I don’t like the gradient-heavy look. I’m more of a fan of flat desktop themes. Additionally, I like dark top bars and light content sections. Here are my three favorites, viewed using lxappearance:
I’ve spent the last couple months trying out and tinkering with various tiling window managers. And I’ve learned some important things.
Tiling window managers are a type of window manager. However, instead of forcing you to open windows at one location and one size and moving and resizing them yourself, like more common floating WMs, tiling ones move and resize them for you. No window can be behind another. Linux’s multiple desktops make this feature especially handy. When I open a new window, my window manager automatically moves and resizes the existing windows on my screen to make room for my new window. No dragging, no clicking, and no empty space. It makes the screen of my very small netbook seem perfectly adequate for heavy-duty use.
Awesome is a terrific window manager. (I’m not going to go with the cliche “awesome is awesome.”) I actually switched from Openbox, which is also a terrific window manager. But I’d heard of this “tiling window manager” business, and because I just don’t feel comfortable when everything on my computer is working perfectly, I decided to try some other one. I did try Pytyle2 with Openbox for awhile, and I liked the idea of tiling enough to work up the courage and try Awesome.
I had a moment of panic after I substituted Awesome for Openbox in .xinitrc and restarted X. Nothing responded to my mouse clicks! Thankfully, I had a panel running, so I managed to click my browser open and start going through the Awesome wiki. It’s got some very logical keybindings, once you get them figured out.
I used xfce on Arch for several months. It’s light, it’s quick, and it’s full-featured. It had all the basic desktop pieces: panel, window manager, file manager, all that fun stuff. I was convinced that I had my desktop precisely the way I wanted it. Granted, I changed applications and settings here and there, but I figured that those changes were about the extent of it.
But I noticed on the message boards that an awful lot of people used xfce on Arch in conjunction with Openbox, not xfce’s window manager xfwm. Though I didn’t have a problem with my existing window manager (actually, I wasn’t quite sure what a window manager did specifically), I figured that with the Arch Wiki page to guide me, I’d be fine.