Comparison of X window managers

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This article compares variety of different X window managers. For an introduction to the topic, see X Window System.

General information[edit]

Name Type Language Initial Release Latest release License Memory (MB)[1]
Version Date
9wm Stacking C 1994 1.4.2[2] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-01-19 MIT 0.4
aewm[citation needed] Stacking C 1.3.12[3] Edit this on Wikidata 2007-12-27 MIT
awesome Dynamic C, Lua 2007-09-18 4.3[4] Edit this on Wikidata 2019-01-28 GPL-2.0-or-later 9
Berry[citation needed] Stacking C 2018-08-24 2019-09-21 MIT
Blackbox Stacking C++ 0.77[5] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-05-12 MIT 3
bspwm[citation needed] Tiling C 2013-04-23 0.9.10[6] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-08-02 BSD-2-Clause[7]
Compiz Compositing C (OpenGL) 2006 0.9.14.1[8] Edit this on Wikidata 2019-11-28 MIT
cwm Stacking C 2004-07-10 3[9] Edit this on Wikidata 2005-08-28 ISC
dwm Dynamic C 2006-07-14 6.3[10] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-01-07 MIT 1
Enlightenment Compositing C 1997 0.25.3[11] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-02-10 BSD-2-Clause
evilwm[12] Stacking C 2000 1.3.1[13] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-07-30 aewm/9wm[14]
EXWM Tiling Emacs Lisp 0.26[15] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-13 GPL-3.0-or-later
Fluxbox Stacking C++ 2001-09-12 1.3.7[16] Edit this on Wikidata 2015-02-08 MIT 16
FLWM Stacking C++ (FLTK) 1998 1.02[17] Edit this on Wikidata 2006-06-30 GPL-2.0-or-later
FVWM Dynamic C 1993-06-01 3-1.0.4[18] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-07-20 GPL 4
i3 Dynamic C 2009-03-15 4.20.1[19] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-11-03 BSD-3-Clause 3
IceWM Stacking C++ 1997 2.9.7[20] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-05-01 LGPL-2.0-only 4.5
Ion Tiling C, Lua 2000 3-20090110[21] Edit this on Wikidata 2009-01-10 LGPL-2.1-only[a]
JWM Stacking C 2003 2.4.1[22] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-02-26 MIT 3
KWin (KDE) Compositing C++ (Qt) 5.24.3[23] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-03-08 GPL 41
Matchbox Stacking C 2007-04-13 1.2.2[24] Edit this on Wikidata 2016-12-05 GPL-2.0-or-later
Metacity (GNOME) Compositing C, C++ (GTK+) 2002-10 3.44.0[25] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-03-19 GPL-2.0-or-later
Mutter (GNOME/MeeGo) Compositing C (Clutter) 2011-04 42.0[26][27] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-03-12 GPL-2.0-or-later 18.6
mwm (Motif Window Manager) Stacking C 1989 2.3.8[28] Edit this on Wikidata 2017-12-05 LGPL-2.1-or-later
Openbox Stacking C 2002-09-18 3.6.1[29] Edit this on Wikidata 2015-07-01 GPL-2.0-or-later 7
PekWM Stacking C++ 0.2.1[30] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-03 GPL-2.0-or-later 5.3
PlayWM[citation needed] Stacking C GPL
Qtile Dynamic Python 2008-08-31 0.21.0[31] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-03-23 MIT 2
Ratpoison Tiling C 2000-12-04 1.4.9[32] Edit this on Wikidata 2017-04-04 GPL-2.0-or-later 1
Sawfish Stacking Lisp, C 2000-01-01 1.13.0[33] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-12-24 GPL-2.0-or-later 3.1
SithWM Stacking C 1.2.3[34] Edit this on Wikidata 2008-04-25 GPL
spectrwm[citation needed] Dynamic C 3.4.1[35] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-06-25 ISC
steamcompmgr[citation needed] Compositing C[36] 2013 BSD-2-clause[37]
StumpWM Tiling Common Lisp 20.11[38][39] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-11-27 GPL-2.0-or-later
twm Stacking C 1987 1.0.12[40][41] Edit this on Wikidata 2022-04-02 MIT-open-group
MIT-CMU
XFree86-1.0
1.2
uwm Stacking C 1985 Similar to BSD license
Window Maker Stacking C 1997 0.95.9[42] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-04-04 GPL-2.0-or-later 7
Wingo[citation needed] Dynamic Go WTFPL
WMFS[citation needed] Tiling C 201003[43] Edit this on Wikidata 2010-03-28 BSD-3-Clause
wmii Dynamic C 2005-06-01 3.9.2[44] Edit this on Wikidata 2010-06-10 MIT
Xfwm (Xfce) Compositing C, C++ (GTK+) 1996 4.16[45] Edit this on Wikidata 2020-12-22 GPL, LGPL 70
xmonad Dynamic Haskell 2007-03-06 0.17.0[46] Edit this on Wikidata 2021-10-27 BSD-3-Clause 2
Name Type Language Initial Release Latest release License Memory (MB)
Version Date
  1. ^ LGPL-2.1-only with naming restrictions on modified versions.

