Other Which Window Manager fo X

Dayhoku

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I installed FreeBSD 13 on my Asus Laptop. Reading the Handbook I found out a lo of Windows Managers ( http://www.xwinman.org/basics.php ). Now I am a bit confused and I wonder if someone can help me to decide ( or keep the Xorg ) which WM fit best on FreeBSD.
 

balanga

Son of Beastie

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It's all down to personal preference and what you are used to. I started off with XFCE but eventually move to LXDE which is far less cluttered.

AFAIK you can install as many as you like and just adjust the startup parameters in ~/.xinitrc before you run startx to start your preferred WM.
 
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Dayhoku

Dayhoku

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I was wandering to try FVWM Crystal or FVWM Nightshade but I have to study hard before 😓

Can you please tell me how to startup ~/.xinitrc?
 

Jose

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The file .xinitrc is just a text file. I use the Openbox window manager. This is my .xinitrc:
Code:
exec openbox-session
 

balanga

Son of Beastie

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I was wandering to try FVWM Crystal or FVWM Nightshade but I have to study hard before 😓

Can you please tell me how to startup ~/.xinitrc?
You don't startup ~/.xinitrc it's just a configuration file. You run startx to start Xwindows.

I used lxde and this is my ~/.xinitrc
Code:
ck-launch-session dbus-launch --exit-with-session startlxde

Not sure if it is entirely correct but it works for me.
 

scottro

Daemon

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If you look around the forums, you'll found lots of threads about window managers, though many are old by now. For example, fluxbox vs openbox (both pretty similar), dwm, a tiling window manager (every window you open automatically divides the screen space), and so on. I'll spam wit some of my pages, all of which are dated but still accurate.
https://srobb.net/fluxbox.html
https://srobb.net/fluxopen.html (Comparing some aspects of fluxbox and openbox)
https://srobb.net/dwm.html (About the dwm tiling manager The best thing about the page is a link to a wonderful guide to configuring that was posted years ago on the Debian forums).

Note that things like Mate, Gnome, KDE, XFCE4, and similar are desktop environments, not window managers. This means that they will have builtin tools to configure things like printers and scanners, automounting, say, a plugged in phone, and so on. Window managers don't, you have to configure them manually.

VERY generally speaking, those who prefer window maangers like the minimalism. On most hardware that is less than 15 years old, the resources saved won't be that noticeable, but on the other hand, window managers tend to get in your way less than desktop environments. (In my opinion--as has been said, this is REALLY personal choice).

There is the cwm window manager, which has some nice builtin keyboard shortcuts for opening windows and moving things around. Most window managers have reasonable builtin keyboard shortcuts that are more or less easily customized.

Hope this helps, but it probably just adds to the confusion. :)

The ArchLinux forums have threads about most of the window managers, which might be useful. Their wiki tends to have some of the better guides about using various window managers, though quality varies.
 

phalange

Active Member

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I which WM fit best on FreeBSD.
I second the the i3 recommendation above. It works great on FreeBSD. It looks good out of the box and is easy to configure with lots of support online. It also includes a status bar with a tray, which is important to me since Nextcloud needs a tray.
 
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Dayhoku

Dayhoku

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If you look around the forums, you'll found lots of threads about window managers, though many are old by now. For example, fluxbox vs openbox (both pretty similar), dwm, a tiling window manager (every window you open automatically divides the screen space), and so on. I'll spam wit some of my pages, all of which are dated but still accurate.
https://srobb.net/fluxbox.html
https://srobb.net/fluxopen.html (Comparing some aspects of fluxbox and openbox)
https://srobb.net/dwm.html (About the dwm tiling manager The best thing about the page is a link to a wonderful guide to configuring that was posted years ago on the Debian forums).

Note that things like Mate, Gnome, KDE, XFCE4, and similar are desktop environments, not window managers. This means that they will have builtin tools to configure things like printers and scanners, automounting, say, a plugged in phone, and so on. Window managers don't, you have to configure them manually.

VERY generally speaking, those who prefer window maangers like the minimalism. On most hardware that is less than 15 years old, the resources saved won't be that noticeable, but on the other hand, window managers tend to get in your way less than desktop environments. (In my opinion--as has been said, this is REALLY personal choice).

There is the cwm window manager, which has some nice builtin keyboard shortcuts for opening windows and moving things around. Most window managers have reasonable builtin keyboard shortcuts that are more or less easily customized.

Hope this helps, but it probably just adds to the confusion. :)

The ArchLinux forums have threads about most of the window managers, which might be useful. Their wiki tends to have some of the better guides about using various window managers, though quality varies.
Before FreeBSD I tryed GhostBSD and NomadBSD which didn't need to configure the WM. For Years I travel throught many versions of Linux picking them from
I also bought 'FreeBSD Bible' book a lot of years ago but I've never been able to use it's GUI. It's just from a couple of weeks I decided to try another time FreeBSD and I successfully I've been able to let it work properly thank to this Forum !!
 

