Saturday, July 20, 2019

In search of a lighter Window Manager in Linux !

Though LXQT has claimed to be lighter than LXDE, it seems to have more resource intensive. This is the same reason why the recent Lubuntu distributions with LXQT demand relatively a good hardware configuration, than its earlier versions which had used LXDE.

Aim: So I thought to build Linux desktop which is lighter as possible.

The idea is to build a minimal desktop environment under Linux, using the known lighter window managers like JWM, IceWM, OpenBox, Awesome,  DWM, FluxBox. JWM seems to be the clear winner and details have been given below.

Setting up the base environment: For this experiment, I’ve used the Debian Core Minimal Net Installer, which is just the bare-bones. The Debian version we’ve used, is  Buster”, which enjoys 5 year LTS support. The NetInstaller, consists the core system with command line.  

The core system only takes 64MB on boot, without GUI.


The experiment consists of installing the X-Org  X-Server (X-Windows System) with the aforementioned window managers with some default applications like a FileExplorer (PCManFm) and a task manager (lxtask). 

apt install xorg

apt install <window manager>

apt install pcmanfm

apt install lxtask


The performance of window managers are given below:


1. JWM: The lightest! (116MB - Incredible)

The lightest of all.

Only took around 116MB of memory to a usable desktop with PcManFm, TaskManager and the bash terminal


2. DWM: Lighter (123MB)

Took around 123MB of memory to a usable desktop with PcManFm, TaskManager and the bash terminal


3. IceWM: Lighter (125MB)

Took around 125MB of memory to a usable desktop with PcManFm, TaskManager and the bash terminal

4. OpenBox: Lighter (126MB)

Took around 126MB of memory to a usable desktop with PcManFm, TaskManager and the bash terminal

5. FluxBox: (134MB)

Took around 134MB of memory to a usable desktop with PcManFm, TaskManager and the bash terminal