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Exploring window managers

2006-01-22 , ,

I’ve been exploring window managers and it isn’t the navel-gazing activity that it might seem. A coworker turned me on to [Ratpoison](http://www.nongnu.org/ratpoison/), a keyboard-driven tiling manager, think of it as the equivalent of [screen](http://www.gnu.org/software/screen) for X-windows. I like the automagic management and the tiling but I prefer tabs and need to run the occasional mouse-driven windowing app (firefox, etc.).

[Ion3](http://modeemi.cs.tut.fi/~tuomov/ion/) is more my style. It’s small, fast, keyboard-driven with mouse support, tiling and tabbing, and relatively unobtrusive. It also supports traditional “floating” windows. It uses [Lua](http://www.lua.org) as an extension language which adds to its appeal, I’ve meant to look at Lua for some time.

Ion gives me almost exactly what I want- keyboard control, several workspaces tiled and tabbed, one or two workspaces in the normal way, and in all light on system resources. I have some issues to solve or work around- mostly that Firefox is ill-behaved and generally broken but Opera and Konqueror work.

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