[xmonad] Comparison of "extensible window managers"

Gwern Branwen gwern0 at gmail.com
Wed Feb 15 17:24:53 CET 2012

On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 2:08 PM, Gwern Branwen <gwern0 at gmail.com> wrote:
> As far as Awesome and StumpWM and XMonad go, I have some random notes
> on pros and cons which never went anywhere:
> http://www.gwern.net/xmonad-advocacy

I've decided to simply delete my page. Your
is better, and I haven't worked on it in ages, nor did it ever become
very good.

Here's the final page source, if anyone cares:

description: In what ways is the XMonad window manager better than the
Awesome WM?

# XMonad vs. Awesome

## pros

22:51:58 < jrick> in awesome, tabs are provided through a lua library
called Tabulous. unfortunately, you can't have a "tab titlebar" at the
                  top, so you don't know what other windows are in that group

in awesome, if you break your configuration and reload, nothing loads up
in XMonad, it just won't compile and you can continue using the old one

awesome config file keeps changing

awesome has many dependencies

awesome is less reliable than XMonad, which hardly ever crashes

awesome is GPL against XMonad's BSD

## cons

XMonad users have to setup third-party statusbars like dzen, while
awesome has a statusbar built in (this is related to the dependencies)

XMonad uses virtual desktop model by default, while awesome uses tags;
XMonad has tag extensions, though

awesome statusbar apparently can embed Lua applications in it; eg. a
(small) clone of Space Invaders. it can also evaluate lua code


awesome uses XCB and XMonad Xlib; any speed advantage is unnoticeable
by the user and swamped by just about anything else (like app
XMonad requires learning at least a little haskell syntax; awesome
requires Lua knowledge, but this may be more accessible

# XMonad vs. StumpWM

## pros

live hacking means you can hose your X session

minimal type safety - try and pray?

XMonad being compiled means easier and more reliable setup than
StumpWM - interpreter setup can be tricky

XMonad has smaller binaries and uses less memory than a SBCL with
StumpWM loaded; this leads to noticeable performance differences on
RAM-limited systems

## cons

XMonad cannot really do live hacking

different paradigms; possible to do static tiling in XMonad, but not
nearly as easy as with StumpWM


xmonad vs awesome http://www.ghosthacking.net/blog/entry/xmonad_vs_awesome/


More information about the xmonad mailing list