Linux Desktop Environments VS Window Manager s - a comparitive study

My quest to find super llightweight desktop has almost come to an end after started to use i3wm. BTW i3wm is a popular tiling window manager that takes very less resources and runs on stock linux distro. This means we can take Arch , Debian or Ubuntu stock distro (headless) and install i3wm , which uses xorg libraries and its done.

What is a Desktop Environment (DE) ? All distro come with a default DE like GNOME,KDE, MATE , XFCE or LXDE and so on. One common feature of these is they give you nice UI where u can control any aspect of ur system i.e u can change the date , a application menu to start launching the files, a file browser, support for themes , locking the screen etc. All these are apps installed in the system and get presented via the DE.

What is Window Manager (WM) ? We have seen what DE is a WM is just a program which effectively places the application windows on the screen with out leaving any freespace. Unlike DE, which place windows in stacked fashion. Also WM does not come with application menu, file browser , settings window and so on. All of the above has to be installed by hand and u can choose what only to install this makes the system to be very efficient in interms of performance and battery life.

Like DE , there are quite a number of options on the WM world as well i3,awesome,xmonad to name a few.

i3WM and the linux distro landscape There are only a few linux distros I found which provides only WM out of box they are microwatt R10 - ubuntu 16.04 LTS based manjaro i3 - arched based

to name a few.e with ubuntu so went ahead with microwatt. Also manjaro loaded up with lot of utilities which I may not need all of them.

A screenshot of i3wm Image

Publised on August 26, 2019