JWM to OpenBox and XDM to Slim-Fork in Arch Linux

Published on July 25, 2023 at 10:09 am by LEW


Last week I was tinkering around with a new Arch Linux install when I noticed Joe’s Window Manager (JWM) was no longer in the main repository. Instead it was in the Arch user Repository (AUR).

This was a not so pleasant surprise and prodded me to check some other programs. One pleasant surprise was that when I looked up the SLIM Desktop manager (DM), it was not SLIM, but rather SLIM-Fork.

The upshot of all this is I am gaining new experience with some alternate programs, as opposed to using the same old recipe over and over. This is a good thing. We should all crave nee experiences.

New experience is good. It is always beneficial to learn new things. However while some new experiences are pleasant surprise, some can be a little painful. Let me explain…

JWM vs OpenBox

When I use a WM like JWM, I am building a light system, usually for someone else with some older hardware. Which is why in this last build I switched to OpenBox. Using JWM would have required installing all the build tools needed for most AUR packages, which flies in the face of a light system. Especially for someone who might not be as experienced with building software. Yes, I know, building AUR packages is not overly complex. But again, computer for someone else.

To continue, there are both advantages and disadvantages to replacing JWM with OpenBox.

To sum them up;

XDM vs SLIM-Fork

There is really no downside at the moment for using SLIM-Fork over XDM. The original SLIM project has been unmaintained for about ten years now (some call it dead or abandoned).

However super big thanks to bdt-rob, as there is an updated version called SLIM-Fork (being maintained) available when you download SLIM from the Arch repository.

To sum up my comparison;


I am building this new Graphical User Interface on SLIM-fork, OpenBox, and Tint2. So this is going to be a new setup journey. I do plan to document my efforts in followup posts. The first of which will talk about Openbox. I have not decided on the format yet, text or video.

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