What Is Window Manager?

What Is Window Manager?
The window manager is the client application, with responsibility for managing client windows. There are a number of window managers to choose from, many with features that begin to approach those of a desktop. For information on many of the available window managers, see the Window Managers for X web site.

The window manager controls the general operation of the window system; in particular, it controls the geometry and aesthetics of your X display. With the window manager you can change the size and position of windows on the display, reshuffle windows in a window stack, and so on.

Figures 1 and 2 are screenshots from my fvwm-managed system. If you are using another window manager, the X display will have that window manager's appearance. In fact, because X is so customizable, even two users running the same window manager are likely to have screens that look very different.

fvwm is compliant with the Inter-Client Communication Conventions Manual (ICCCM). The ICCCM is a standard that defines interactions between X clients, including client interactions with the window manager. It defines basic policy that is intentionally omitted from X itself, such as the rules for transferring data between applications and for transferring keyboard focus.

Window managers and other applications that follow the ICCCM should be able to coexist and work together on the same server, even if they were written using different toolkits. This capability explains why you can, for example, run KDE applications on a GNOME desktop or with fvwm.
Read: X Server

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