Why do I use JWM as a windows manager?

If you have spent any time on this blog at all, you are probably wondering why I have “JWM Theme Friday!” and discussions about keeping my Linux light with Light Weight Desktop Environments or Windows Managers (LWDE/WM). I already have an article addressing that specifically, but I would like to give you a graphic representation of your system resources being utilized for maintaining your visual work space.

As you can see, on the target computer used for this test, the amount of RAM taken by DE/WM’s like KDE, Unity, Gnome 3, and Razor are all over 100 MB. For some of you, this is not really a problem. You have enough RAM available that this slice off the top doesn’t affect your overall machine performance.

My best machine, however, would lose almost 10% of the available RAM to run the KDE desktop environment. That’s just too much wasted horsepower. LXDE or Mate would probably be acceptable, but I am often using my computer to run virtual machines while I prepare for various computer related exams or learning about Linux. Usually when preparing for exams that require networking, I will have two or three virtual computers running on my machine, each using up precious system resources. It is for this reason I choose to use a LWDE/WM.

As for JWM, I find that it is simple enough to edit, complex enough to make it look cool, and useful enough to allow me to complete my work. Here in lies the key phrase: complete my work. Perhaps for others, they can work faster with a DE/WM that is heavier and is taking care of every side or background task for them and allowing them to have better workflow. As for me, I have yet to run into something I couldn’t get done in JWM, and would need a heavier DE/WM to do.

If you get work done faster because of a heavier user interface, that is great! I suggest that you keep using it. If you often wonder how many resources are being utilized simply to display your windows, you might try a lighter solution and see if you even notice a difference in workflow. Bottom line: use the DE/WM that works best for you and your system resources. For me, that’s JWM.

Still not sure that JWM can look cool? Check out my “JWM Theme Friday!” posts.

Linux – Keep it simple.


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