Overview of Window
Managers Available For
twm - Tabbed Window Manager
Screen Capture - 13847 bytes
Default window manager with minimal features available on most X11 implementations
Performance - Medium executable size and memory requirements, minimal color requirements for decorations
vtwm - Virtual Tabbed Window Manager
Screen Capture - 16279 bytes
twm with virtual desktop enhancements
Performance - Roughly same as standard twm, slightly greater memory requirements for virtual screen features
Screen Capture - 153006 bytes
Enhanced window manager based on twm code
Performance - Significantly larger executable than twm, can use a lot of colors depending on bitmaps used for icons and buttons
Screen Capture - 125413 bytes
Extremely minimal window manager
Performance - Extremely small, uses little memory and only 2 colors
Minimal window manager based on window manager included in 8 1/2, the windowing system used with Plan 9.
Performance - Extremely small, uses little memory and only 2 colors, makes wm2 look extravagant
olwm/olvwm - Open Look Window Manager
Screen Capture - 18825 bytes
Window manager used with Open Windows/Open Look. Used to be the default window manager for SunOS/Solaris, being replaced by Motif/CDE.
Performance - Since these window managers use the XView and OpenLook libraries, they tend to use large amounts of memory.
mwm/dtwm - Motif Window Manager/Desktop Window Manager
Screen Capture - 66426 bytes
Window manager included with OSF Motif. Desktop Window Manager part of Motif/CDE.
Performance - Mwm lacks features available in more modern window managers (i.e. fvwm). Dtwm is a good choice for a standard setup in a multi-platform environment.
fvwm - f(?) Virtual Window Manager
Screen Capture - 15664 bytes
Feature laden window manager included with most Linux distributions.
Performance - The base fvwm manager is equivalent in size and memory requirements to twm. The modular features tend to consume resources as they are used. The extensive use of colors can use up the color map on a 8-bit sever.
fvwm-95 - f(?) Virtual Window Manager 95
Screen Capture - 27253 bytes
Fvwm with Windows 95 look and feel.
Performance - Similar to fvwm, even more extensive use of colors in the default configuration makes 8-bit server use with color intensive applications (e.g. Netscape) difficult.
Screen Capture - 360961 bytes
Fvwm with NextStep look and feel.
Performance - Almost unusable on 8-bit displays due to shaded title bars which use several colors out of the default colormap.
Other Fvwm Derivatives
Last Modified: 24 January 1997St. Louis Unix Users Group - Linux SIG