Revision [19599]

This is an old revision of JWMElements made by darkcity on 2011-11-20 13:48:38.


HomePage > Components and HowTos > GUI > WindowManagers

The Window Manager

A window manager is an application that manages windows: it lets you open, close, maximize and minimize windows. The window manager draws the window borders and captions.

In order to keep Puppy small in size and retain functionality, Puppy uses a lightweight window manager called "JWM" (Joe's Window Manager), which also manages a panel on the bottom of the screen. Some versions of Puppy contain other window managers, such as IceWM, Fluxbox or Openbox.

JWM has many useful functions.


JWM lets you use multiple workspaces; they're like multiple screens. Each window can appear in one or more workspace. This way, you can use many more applications at the same time or sort running applications to work more efficiently.

Thumbnails of them can be seen on the panel.


Each rectangular shape in a thumbnail represents a window. In my case, I have a big SeaMonkey window, that is the dark gray rectangle: it's the active window. All other rectangles represent other windows on my screen. On my second workspace, I have only one small window.

To switch to another workspace, click its thumbnail on the panel, or scroll with your mouse wheel while the mouse pointer is on the desktop.

Launch Buttons

Near the "Menu" button, there are 2 buttons, by default: the first one minimizes all windows in the current workspace and the second one shows a list of mounted partitions.


JWM lets you change a window's layer. For instance, let's say you're in an interesting conversation in Ayttm and you want the window to be always on top, so you can read what other people say to you while you're reading news in SeaMonkey.

In such cases, you can set a window to be always on top, which means it's always above other windows and cannot be hidden by them. Also, it is possible to change a window's layer to be always on bottom or to some number, so you can set window layers with multiple windows.

To set a window's layer, right-click its caption and go to "Layer". In this case, a console window is set to be always above all other windows.

To reset a window's layer back to the default behavior, select "[Normal]".

JWM Settings

JWM has many settings you can mess with. They can be accessed through the "JWM configuration" menu item.

The JWM Configuration Manager lets you change various settings related to JWM.
* "Tray management" lets you manage the JWM panel, which is displayed on the bottom by default. You can change the number of workspaces, make the panel hidden and visible only when the mouse is on the screen bottom, change the panel height and more.
* "Window focus model" lets you change the way the active window is set. By default, it is set by clicking somewhere inside it, but this behavior can be changed to moving the mouse on the the window to make it active.
* "Application launch buttons in tray" lets you add, remove or edit launch buttons.

After altering the JWM settings, restart it to apply the changes by clicking the "Yes" button.

Also see

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