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rat poison, ratpoison window manager
Ratpoison is a tiling window manager for the X Window System primarily developed by Shawn Betts Ratpoison is written in C; Betts' StumpWM re-implements a similar window manager in Common Lisp The user interface and much of their functionality are inspired by the GNU Screen terminal multiplexer2


  • 1 Overview
  • 2 Reception
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


The name "Ratpoison" reflects its major design goal: it lets the user manage application windows without using a mouse3 Unlike other tiling window managers like Ion, ratpoison completely ignores the mouse or "rat",45 and avoids window decorations as much as possible6 The default keybindings are specifically designed to not conflict with Emacs7


Mark Pilgrim, a frequent user, praised it for being "minimalist" and "configurable"5 Jeff Covey found it "lightning fast and perfectly stable"2 Peter Seebach remarked that "the convenience and performance are impressive; the learning curve, however, daunts many users"4 Similarly, Brian Proffitt observes that "the key commands are well explained in this window manager's man pages, and whatever you do, read these first The keyboard commands do make sense after some use but initially the learning curve is pretty steep"6 In the same vein, Bruce Byfield found it and stumpwm "virtually unusable until you read the documentation"8 Penguin Pete highlighted its suitability for Emacs users, calling it "not so much a window manager as a frame manager," but found it difficult to work with GIMP9

See alsoedit

  • Free software portal
  • dwm
  • Ion
  • Xmonad


  1. ^ Earliest known release
  2. ^ a b Covey, Jeff 12 October 2002, "The Antidesktop", Freshmeat 
  3. ^ Brozefsky, Craig 1999-06-27, "SCWM, Pot and the GPL", composlinuxadvocacy,gnumiscdiscuss newsgroups 
  4. ^ a b Seebach, Peter 13 March 2006, "The cranky user: Usability off the beaten path", developerWorks, IBM 
  5. ^ a b Pilgrim, Mark 15 March 2007, My Good Easy, archived from the original on 2011-07-18 
  6. ^ a b Proffitt, Brian April 10, 2001, "The StartX Files: When the Mouse is An Anathema", LinuxPlanet 
  7. ^ "ratpoison" 
  8. ^ Byfield, Bruce May 31, 2007, "Keyboard-driven environments open a new window on the desktop", Linuxcom 
  9. ^ "Ratpoison - the rebel" 

External linksedit

  • Ratpoison: Official website and wiki
  • StumpWM: Official website and wiki
  • Comparison of extensible window managers – Comparison of Sawfish, Awesome, Xmonad, StumpWM, Qtile and so on
  • The Internet Archive: The StumpWM Experience – A video demonstrating use of StumpWM

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