A Qt based window manager
qlwm is yet another window manager for the X11 system.
it makes heavy use of a high level API it can be kept small, stable
and easy to maintain. One of the design rules was to get a
environment that does not bother the user with unnecessary details or
features while providing comfort and high functionality.
The size of the gzipped archive is currently around 50kb and code
size is around 5000 lines. So far I have tried this with Qt2 on a
486/33 with 16MB and it felt fast. Qlwm is available for Qt2,
Qt3 and Qt4.
- A builtin toolbar to handle iconified windows, pager, applets,
- Menu and start functions are not really the job of the window
manager. But it is in my opinion useful if users can find some often
used applications in one common location. The toolbar menu itself can
have as many submenus as required and can be edited on the fly.
- A function can be used that brings only the last fully obscured
window into the foreground because this does not corrupt the desktop
layout so much.
- In addition to floating windows, qlwm supports a
fullscreen and a tiling window management. Screenmode can be used to
utilize the full screen size for example in xterms. The purpose of
tiling is to have the best overview on a desktop and to automate window
- A limited autoraise policy can be used that will not be in
effect if a window would fully obscure another window (this has often
disturbed me on some other window managers).
- Autoscaling of icons. Toolbar and window border sizes are
configurable and icons will scale to them. Icon handling on the icon
bar part of the toolbar is simple: A server supplied icon will be
autoscaled and used. If the application has no icon we have more space
for text information. It avoids everything that could force a user to
deal actively with it.
- Only two window buttons and the titlebar are used, but those are
multi-functional: Windows can maximize to the toolbar or hide the
toolbar and various window information is accessible (like the machine
- Virtual desktops: The pager is visible on the left side of the
toolbar. I know two approaches for virtual desktops: The first is a
workspace switch that treats the desktops indepedently, unmaps all
windows on one desktop and then maps all windows of another desktop.
The second is a continuous geometry with a moveable viewport that does
not unmap anything. qlwm uses a moveable viewport and the pager
shows a miniature view of the desktop layout, but the pager works like
a switch and allows to flip desktops only in whole size.
- To save space in a virtual desktop approach, buttons on the icon
bar appear only if a window becomes iconified. Buttons of windows in
the foreground disappear automatically if new space is required. This
provides also a trivial method to move windows between desktops.
- Dynamic applet loading. Applications that are scheduled to
appear on the toolbar will be resized in height and other items on the
toolbar change their position automatically if necessary. The mail
indicator for example shouldn't occupy space if no mail is present etc.
Two applets are part of the distribution and will be installed by
default, a mail indicator and a digital clock.
- A common directory hierarchy. The default install does not
pollute the system by distributing files across it. The build was
tested on Linux and FreeBSD and should work on others.
Another useful feature is the possibility to obtain it:
Older versions for Qt2 and Qt3 (not maintained anymore):