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Five Best Alternative Window Managers for Linux

Jan 30, 2011, 15:04 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier)

"GNOME and KDE are the most popular desktop environments for Linux by a mile, but they're not the only games in town. If you're ready to shake things up on the desktop, we've got five of the best alternatives for you to choose from.

"I'm using the term "window manager" a bit loosely in the headline because, well, it's a headline. For the purposes of this round-up, I'm looking at the best desktop environment/window managers for Linux. What's the difference between a desktop environment and a window manager? I'm glad you asked. Window managers do just that â€" manage placement and handling of "windows" in X. GNOME and KDE, for example, have default window managers (Metacity and KWin, respectively) but also provide a lot of features and applications that you won't find with something like, say, FVWM or twm.

"Even though KDE and GNOME get most of the attention, though, it doesn't mean they're always the best choice. Sometimes you want something that's more lightweight than KDE or GNOME. Maybe you want something a bit more configurable, or more minimalistic. Maybe you just want something old school because it's fun. Whatever the reasons, in no particular order, I've got five of the best window managers for you to choose from."

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