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Things Window Managers do

Window managers provide the borders around the windows. Without a window manager windows would simply have no borders. Window managers also allow changing the location and size of windows. They determine in which way the input focus is switched. They can raise or lower windows. Most window managers provide a menu system. Some window managers provide icon management and virtual desktops.

There are a variety of window managers, some of which are listed here:

- Tab Window Manager is the most basic window manager provided with nearly all X-Windows implementationsgif.
- Motif Window Manager is the window manager you are currently using. It is widespread, but is not free like twm. Newer versions also have virtual desktops. It has a similar look and feel to Microsoft Windows.
- F(?) Virtual Window Manager is derived from twm but looks very much like mwm. It provides virtual desktops like newer versions of mwm.
- Open Look Window Manager is Sun's window manager, but has been implemented for a variety of machines. It has it's own special look and feel, which is different from all other window managers. There is a version with virtual desktops called olvwm.

Appendix gif contains screen shots of the above window managers.

Mark O. Stitson
Wed Sep 25 10:45:32 BST 1996