Features[edit]

Name Configurable titlebar buttons Graphical configuration Hotkeys ICCCM/EWMH compliant Panel for window switching Tabbed windows Themeable
9wm No No No Yes No No
aewm[citation needed] No No No Yes Yes No No
awesome Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Berry[citation needed] No Yes[a] Yes[b] No No No Yes
Blackbox No Depends[c] Depends[d] Yes[e] Yes No Yes
bspwm[citation needed] No No Yes[f] Partial No No No
Compiz Yes Yes Yes Yes Depends[c] Yes Yes
cwm no titlebar buttons No Yes No No Yes
dwm no titlebar buttons No Yes Yes No Yes
Enlightenment Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
evilwm[12] no titlebar buttons No Yes Partial[12] No No Yes
EXWM No No Yes Partial No No Yes
Fluxbox Yes Depends[c] Yes Yes[48] Yes Yes Yes
FLWM No Yes No[g] No No
FVWM Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes[49] Depends[c][50][51]
i3 no titlebar buttons No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
IceWM Yes Depends[c] Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Ion no titlebar buttons No Yes No Yes Yes
JWM Yes Depends[c] Yes EWMH Yes No Yes
KWin (KDE) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Matchbox EWMH compliance No No Yes
Metacity (GNOME) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Mutter (GNOME/MeeGo) Yes Yes Yes Yes Gnome Shell No Yes
mwm (Motif Window Manager) No No Yes No[h]
Openbox Yes Depends[c] Yes Yes Depends[c] No Yes
PekWM Yes No Yes Partial No Yes Yes
PlayWM[citation needed] Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Qtile Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ratpoison No No Yes No No No No
Sawfish Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes primitive Yes
SithWM no titlebar buttons No Yes No No Yes
spectrwm[citation needed] no titlebar buttons No Yes Yes No No solid colors
steamcompmgr[citation needed] No No Yes No No No
StumpWM No No Yes No No No No
twm Yes No Yes Yes No solid colors
uwm
Window Maker No Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes
Wingo[citation needed] Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
WMFS[citation needed] Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
wmii Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Xfwm (Xfce) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
xmonad Yes No Yes Yes / ? Depends[c] Yes Yes
Name Configurable titlebar buttons Graphical configuration Hotkeys ICCCM/EWMH compliant Panel for window switching Tabbed windows Themeable
  1. ^ Via CLI client.
  2. ^ Via CLI client and third party (e.g. sxhkd).
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Via third party.
  4. ^ With bbkeys.
  5. ^ Through 0.65 / from 0.70.[47]
  6. ^ With sxhkd.
  7. ^ There is a window list menu.
  8. ^ Can change colours.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Memory Comparison of Light Linux Desktops". l3net - a layer 3 networking blog. 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2017-12-28.
  2. ^ https://github.com/9wm/9wm/releases/tag/1.4.2.
  3. ^ "aewm". Archived from the original on 11 October 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Release 4.3". 28 January 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Release 0.77". 12 May 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  6. ^ "Release 0.9.10". 2 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  7. ^ "bspwm License". GitHub. 2 November 2021.