Trihexagonal

Son of Beastie

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Fluxbox.

demonsandwizards.png
 

j77h

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Windows Managers ... help me to decide ( or keep the Xorg )

The way you wrote that, I wonder if you think X.org/X11 is a window manager?

The way I understand it:
X11 is the base layer for a GUI,
a window manager (WM) sits on top of that,
then a desktop environment (DE) sits on top of the window manager.

Some window managers can be used without a DE
(such as OpenBox, as it has menus built in).

The big desktop environments have their own WM (eg KDE has Kwin).
A smaller DE, LXDE, sits on OpenBox (or it used to).
 

Menelkir

Active Member

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The way you wrote that, I wonder if you think X.org/X11 is a window manager?

The way I understand it:
X11 is the base layer for a GUI,
a window manager (WM) sits on top of that,
then a desktop environment (DE) sits on top of the window manager.

Some window managers can be used without a DE
(such as OpenBox, as it has menus built in).

The big desktop environments have their own WM (eg KDE has Kwin).
A smaller DE, LXDE, sits on OpenBox (or it used to).
Think X11 is a server (is just half-right), so it needs the proper tools to be useful.
A Desktop Environment is more like a "complete desktop solution out-of-the-box", the WM is just the tool for your X11. (and of course, the DE will need a wm to work as expected).
Also, if one is into lisp, there's x11-wm/sawfish (it's still maintained upstream and the port doesn't have a maintainer (yet)).
 

meine

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AFAIK you can install as many as you like and just adjust the startup parameters in ~/.xinitrc before you run startx to start your preferred WM.

You can install several WM and use them without messing with your ~/.xinitrc too much. Just put your main WM there:

Code:
exec /usr/local/bin/cwm

This line starts X with the basic command startx. Here, x11-wm/cwm is my main WM.

For the other WM you can make an alias for every option in your ~/.shrc or whatever default shell you use:

Code:
#aliases

x='startx'
s='screen'
box='startx /usr/local/bin/openbox'
wm='startx /usr/local/bin/wmaker'

By typing box at the prompt after boot, Openbox WM is started. The sysutils/screen is my distraction-free CLI environment.
 

scottro

Daemon

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ArchLinux's wiki has a little script for changing desktops. I wound up scripting something for myself, but I'm too embarrassed to put it here, as it's so clunky. Anyway, it's not hard. Even manually, say, having 4 or 5 exec whatever lines in your .xinitrc and just uncommenting the one you're using is easy. meine's suggestion seems pretty simple too.
 

meine

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ArchLinux's wiki has a little script for changing desktops. I wound up scripting something for myself, but I'm too embarrassed to put it here, as it's so clunky. Anyway, it's not hard. Even manually, say, having 4 or 5 exec whatever lines in your .xinitrc and just uncommenting the one you're using is easy. meine's suggestion seems pretty simple too.
At first I also used un/commenting lines in my ~.xinitrc, but using aliases are IMHO more practical because they don't need extra effort for starting in a different taste (apart from remembering the shortcut).

BTW, don't get confused on the aliases! I use shells/fish to mess around with things in terminal, and it has its own set of aliases. You'll need to put the WM-aliases in the shell you get just after booting your box.
 

phalange

Active Member

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ArchLinux's wiki has a little script for changing desktops. I wound up scripting something for myself, but I'm too embarrassed to put it here, as it's so clunky. Anyway, it's not hard. Even manually, say, having 4 or 5 exec whatever lines in your .xinitrc and just uncommenting the one you're using is easy. meine's suggestion seems pretty simple too.

I created a python script to choose among window managers. Works on FreeBSD. Just store the various xinitrc.name files in /usr/local/etc/X11/xinit/
 
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Dayhoku

Dayhoku

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Thanks to all of you , I am learning a lot of things from your posts
 

Keltir

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from what I know, if you put your own ~/.xinitrc file, it will skip executing files from /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/ directory. If it's true for FreeBSD, this might be not the best approach. Another way to do this is put
export XSESSION=openbox
into say .zshrc and use plain startx if you don't want to deal with display managers
 

tux2bsd

Active Member

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Dayhoku do this:​


Install xfce (might be xfce4) and lightdm
add this to /etc/rc.conf
Code:
lightdm_enable="YES"
reboot

Then you can use it and come back to getting a better understanding of it all when you're ready, it's layered and annoying to start with.

lightdm, above, is a graphical login
xfce is a desktop environment
there are alternates to the above but these are good, that bit in rc.conf starts lightdm by default
I might be missing a step, still might need the exec line in ~/.xinitrc (I'm not on my FreeBSD box right now)

 
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