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Are Compositing Window Managers Lightweight?

KDE

Published on 01 May 2013 12:57 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in KDE
31 Comments

With the recent talk about developing a lightweight KDE desktop, the KWin maintainer, Martin Gräßlin, is talking out to try to clarify whether the compositing window manager is lightweight.

In a new blog post Martin has rebuked these claims of KWin not being up to lightweight tasks.

Martin explains that the window manager / compositor don't go through too much system memory, the biggest cost is likely using the XComposite extension but this is avoided with Wayland, and that even if the compositing window manager goes through a bit more system memory it generally comes with using less CPU usage than a non-composited desktop environment.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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