim?

Not tried it personally, but I've seen it mentioned several times search.php?keywords=slim
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by Nokurn » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:25 pm
I use SLiM on my workstation. It's a nice, minimal login manager that doesn't take too long to load. I am speaking relative to GDM, of course. It's difficult to gauge how quickly a program will load on a Raspberry Pi when your only frame of reference is at 4 GHz with a SSD.

If you're into tiling window managers (think screen/tmux for X), I would suggest ratpoison or dwm. ratpoison uses an rc file for configuration. dwm has all of its configuration compiled in, and consists of under 2000 SLOC of code. They're both pretty light on memory usage.
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by ohm » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:01 am
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by kaidenshi » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:59 pm
Enlightenment e17 seems to work fairly well on the Pi, though its compositor is disabled due to the 16-bit color default. I think once we have a native X driver for the GPU, Enlightenment will end up being a great choice.

I haven't tried it yet, but I would imagine WindowMaker would also be a fast WM.
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by d00de » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:14 pm
The best combo that I use on my older machines is pure console line installation of Linux (Debian or Ubuntu), than X.org and after that Openbox as WM, without GDM. I get the machine with WM that takes a little as 30MB RAM for running.
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by xr4y » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:40 pm
Try SpectrWM, I have it on all my machines incl. my RPi.
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by abarbarian » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:43 pm
Window Maker runs just fine on the Pi running Arch. :D
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by cmj » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:39 pm
I've built my pi to be a powerhouse development machine (no emphasis on powerhouse)

The best configuration I have come up with is dwm(a VERY light tiling windowmanager), dmenu(a launcher for dwm), urxvt (unicode-rxvt terminal), links(text browser with graphics capabilities).

I do a lot of prototyping in python, and development with C/C++.

No flash/gifs/youtubes/fluff.. Bare essentials. I don't even use a mouse :) The machine runs just as quick as any other doing these tasks.. for $35!
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by derhass » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:35 pm
I'm a big fan of ctwm. It is basically a twm with the additional feature of supporting different "workspaces" (or "virtual desktops", or whatever you like to call it). I use it since 15 years or so, and probably will be using it in 15 years still. I used it on my first PC (a Pentium 60MHz with 8MB RAM), I use it on my current desktop pc (quad-core with 16GB RAM), and I use it on the Raspberry Pi (although I rarely start X on it at all).
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by spitecho » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:50 am
Ratpoison is really lightweight. I use it on an ancient craptop (266mhz proc, 152mb ram) and it works really well.
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by samscribbler.py » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:41 am
Wmii is my weapon of choice. It's a tiling window manager that can also switch to fullscreen and cascading modes. It's definitely a no-frills affair and there is a bit of a learning curve in having to know keyboard shortcuts, but I love it for its rock-solid stability and its commitment to function over form. Rest assured it will stay out of your way and let you work uninhibited.
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by fc » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:25 pm
My 2cents:

- mingetty to autologin on boot
- ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc to start x on boot
- openbox
--- dmenu to execute commands
--- urxvt daemon + client (urxvtd -q -f -o runs the daemon, urxvtc connects a client to the daemon, takes less ram)
--- thunar with a line in your .xinitrc : thunar --daemon (starts thunar faster, loaded as a daemon)
--- xautolock
--- vim or gvim or emacs
--- xbindkeys to fix your keyboard keys if necessary (like when using a Mac keyboard)
--- parcellite clipboard manager
--- xcompmgr for compositing (xcompmgr -c -r15 -F -f -D5 -C -o0.8)
--- blueman-applet bluetooth manager
--- volti or volwheel for sound applet to modify sound levels
--- tint2 (lightweight taskbar)
--- irssi irc in terminal
--- conky if you can spare the cpu/memory to monitor cpu, memory, space left, etc
--- mpd + ncmpcpp if you want to listen to music
--- mplayer for movies
--- unclutter -idle 5 -noevents -root to hide the mouse pointer when typing after 5 sec
--- numlockx to start with numlock on

My hotkeys:
Win-W = Web
Win-G = Gvim
Win-P = Partitions (gparted)
Win-E = Explorer-like (thunar)
Win-T = urxvtc (terminal)
Win-M = urxvtc -e ncmpcpp -n ncmpcpp (mp3 player)
Win-I = urxvtc -e irssi -n irssi (IRC)
Win-S = urxvtc -e htop -n htop (tasks)
Win-D = show desktop
Win-R = dmenu_run -f -nf '#888888' -nb '#222222' -sf '#ffffff' -sb '#285577'
XF86AudioPrev = mpc prev
....
XF86AudioLowerVolume = amixer set Master 5%- unmute
Ctrl-Alt-Delete = runs a shell script that prompts a menu to Shutdown/Sleep/etc using Xdialog

I also make mplayer undecorated (no window borders/title bar) in openbox so it can hover over windows, looks nice and it does not clutter the screen
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by SiriusHardware » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:15 pm
dfeerst wrote:As soon as I realized openbox was installed I switched to that. significantly faster than lxde. not sure how it compares to flux box. I wasn't able to get it to run without starting GDM first. I don't know a lot about login managers, so I don't know why.

I'm kind of interested in trying a lighter login manager is GDM is really slow. Has anyone tried slim?


sorry to be dense, but how did you run Openbox instead of LXDE? If I just try the obvious: Openbox <enter>, I get the response

'Openbox-Message - Failed to open the display from the DISPLAY environment variable'.
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by fc » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:34 pm
In your $HOME/.xinitrc, at the end of it (locks terminal):
exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch openbox-session

This implies you have consolekit and dbus.
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by brunorro » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:23 pm
Well ... this is my first post, so I'll try not to look as the noobiest one here

Right now I'm writing this from my Rpi with arch linux. From the official/community/etc (binaries) repositories the most "usual" software that I'm using is:

- tmux (I can't live without it)
- aterm
- elinks
- midori (as "binary" web browser)
- fluxbox (light and "official" window manager)

And from the aur repositories ("exotic" stuff)

- xombrero (formerly xxxterm) as web browser (very light)
- monsterwm: a small tiling/grid/stack/somehow floating window manager (less than 1MB RAM usage, uses XCB)
- e17: eye candy and resource hungry, but ... it's so pretty ! :P

Actually to compile packages from AUR is a bit... Well, you have to to add the 'arm' architecture and, in xombrero case, you also have to choose between sombrero for GTK2 and GTK3 (with libwebkit 1 and 3). I chose libwebkit1 and gtk2, but GTK3 version was working almost the same.
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