If you decide not to use either KDE or GNOME, a variety of X Window system window managers are available. Essentially, your choice is about balancing beauty against simplicity.
■ If resources are limited, one of the fairly minimal window managers may suit you. Also, if you are in the habit of starting everything from the command line, then complex menus and icons may not be so useful to you. At the very minimal end of the spectrum, there are window managers such as TWM, which provide an environment where you can start an xterm and do everything else from there. Apart from the ability to move and minimize and maximize windows, there is not a great deal of other functionality.
■ On the other hand, a window manager such as Xfce offers complex menus, a great deal of configurability, and a lot of eye candy, but uses a good deal of resource and lacks the nice built-in file management capabilities of GNOME and KDE.
Window managers such as IceWM and Blackbox fall somewhere in between the two extremes. In general, if you use one of these window managers you are going to find yourself spending a fair amount of time doing configuration to get the look and feel the way you want and the menus the way you want: At least some of this work will be spent editing text files by hand.
Was this article helpful?