Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 17th Feb 2012 22:40 UTC
Window Managers After six years, development on Window Maker has picked up again. Other than mere bug fixes, the two new releases (so far) also include lots of code cleanup and, yes, new features as well. Welcome back!
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RE: finally!
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 18th Feb 2012 00:20 UTC in reply to "finally!"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Is there a good distribution for Window Maker? One that caters to it?

Always been fascinated by it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: finally!
by joekiser on Sat 18th Feb 2012 01:50 in reply to "RE: finally!"
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

Is there a good distribution for Window Maker? One that caters to it?

Always been fascinated by it.


Last year at this time, I was using Window Maker on FreeBSD. That's because they still had a lot of the old dock apps in ports, but these apps had not been updated in the better part of a decade. I would not be surprised if they have been removed from ports at this point, in which case, try it out on your favorite distro.

Window Maker is an outstanding window manager, IMO the best stand-alone interface that there is. I would hesitate to consider it anything more than a window manager, however. Some people like to throw it in with GNUstep as a complete desktop environment, but they are two separate projects that don't always work well together. Off the top of my head, there are going to be problems with GWorkspace wanting to control the root window that Window Maker already owns. People pair the projects because they look the same, but this is like pairing fvwm95/qvwm with WINE because they look the same.

My best desktop was running standard GTK/Qt applications with a theme that closely resembles the Window Maker color scheme. Check out box-look.org for more recent schemes. Any effects / drop shadows could be added later with xcompmgr. Have fun with it, everybody's different.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: finally!
by Doc Pain on Sat 18th Feb 2012 17:16 in reply to "RE[2]: finally!"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Last year at this time, I was using Window Maker on FreeBSD.


I'm currently using it on exactly that platform. :-)


Window Maker is an outstanding window manager, IMO the best stand-alone interface that there is. I would hesitate to consider it anything more than a window manager, however.


That's correct, in my opinion and experience, because I'm not using it for anything more than managing windows. I personally don't care about menu generation because I have the few things I need to access available in the dock.

To me, "just" a window manager is a great benefit. It stays out of your way and let's your workflow be elegant, efficient and free of fiddling with details.

It's configurability is really outstanding. Especially the excellent combination of mouse and keyboard options is great. I've not found those features yet among the "big ones" (like Gnome or KDE or Xfce). For example, I'm using a Sun USB keyboard with lots of extra keys on the left here. They are programmed using the Window Maker's configuration program to perform window actions (like hiding, shuffling foreground / background, switching virtual desktops, starting programs, setting audio levels, locking the system and so on). This means: pointing into (!) a window and pressing a key can cause some action. Together with "focus follows mouse" and the nice distinction between "window is in foreground" and "window has focus", managing windows across several workspaces and monitors is really easy. This kind of well-tought integration is one of my main reasons for keeping it in daily use.

Finally, Window Maker loads really fast and doesn't get hickups even if sessions last several weeks. It also doesn't have trouble managing windows from programs using many different toolkits (KDE applications using Qt, Gtk-based programs or even Xaw programs).

Some people like to throw it in with GNUstep as a complete desktop environment, but they are two separate projects that don't always work well together.


Window Maker is the official window manager for the GNUstep desktop, if I remember correctly, not more and not less. There has been a live system CD, I think it was called √Čtoil√©, containing a GNUstep based desktop (with Window Maker as its window manager, accompanied with many applications, running on Linux).

People pair the projects because they look the same, but this is like pairing fvwm95/qvwm with WINE because they look the same.


Maybe programming languages (Objective C) also plays a role here.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: finally!
by zima on Sat 18th Feb 2012 18:51 in reply to "RE[2]: finally!"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Some people like to throw it in with GNUstep as a complete desktop environment, but they are two separate projects that don't always work well together. [...] People pair the projects because they look the same, but this is like pairing fvwm95/qvwm with WINE because they look the same.

Window Maker & GNUstep pair doesn't seem to be quite like that - from the opening line of http://windowmaker.org/
Window Maker is an X11 window manager originally designed to provide integration support for the GNUstep Desktop Environment.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: finally!
by danieldk on Sat 18th Feb 2012 19:46 in reply to "RE[2]: finally!"
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

I used Window Maker on NetBSD and Slackware for many years. There are still some screenshots of my desktop floating around on the NetBSD website ;) :

http://www.netbsd.org/gallery/in-Action/daniel-cxoffice.jpg
http://www.netbsd.org/gallery/in-Action/daniel-heretic.jpg
http://www.netbsd.org/gallery/in-Action/daniel-wp8.jpg
http://www.netbsd.org/gallery/in-Action/daniel-moneydance.jpg

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: finally!
by zima on Sat 18th Feb 2012 18:59 in reply to "RE: finally!"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Is there a good distribution for Window Maker? One that caters to it?

Even if I wouldn't call it exactly "good" ("fun" sure), there's this GNUstep live CD floating around, obviously catering to Window Maker too - quite straightforward way to check out that boxy, grayish world.

(but - what after a quick search appears to be its present homesite, seems also down... http://io.debian.net/~tar/gnustep/ )

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: finally!
by robertson on Sat 18th Feb 2012 20:36 in reply to "RE[2]: finally!"
robertson Member since:
2010-04-30

I've lost track of the Live CD efforts, but I seem to remember one in addition to the one above whose link is broken.

Now there is "One Step to GNUStep," a VM image.
http://www.rstonehouse.co.uk/extras/GNUstep-VM-0.9/index.html

As Sodki mentions below, http://etoileos.com/ is a GNUstep based effort to develop something that's not really a desktop environment, but something much different--a document-centered interface. When I read their goals, I am reminded more of things like the Canon Cat and Jef Raskin's The Humane Interface. It's worth looking in to their goals, as what they're trying to create is very different from the way we normally interact with computers, but not in a GNOME 3 way. (:

Also worth looking in to is http://www.midnightbsd.org/ . It's a fork of FreeBSD which aims to create a BSD optimized for desktop use. While development seems to be slow (it may be a one man show), the eventual goals include integration with GNUstep and Etoile.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: finally!
by laffer1 on Sun 19th Feb 2012 17:45 in reply to "RE: finally!"
laffer1 Member since:
2007-11-09

We pushed it for many years in MidnightBSD. With the last release, we had a script to install window maker + GNUStep or KDE 3 on the first boot after installation.

I've already updated it in our ports collection, but haven't run through a package build yet to see what broke.

As others have pointed out, it's great on several of the BSDs.

Reply Parent Score: 1