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#1 2007-08-02 21:40:24

quarks
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2007-05-14
Posts: 66

Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

I recently came across Xmonad and have been using it for a couple of days now.

Xmonad is a tiling window manager for X. Windows are arranged automatically to tile the screen without gaps or overlap, maximising screen use. All features of the window manager are accessible from the keyboard: a mouse is strictly optional. Xmonad is written and extensible in Haskell. Custom layout algorithms, and other extensions, may be written by the user in config files. Layouts are applied dynamically, and different layouts may be used on each workspace. Xinerama is fully supported, allowing windows to be tiled on several screens. A guiding principle of the design is predictability: users should know in advance precisely the window arrangement that will result from any action, leading to a simpler user interface.

Features:
    * Automatic window tiling and management
    * First class keyboard support: a mouse is unnecessary
    * Full multihead/Xinerama support
    * XRandR support to rotate, add or remove monitors
    * Per-workspace layout algorithms
    * Per-screen status bars
    * Dynamic restart preserving workspace state
    * Tiny code base (~500 lines of Haskell) cool
    * Fast, small and simple.
    * Easy, powerful customisation

Xmonad: A guided tour
Wikipedia: Xmonad

It is similar to ion, dwm and ratpoison.
It's exactly what I was looking for all these months.
No cluttered desktop filled with overlapping windows anylonger, just pure minimalism.
Here's a screenshot of my, well, anti-desktop. tongue

desktop_oct2007_th.png

It's relativily new so I thought I'd spread the word (I'm not affiliated with them).
Is anyone else here using this wm?

Last edited by quarks (2007-10-21 08:22:46)

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#2 2007-08-02 21:59:49

Lowe
Member
Registered: 2005-07-11
Posts: 89

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

Looks like something from 1996. I thought we supposed to be improving software?

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#3 2007-08-02 22:16:18

quarks
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2007-05-14
Posts: 66

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

Lowe wrote:

Looks like something from 1996. I thought we supposed to be improving software?

Choice is improvement. smile
Some people prefer a minimalist and keyboard driven window manager.
Apparently lots of people if you look at the, still fairly sizable, popularity of dwm, ion, wmii and the likes.

Xmonad works very well with widescreen and/or dual screen setups (that's not very 1996 wink).
And it's only at version 0.4, so I guess there will be more features (though it already works very well).

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#4 2007-08-02 23:22:56

dolby
Member
From: 1992
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1,581

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

as a dwm user i always keep an eye on xmonad
the things i dont like about it at least at this point are:
it doesnt have a built-in bar like dwm
u dont get to see releases that often. last one is from early may (i dont know where u got 0.4 from, site still says 0.2)
lack of floating layer (at least in the 0.2 release)

Last edited by dolby (2007-08-03 08:39:43)


There shouldn't be any reason to learn more editor types than emacs or vi -- mg (1)
[You learn that sarcasm does not often work well in international forums.  That is why we avoid it. -- ewaller (arch linux forum moderator)

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#5 2007-08-03 05:00:21

mucknert
Member
From: Berlin // Germany
Registered: 2006-06-27
Posts: 510

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

Lowe wrote:

Looks like something from 1996. I thought we supposed to be improving software?

To a lot of ambitious users, the clicky-clicky WIMP-approach is a pain to use. Improvement in Software does not mean improvement in looks but in usability.

I will have a closer look at xmonad. I love tiling Windowmanagers but somehow, I think they are all not quite "there" yet. Perhaps xmonad does the trick.


Todays mistakes are tomorrows catastrophes.

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#6 2007-08-03 05:20:35

Gilneas
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2006-10-22
Posts: 320

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

I have once used dwm for half a year, but I don't like the tiling approach.
Basically I ran it in floating mode all the time.

I looked a bit further, and now I'm using Sithwm. Which has its flaws, shortcomings and excessive features, but - for me - it's one step closer in the right direction.

EDIT On a side note though, I'll never be able to make a pretty screenshot like you just did. Basically I only have fullscreen windows. (no toolbar or anything either) the only thing that's important to me is easy navigation.

Last edited by Gilneas (2007-08-03 20:45:14)

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#7 2007-08-03 08:49:30

quarks
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2007-05-14
Posts: 66

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

dolby wrote:

as a dwm user i always keep an eye on xmonad
the things i dont like about it at least at this point are:
it doesnt have a built-in bar like dwm
u dont get to see releases that often. last one is from early may (i dont know where u got 0.4 from, site still says 0.2)
not as easily configurable as dwm
lack of floating window support (at least in the 0.2 release)

I was mistaken, it is still 0.2.
Xmonad leaves extra functionality up to other programs (dzen, dmenu).
And when you're done, you can reload xmonad without losing all your windows an settings.

mucknert wrote:
Lowe wrote:

Looks like something from 1996. I thought we supposed to be improving software?

