Window Managers

I currently like to use Enlightenment under Gnome. Occasionally, I will use Sawfish under Gnome. On low powered machines, I use fvwm2.

In general, things relating to window managers and X in general tend to be poorly integrated. Things are installed, but it is often up to the user to fit things together. I'm not a Unix novice, and I have spent quite a few hours getting into a useable state. I can only imagine how much of a turn-off this must be for new users to FreeBSD or Unix in general. The Linux folks are way ahead of FreeBSD in this regard.


This tends to be the default window manager for Gnome, especially under Linux. It isn't quite as flashy as Enlightenment, but it is more stable (possibly owing to its larger user-base).

One problem I've noticed is that, even though Sawfish is installed, Gnome doesn't see it as one of the available window managers. So, this is a two part problem:

Hmm. I've found a directory, /usr/X11R6/share/gnome/wm-properties, which has entries for five window managers. Sawfish is not one of them. Three of the five are presumably not installed on the system, and the other two show up in the configurator. Perhaps if I added an entry for Sawfish, it would show up.

The binary distribution package has a comment for this file, but it is not actually part of the distribution. I'm not sure why. Interestingly, there is stuff in there for telling the Gnome configuration program how to set up Sawfish.

Well, creating that file worked. I couldn't find a configuration program for Sawfish to reference, so I left that out (as it is for twm). I set SessionManaged=true as it is for Enlightenment, but I don't really know what it means.