I'm sort of tired of KDE4 crashing left and right and Plasma barfing all over me all day. So I decided to check out the current state of lightweight window managers.
Lo and behold, Fluxbox is still going strong. It was the first WM I used way back in 2000-something when I started using Linux full-time. Last time I tried, there were always weird compatibility problems with system tray icons and pagers working properly when running a mix of KDE and Gnome and other apps, but those seem to have cleared up nicely; I have yet to hit any snags. Here's a screenshot.
The Fluxbox style is mydefcon_4 from tenr.de which is probably the largest and most thorough set of themes created by one person that I've witnessed. That fellow is motivated.
For all the bells and whistles of KDE4, what features did I actually use regularly?
- A menu of apps
- Taskbar + System tray + Clock
- KWin's good window management.
- Global keyboard shortcuts galore
- One widget: current CPU/RAM/Network usage
- Mouse/keyboard management, background-setting, etc.
Fluxbox gives me all but number 5, and Conky gives me that. Number 6 you can do with
feh and such.
And I like being motivated to use keyboard shortcuts for more things. I'm already halfway there. Maybe I can take the plunge eventually and try a tiling window manager. Not sure I've reached that level of nerditude yet though.
And now I can move and resize windows without my graphics card bursting into flames. Maybe when I can afford a few more cores worth of CPU I'll try KDE4 again. Honestly I think I have too much monitor real-estate for my ancient computer to handle smoothly in KDE4.
Not to knock KDE4; it's awesome and I'll probably go back someday. But everyone needs a break now and then.