  8. ^ "[compiz] Compiz 0.9.14.1 released". 28 November 2019.
  9. ^ "cwm". Archived from the original on 8 June 2015.
  10. ^ https://git.suckless.org/dwm/commit/d39e2f3441fe18aba8d1a62c08918a411ec6f237.html; publication date: 7 January 2022.
  11. ^ https://www.enlightenment.org/news/2022-02-10-enlightenment-0.25.3; retrieved: 6 April 2022.
  12. ^ a b c "evilwm - standards support". evilwm releases following and including version 1.1.0 follow the EWMH standard.
  13. ^ http://www.6809.org.uk/evilwm/doc/ChangeLog.
  14. ^ "evilwm.txt".
  15. ^ "Exwm version 0.26". 13 November 2021. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Fluxbox 1.3.7 - Bam! Zero Bugs!!11!". 8 February 2015. Archived from the original on 24 January 2022.
  17. ^ http://flwm.sourceforge.net.
  18. ^ https://github.com/fvwmorg/fvwm3/releases/tag/1.0.4.
  19. ^ Michael Stapelberg (3 November 2021). "i3 v4.20.1 released". Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  20. ^ https://github.com/ice-wm/icewm/releases/tag/2.9.7.
  21. ^ "The Ion window manager (2000-2009)". Archived from the original on 20 March 2022.
  22. ^ https://github.com/joewing/jwm/releases/tag/v2.4.1.
  23. ^ https://invent.kde.org/plasma/kwin/-/tags/v5.24.3.
  24. ^ https://git.yoctoproject.org/matchbox-window-manager/tag/?h=1.2.2.
  25. ^ https://github.com/GNOME/metacity/releases/tag/3.44.0.
  26. ^ "mutter 42.0"; author name string: Florian Müllner; publication date: 12 March 2022; retrieved: 30 March 2022.
  27. ^ "42.0". 12 March 2022. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  28. ^ "Motif 2.3.8 Source Code". 5 December 2017.
  29. ^ "Openbox:Changelog".
  30. ^ https://github.com/pekwm/pekwm/releases/tag/release-0.2.1.
  31. ^ https://github.com/qtile/qtile/releases/tag/v0.21.0.
  32. ^ "ratpoison-1.4.9 has been released"; author name string: Jeremie Courreges-Anglas; publication date: 4 April 2017; retrieved: 12 November 2020.
  33. ^ https://github.com/SawfishWM/sawfish/releases/tag/sawfish-1.13.0.
  34. ^ https://sithwm.darkside.no/sn/?M=D.
  35. ^ https://github.com/conformal/spectrwm/releases/tag/SPECTRWM_3_4_1.
  36. ^ "steamos-compositor debian source package". /steamos-compositor-1.35/src/steamcompmgr.c.
  37. ^ "steamos-compositor amd64 debian package". /usr/share/doc/steamos-compositor/copyright. License: BSD-2-clause
  38. ^ "StumpWM 20.11 'Aphrodite Giant' Released!". 27 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  39. ^ "Release 20.11". 27 November 2020. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  40. ^ "[ANNOUNCE] twm 1.0.12". 2 April 2022.
  41. ^ https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/xorg/app/twm/-/tags/twm-1.0.12.
  42. ^ http://www.windowmaker.org/news/.
  43. ^ https://github.com/xorg62/wmfs/releases/tag/201003; retrieved: 31 January 2018.
  44. ^ https://code.google.com/archive/p/wmii/downloads.
  45. ^ "Xfce 4.16 released".
  46. ^ https://github.com/xmonad/xmonad/releases/tag/v0.17.0.
  47. ^ "NetWM - Blackbox". Archived from the original on 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2008-03-29. Blackbox releases up to and including version 0.65.0 follow the ICCCM standard, while 0.70 and later follow EWMH.
  48. ^ "Tables".
  49. ^ FvwmTabs Archived 2009-08-02 at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ Fvwm Themes
  51. ^ FVWM-Crystal

External links[edit]