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Date:      Wed, 23 Feb 2005 15:03:47 -0600
From:      Kevin Kinsey <>
Cc:        Anthony Atkielski <>
Subject:   Re: Different OS's? Marketshare
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>

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Anthony Atkielski wrote:

>I'm still quite ambivalent about it.  I keep wondering if Linux is
>different enough and useful enough to be worth dedicating this machine
>to it ... or if I should just continue with FreeBSD and install X on the
>machine (and KDE, probably, since it seems to be popular, although I
>welcome suggestions).
>Which window manager is the closest to classic UNIX window managers (as
>opposed to wannabe Windows products)?

Well, you can do a little research yourself (I'm sure you will at some
point, anyway):

(Hmm, a "store"?  Browse screenshots and descriptions):
(A comparison article, 5 wm's and the XFCE environment):

IIRC, there's also a rather large thread on where
people are showing off their "desktops".  You could also get
a "look-see" there...

As for my own experience, I can't really answer your question,
because "classic UNIX window managers" is somewhat meaningless
to me as a newbie.

Part of Free Software is "freedom of choice" as you well know.
There are so many choices out there that your head can spin
while looking.  My experience:

1.  BlackBox.  Small, light, fast.  To me, rather mouse oriented.
Collapsing menus.  A small "app" bar at the top, but no default
icon support, etc.

2.  FluxBox.  BlackBox with more themes*.

3.  Enlightenment.  Larger then bb/fb.  I didn't stick with it
long at all, so I can't say much else.

4.  XFCE.  I liked it ... BSD licensed (IIRC), no larger than
Enlightenment, certainly.  One toolbar in default install,
a few default tools.  Icons on the toolbar (can't remember
if you can put 'em on the desktop in default install).

5.  GNOME.  On my desktop now ... why?  Curiosity, I guess.
Lots of tools, takes lots of muscle.  Probably a "windows wannabe"
as you say (but it crashes less ... ;-).  I wouldn't put a new KDE
or GNOME on a very old box, but maybe I don't know how to
go about that very well (I know there is a "gnome-lite", and there
is probably a corresponding "light KDE").  It seems a tad slow ATM, but
this box runs as gateway/firewall, SMTP/POP3, http (development
server), DNS, rsyncd, samba on the office network, plus currently
9 windows in Mozilla, 23 in Opera, mail client, Dictionary app,
this compose window, 5-6 terminals running SSH to 3 servers
across 4 desktops, the GIMP with a rather big photo open, and a
small word processor document.)

There are so many other WMs.  It all depends on how you work.
And, you can run some toolbars/docks, iconifying program, pretty
much any X application, whatever, on just about anything --
"tools, not policy" after all. 

Greg Lehey, for example, states (~to the effect of~) "I'm not into
eye candy", and runs something rather simple (twm? fvwm?) that's
all configured exactly the way he wants it across several monitors,
at rather/very high resolution(s).  He either has great eyesight,
or has good glasses, I guess (and it's pure speculation and
nothing personal at all) because he works surrounded by words,
words, and more words, I suppose, whether it's code, mail, whatever. 

I'm different, I was a M$ user for quite a while, and apart from
the differences in  the "toolbar" at the bottom and the fact that
I have top and right-side toolbars also, I'm not sure my desktop
looks much different than it did back on Win98. (Well, on 10 items
on this desktop --- but the toolbars [32 launchers now] make up for it.)
Except, it never turns blue and give me ominous white letters, nor
does it ever lockup without leaving me some option besides a
power cycle.

Kevin Kinsey

*I'm sure there are other things, and my descriptions are
at best those of the uninitiated.  My apologies to the devoted,
I do not aim to offend.  That would extend to all users of

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