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Window Managers 64-bit Memory Usage

How much memory does your window manager use? You can check yourself with the command ps -ao comm,size,rss,vsize. I have tried to note where the window manager has other applications it runs. Memory management in Linux is quite complex, and I don't feel competent to explain the exact nature of "size," "rss," and "vsize." Suffice to say that some of them include not only all the memory used by the app, but also memory used by all libraries used by the app - which means that if the WM has subordinate apps, a library that's loaded once may be counted several times. Read up on it. You can also check how many libraries your WM uses with ldd $WMexecutable. Sizes listed are in KiB.

Click on the column header to sort the table by the data in that column.

Window Manager Version Executable(s) size
64-bit
rss
64-bit
vsize
64-bit
Number of
Libraries
Notes
9wm 1.2-9 9wm 404 1324 24752 10
aewm 1.3.12-2 aewm 656 3436 41224 17
aewm++ 1.1.2-4.1 aewm++ 484 1972 32592 13
AfterStep 2.2.9-4 afterstep 12996 18276 127240 48 Starts several helper apps of a similar size.
ahwm 0.90-1 ahwm 404 1520 24860 10
Awesome 2.3.2 awesome 6852 13292 140284 34
Awesome 3.4-1 awesome 4180 9392 167668 53
Blackbox 0.70.1-2.2 blackbox 1072 5056 54640 21 Blackbox makes little sense without bbkeys for keybindings: it has similar memory usage measures.
CTWM 3.7-3 ctwm 864 2944 44400 17
dwm 4.7-3 dwm 408 1572 23924 9
Evil WM 1.0.0-1 evilwm 408 1392 26824 12
Fluxbox 1.0.0+deb1-7 fluxbox 1672 6124 60224 24
Fluxbox 1.0.0+deb1-8 fluxbox 1680 6100 66384 26
flwm 1.02+cvs20080422-2 flwm 740 4384 52576 22
FVWM 2 2.5.28.ds-1 fvwm 760 4664 111808 50
Icewm 1.2.35-1 icewm 1504 5576 70152 28
Ion 2 20040729-3 ion2 1100 2852 41876 15
Ion 3 20080411-1 ion3 2096 4204 53804 16
JWM 2.0.1-1.1 jwm 752 3920 49124 21
LarsWM 7.5.3-6 larswm 420 1384 24824 10
LWM 1.2.1-1.1 lwm 436 1536 30272 12
Matchbox 1.2-2 matchbox-window-manager 5868 11380 97404 33 A Matchbox session runs not only "matchbox-window-manager" (numbers shown here), but also matchbox-panel (8796 14568 93872), mb-applet-menu-launcher (5748 11236 95312), mb-applet-clock (6408 11944 96128), and the largest, matchbox-desktop (9392 18288 141176). Matchbox is intended for low resource environments. What am I missing? Of course I doubt anyone would ever run it on amd64 ...
Metacity 2.28.0-1 metacity 1732 10500 165664 66 Metacity is helpless without a pager and menu system, which must be run as separate processes (usually supplied by GNOME).
OpenBox 3.4.7.2-2 openbox 5380 10492 94904 34
PekWM 0.1.11 pekwm 4348 8088 67944 27 Debian testing package.
PWM2 (Ion2) 20040729-3 pwm2 960 2656 40640 15
qlwm 4.3 qlwm 3220 12876 119544 33
qvwm 1.1.12-4 qvwm 796 3032 58628 24
RatPoison 1.4.3-1 ratpoison 424 1720 34628 14
StumpWM 1:20070908-1 stumpwm/sbcl 8389772 56884 8440756 6 Requires a lisp environment, in this case sbcl: numbers reported are for that. May not be entirely correct: it locked on startup. Note that with clisp rather than sbcl the 32-bit version was more than an order of magnitude smaller.
TinyWM 1.3-4 tinywm 272 952 17256 9
twm 1:1.0.4-2 twm 1392 2948 35924 14
VTWM 5.4.7-2.2 vtwm 1184 2880 42420 16
w9wm 0.4.2-5 w9wm 428 1536 33176 10
WindowMaker 0.92.0-8.1 wmaker/WindowMaker 2552 6440 60056 24 Runs two copies, the other somewhat smaller.
wm2 4-10 wm2 484 1836 32596 13
WindowLab 1.34-1 windowlab 576 3352 39332 17
wmii 3.6+debian-4 wmii 556 2036 32824 9
wmx 6pl1 wmx 412 1916 4224 14 v6 2001.
wmx 7 wmx 860 3768 55120 23 v7 2009. Memory usage has gone up ...
wmx 8 wmx 1340 4152 65216 25 v8 2015.
xterm 235-1 xterm 2480 4016 57544 24 xterm can act as a WM (although not very well). But it's mostly here for comparison.
XMonad 0.8-1 xmonad 1296 2784 6052 15 Requires Haskell, which is huge and annoying, but this is impressively small.

http://gilesorr.com/wm/memory64.html ( 16Kb)
Last modified 20150223 by giles