Tiling Window managers – use your screen real estate efficiently
Why use tiling window managers?
Well if you are using traditional desktop environment, such as the windows and macs desktops, you’ve probably ran into problems like having multiple windows open, windows on top of each other and all
over the place, and you wished to have maybe more screen real estate to work with.
Here lies the problem, your standard desktop environment window managers are grossly inefficient, although for an everyday user they fill out the purpose, but for an advanced user they are just that – inefficient. So what’s the alternative, what’s the solution?
– Tiling window managers are the solution.
Your standard desktop environment have what is called floating windows (floating window managers),it’s what we are all familiar with. Whenever you have more than, let’s say 10 windows open, you begin to see the problem,windows get lost in all that, every-time you have to change it you find yourself looking for the right one to open.
Your standard desktop environment uses what is called, search-select-use paradigm, or in other words, whenever you have to open a new program you have to find it’s executable, select it and then use it, wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t have to do all that?
A tiling window manager, as the name suggests tiles the windows for you. You give the boring tasks that you don’t have to do, to the window manager, and it’s managing them for you. Big upside for tiling window managers is key bindings, every program you use can be bound to some keys on your keyboard of your choosing, after a while you begin to see how efficient that is.
The biggest upside is, when you are opening your programs and windows with key bindings, the window manger automatically takes as much screen as possible, so you can use all of the screen real estate that’s available to you.
For the most part tiling window managers are keyboard driven, you will find yourself not using a mouse at all, since it’s also inefficient to move your hands from your keyboard every few seconds.
Say you wanted to open another program, the window manger will automatically split screen into two equal parts, and dedicate half a screen to each program you opened, and it goes on for every new program you open.
The best part is you get to choose many different options on how it manages your windows.
There is classical spliting into two paradigm, then there are fancy ones, like fibonacci sequence or serial paradigm and others.
The whole ideology behind this is – no wasted space or resources, I personally kinda like that.
Moving the windows around the screen can’t be done by mouse, but that’s the whole point of it, you can setup key bindings to take care of that, and move them with ease while still using the whole screen.
If you got interested in using the tiling window manger while reading this, I would like to recommend some cool options:
– DWM or dynamic window manger, made by the guys at suckless, written in c, out of the box it is very minimalistic, but you can
configure it to do pretty much anything you want. It’s great for advanced users that like to have full control of their system.
– Qtile wm is very nice and pre-configured window manager written in python, I would recommend this one as your first one to try.
– I3 is maybe the most popular one, probably because it’s easy to use out of the box, and also pre-configured to fill up most of the users needs.