I probably the only one crazy enough to use ratpoison, but has anyone else tried it? Did you like it? Here is why I like/dislike it:

Its simple
Its fast
It maximizes the real estate of your screen
it uses the same keybindings as screen
it lets me completely ignore the other 50 windows I have open

Some applications do not work in ratpoison (gimp)
to some people its weird

I used ratpoison for some time, and I liked the simplicity (one config-file to rule 'em all:-D) and the speed, and fell for the philosophy behind tiling wm:s. But as you say, it has some cons. I to missed support for floating windows, but the largest problem to me was the lack of a sense of order.

If you like the tiling approach, I can recommend you to try both dwm (used for a long time) and wmii (using right now). They miss one of your cons at least, that is the lack of support for floating windows (which they handle well). Thats not the only difference thou, but I'll let the developers speak for them selves: http://www.suckless.org


Eh...I've abandoned tiling wms, as they don't work well with many apps... currently I use evilwm.

I like rp, been using it for 3 months, i alternate it with icewm depending how i feel that day.

I find it ready to work, my keybindings allow me never to stray from the kbd, making work easier. I replaced C-t with F8 (you can replace it the keys Pause or Insert) depending if you don't need them for other apps. The key Print gives me a snapshot and Ctrl+space bar a Run box. If i do a 'ps -aux' in the terminal, it shows rp uses only 1,5 MB RAM, which is great for me. Here's my .ratpoisonrc:

alias term exec aterm
escape F8
warp on
startup_message off
set winname class
defborder 0
defpadding 0 0 0 0
defbarpadding 0 0
exec xsetroot -solid black -cursor_name left_ptr
bind semicolon colon

alias showroot exec ratpoison -c fdump; ratpoison -c 'select -' -c only
alias unshowroot exec ratpoison -c "frestore at $HOME/.rpfdump"
bind B showroot

exec rpws -i
exec /usr/bin/rpws init 6 -k

bind F1 exec rpws 1
bind F2 exec rpws 2
bind F3 exec rpws 3
bind F4 exec rpws 4
bind F5 exec rpws 5
bind F6 exec rpws 6

# "toggle between two frames"
bind C-Tab focuslast

###Shortcut for apps
bind e exec xfe
bind z exec xzgv
bind F9 exec aterm -e elinks
bind o exec opera
bind f exec firefox
bind m exec sylpheed
bind x exec xchat
bind r restart
bind Delete exec sudo halt
bind W exec ~/bin/windows
bind c exec aterm
bind l exec xtrlock
bind u exec aterm -e weechat-curses

#numpad numbers work to select window
bind KP_0 select 0
bind KP_1 select 1
bind KP_2 select 2
bind KP_3 select 3
bind KP_4 select 4
bind KP_5 select 5
bind KP_6 select 6
bind KP_7 select 7
bind KP_8 select 8
bind KP_9 select 9

# top-level shortcuts (don't require prefix key)
definekey top C-space exec
definekey top Print exec aterm -e scrot -c -d 10

I used to use iceWM, but I ditched it for evilWM.

What part of icewm you didn't like? i got it set up with keybindings, winoptions for maximized apps, no title bar, and auto-hide taskbar, it looks like ratpoison :)

I don't actually remember why I switched...It was quite a while ago... I just remember there was something I didn't like ;-) Maybe I'll try it again for the first time.

I use windomaker/blackbox/twm

TWM is good for RHEL servers, where you dont want to waste space with Gnome, but you want the nice Redhat GUI tools

The funny thing is that TWM is really not *that* memory efficient or light, considering it's features (or lack thereof), it's quite bloated.

yeah but its the lightest WM thats bundled with RH

So you can't just install a better one? Does RHEL not let you do that or something?

i have a remote access to a dedicated RH server that i play about on. They dont like people installing s/w that is not officially supported by redhat or else thier support people get mad

I don't actually remember why I switched...It was quite a while ago... I just remember there was something I didn't like ;-) Maybe I'll try it again for the first time.

Lemme know, i can post my .icewm preferences and keys, winoptions etc, it really makes it usable and productive :)

Oh yes.. now I remember, I wanted the focus to be on the mouse.

Oh yes.. now I remember, I wanted the focus to be on the mouse.

