Are Compositing Window Managers Lightweight?
Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 1 May 2013 at 12:57 PM EDT. 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.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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