To a lot of ambitious users, the clicky-clicky WIMP-approach is a pain to use. Improvement in Software does not mean improvement in looks but in usability.

I will have a closer look at xmonad. I love tiling Windowmanagers but somehow, I think they are all not quite "there" yet. Perhaps xmonad does the trick.

I agree.
Xmonad already feels nicer than ratpoison in my opinion.

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#8 2007-08-03 15:08:10

veek
Member
Registered: 2006-03-10
Posts: 167

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

quarks, I noticed xmonad recently.

I have a perfect setup in ion3, but if I can duplicate the setup in another WM I'll switch
because I don't like the attitude of ion3's author. And when I say perfect I mean the only reason
I'm leaving is because of the author.

So I started hacking the changes I want into dwm, but I haven't finished it.
I can easily work in C, but maybe I should pick up haskell and hack Xmonad instead.

My question is, assuming you've used dwm, what do you prefer in Xmonad?

actually looking at these four points you posted, maybe my question is unnecessary since I don't think dwm supports any of them:

    *XRandR support to rotate, add or remove monitors
    * Per-workspace layout algorithms
    * Per-screen status bars
    * Dynamic restart preserving workspace state

Also do you use dmenu? I found that it's noticeably slower than ion's built-in run-program app.

At any rate I may need to give Xmonad a whirl.

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#9 2007-08-03 15:25:46

rab
Member
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 185

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

looks nice and simple. gotta give it a try


rawr

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#10 2007-08-03 16:03:22

MoxJet
Member
From: Sweden
Registered: 2007-05-09
Posts: 20

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

Just after going from gnome to openbox, I saw this post so I had to try Xmonad out. And it is really fantastic! It is precisely how I want window managing to be! I have always hated resizing windows, and I never really got around to use workspaces efficiently, but it works great in Xmonad. So quarks, thanks for posting this! big_smile

I am having some problems getting the darcs version to compile though, I would really want to try it out.

veek: I have not used dwm, but I second what you write about Ion's authors attitude.

Anyway, any tips or tricks for Xmonad you have been trying will be greatly appriciated. I am currently working on rewriting my conky configuration to fit in a top segment smile

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#11 2007-08-03 16:41:40

quarks
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2007-05-14
Posts: 66

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

veek wrote:

quarks, I noticed xmonad recently.

I have a perfect setup in ion3, but if I can duplicate the setup in another WM I'll switch
because I don't like the attitude of ion3's author. And when I say perfect I mean the only reason
I'm leaving is because of the author.

So I started hacking the changes I want into dwm, but I haven't finished it.
I can easily work in C, but maybe I should pick up haskell and hack Xmonad instead.

My question is, assuming you've used dwm, what do you prefer in Xmonad?

actually looking at these four points you posted, maybe my question is unnecessary since I don't think dwm supports any of them:

    *XRandR support to rotate, add or remove monitors
    * Per-workspace layout algorithms
    * Per-screen status bars
    * Dynamic restart preserving workspace state

Also do you use dmenu? I found that it's noticeably slower than ion's built-in run-program app.

At any rate I may need to give Xmonad a whirl.

Yes, dmenu is slow sometimes, but it works for me.
I haven't used dwm so I can't comment on that.

I really like how the focus follows the mouse.

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#12 2007-08-03 16:56:20

shining
Pacman Developer
Registered: 2006-05-10
Posts: 2,043

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

quarks wrote:

I really like how the focus follows the mouse.

In many wm, it isn't the default behavior, but you can configure it.


pacman roulette : pacman -S $(pacman -Slq | LANG=C sort -R | head -n $((RANDOM % 10)))

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#13 2007-08-03 19:38:15

skymt
Member
Registered: 2006-11-27
Posts: 443

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

veek: If you have Ion set up exactly how you like it, just stick with it. Trust me, things will improve soon. wink

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#14 2007-08-05 11:39:51

Roberth
Member
From: The Pale Blue Dot
Registered: 2007-01-12
Posts: 891

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

Hello, Ive never tried these tiled window managers, so I think I'll have a try with xmonad, I've compiled an installed haskell-x11 from aur, and now I'm compiling haskell-x11-extras from aur, but I'm getting this output:

Setup.lhs: cannot satisfy dependency X11>=1.2.1

What package do I miss?


Use the Source, Luke!

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#15 2007-08-05 11:58:57

quarks
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2007-05-14
Posts: 66

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

Roberth wrote:

Hello, Ive never tried these tiled window managers, so I think I'll have a try with xmonad, I've compiled an installed haskell-x11 from aur, and now I'm compiling haskell-x11-extras from aur, but I'm getting this output:

Setup.lhs: cannot satisfy dependency X11>=1.2.1

What package do I miss?

I've had that problem too.
You should install X11 and X11-extras from source.
That fixed it for me.

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#16 2007-08-05 12:30:44

Roberth
Member
From: The Pale Blue Dot
Registered: 2007-01-12
Posts: 891

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

Why should it make a difference from installing them from the PKGBUILD?