Do a 'locate icewm' from the terminal, in Debian it's in:
$ locate icewm
/usr/share icewm/preferences

create a dir for icewm in your /home and transfer the preference you want, to your .icewm OR you can copy the whole file to your .icewm

$ cp /usr/share/icewm/preferences .icewm

and then edit it there to your content.

When you go to the global icewm preferences file (/usr/share/icewm/preferences) just look for the one that you're interested in and edit it in your /home or bring it back to your /home.

In your case is focus with the mouse. Well there are several that deal with focus, take your pick:

# Focus windows by clicking
# ClickToFocus=1 # 0/1

# Focus windows when application requests to raise
# FocusOnAppRaise=0 # 0/1

# Raise windows when focused
# RaiseOnFocus=1 # 0/1

# Focus window when client area clicked
# FocusOnClickClient=1 # 0/1

# Raise window when client area clicked
# RaiseOnClickClient=1 # 0/1

# Raise window when title bar is clicked
# RaiseOnClickTitleBar=1 # 0/1

# Raise window when frame button is clicked
# RaiseOnClickButton=1 # 0/1

# Raise window when frame border is clicked
# RaiseOnClickFrame=1 # 0/1

# Lower the active window when clicked again
# LowerOnClickWhenRaised=0 # 0/1

# Pass focusing click on client area to client
# PassFirstClickToClient=1 # 0/1

# Change to the workspace of newly focused windows
# FocusChangesWorkspace=0 # 0/1

# Focus normal window when initially mapped
# FocusOnMap=1 # 0/1

# Focus dialog window when initially mapped
# FocusOnMapTransient=0 # 0/1

# Focus dialog window when initially mapped only if parent frame focused
# FocusOnMapTransientActive=1 # 0/1

# Colormap focus follows pointer
# PointerColormap=1 # 0/1

I've done it a few times, and i got all my preferences saved in a carpet in my yahoo mail, so when i install icewm it's just a matter of copy/paste :)
$ mkdir -p .icewm
$ jpico .icewm/preferences

it gives me an empty file and i just paste my preferences.

For example:

## .icewm/preferences
ShutdownCommand="sudo halt"
RebootCommand="sudo reboot"
WorkspaceNames=" 1 ", " 2 "

TimeFormat="%a %d %b %R"

## .icewm/keys
key "Ctrl+Alt+c" aterm
key "Ctrl+Alt+e" xfe
key "Ctrl+Alt+z" xzgv
key "Ctrl+Alt+Print" aterm -e scrot -c -d 10
key "Ctrl+Alt+m" sylpheed
key "Ctrl+Alt+o" opera
key "Ctrl+Alt+f" iceweasel
key "Ctrl+Alt+u" aterm -e weechat-curses

key "Alt+Ctrl+KP_Divide" aumix -v -5 # lower volume
key "Alt+Ctrl+KP_Multiply" aumix -v +5 # raise volume

Note: Ctrl+Alt = Windows key ##it saves you a stroke

## .icewm/winoptions
aterm.startMaximized: 1
sylpheed.startMaximized: 1
xchat.startMaximized: 1
xzgv.startMaximized: 1
iceweasel.startMaximized: 1
xfe.startMaximized: 1

Note: all my apps start maximized

## .icewm/prefoverride
KeyWinClose="F4" ##this closes an app with one stroke.

Say it's the first preference:
# Focus windows by clicking
# ClickToFocus=1 # 0/1


Uncomment it and it's already enabled by default, if you want it disable change it to:


voilĂ ! save/exit your editor and restart icewm:
$ Win key + Delete + r
the change is immediate.

IceWM with weechat and the SilverXP theme.

I usually put the taskbar in autohide and eliminate the title to save real estate a la ratpoison :)

You can put the taskbar at the top, eliminate the title bar then you have a gnome clone. To get more themes, install the app 'icewm-themes' or if you're in archlinux compile i don't think they got in the repos. One thing about icewm, it's configurable: by default you can move thru workspaces

win key + right/left arrow or win key + # of ws

increase the # of workspaces or reduce them in the .icewm/preferences.

If you want to transfer an app to a different ws just press win key + shift + # of ws or right/left arrow :)