Use the Source, Luke!

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#17 2007-08-05 13:34:21

quarks
Member
From: Netherlands
Registered: 2007-05-14
Posts: 66

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

Roberth wrote:

Why should it make a difference from installing them from the PKGBUILD?

I had the same problem with xmobar, for some reason it didn't recognize X11 as version 1.2.2.
After installing the packages from source it just worked.

See: http://www.haskell.org/pipermail/xmonad … 01313.html

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#18 2007-08-07 06:47:14

semdornus
Member
From: Tokyo
Registered: 2007-08-07
Posts: 47

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find an answer to this short question
myself yet. So I would like to ask it here; is it possible to open applications
in specific workspaces by modifying the configuration file like in dwm?

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#19 2007-08-24 19:37:00

azerty
Member
Registered: 2007-08-23
Posts: 90
Website

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

@ Quarks

Sorry for OT, but what type of monitor are you currently using with xmonad?

Since tiling window manager suck on small monitors, I think I'm going to get a bigger/larger one.


Why are we here? What is the sense of life?
INVITATION TO THE TRUTH

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#20 2007-08-24 19:50:22

shining
Pacman Developer
Registered: 2006-05-10
Posts: 2,043

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

azerty wrote:

Since tiling window manager suck on small monitors, I think I'm going to get a bigger/larger one.

tiling window manager can be ok on small monitors as well, just use one window per tag/worskpace.
It allows you to easily have each window full screen, which is often useful on small monitors imho.


pacman roulette : pacman -S $(pacman -Slq | LANG=C sort -R | head -n $((RANDOM % 10)))

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#21 2007-08-24 20:26:38

azerty
Member
Registered: 2007-08-23
Posts: 90
Website

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

shining wrote:
azerty wrote:

Since tiling window manager suck on small monitors, I think I'm going to get a bigger/larger one.

tiling window manager can be ok on small monitors as well, just use one window per tag/worskpace.
It allows you to easily have each window full screen, which is often useful on small monitors imho.

If I'd use one window per tag I'd loose the advantage of the tiling mode. So I could finally just use an average wimpy wm.


Why are we here? What is the sense of life?
INVITATION TO THE TRUTH

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#22 2007-09-11 11:20:20

finferflu
Forum Fellow
From: Manchester, UK
Registered: 2007-06-21
Posts: 1,899
Website

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

Wow, Xmonad has all the features I was missing in dwm, some of which weren't even provided by all the patches. I especially like the per-view layout, and the possibility to switch between layouts so easily. No mouse needed for any of the actions. Just perfect. It has however something I hated in dwm: compiling it every time you want to change the configuration. A bar showing the tags like in dwm and wmii would be perfect now. smile


Have you Syued today?
Free music for free people! | Earthlings

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- A. de Saint-Exupery

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#23 2007-09-11 12:01:29

dolby
Member
From: 1992
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 1,581

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

theres 0.3 out for some days which has a floating mode but pkgbuild in aur hasnt been updated yet


There shouldn't be any reason to learn more editor types than emacs or vi -- mg (1)
[You learn that sarcasm does not often work well in international forums.  That is why we avoid it. -- ewaller (arch linux forum moderator)

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#24 2007-09-11 14:37:06

SleepingGiant08
Member
From: Ellicott City, MD USA
Registered: 2007-01-10
Posts: 124

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

finferflu wrote:

Wow, Xmonad has all the features I was missing in dwm, some of which weren't even provided by all the patches. I especially like the per-view layout, and the possibility to switch between layouts so easily. No mouse needed for any of the actions. Just perfect. It has however something I hated in dwm: compiling it every time you want to change the configuration. A bar showing the tags like in dwm and wmii would be perfect now. smile

you can use dzen and the DynamicLog extension for that. Also, there is something called xmobar. But, I haven't used any of them.


Registered Linux User #439761

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#25 2007-09-11 14:44:36

finferflu
Forum Fellow
From: Manchester, UK
Registered: 2007-06-21
Posts: 1,899
Website

Re: Xmonad: A brilliant window manager

SleepingGiant08 wrote:
finferflu wrote:

Wow, Xmonad has all the features I was missing in dwm, some of which weren't even provided by all the patches. I especially like the per-view layout, and the possibility to switch between layouts so easily. No mouse needed for any of the actions. Just perfect. It has however something I hated in dwm: compiling it every time you want to change the configuration. A bar showing the tags like in dwm and wmii would be perfect now. smile

you can use dzen and the DynamicLog extension for that. Also, there is something called xmobar. But, I haven't used any of them.

Yes, I have tried both of them, even though I haven't tried xmobar extensively, I am able to display the conky-cli output on dzen, which is fantastic smile still missing the tags on the bar, though...


Have you Syued today?
Free music for free people! | Earthlings

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -- A. de Saint-Exupery

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