When comparing dwm vs Wayland, the Slant community recommends dwm for most people. In the question“What are the best window managers for Linux?” dwm is ranked 5th while Wayland is ranked 20th. The most important reason people chose dwm is:
Dwm is part of the [suckless suite of tools](http://suckless.org/), and encourages users to extend and configure it by modifying the code itself. To this end, dwm is kept under 2000 SLOC, and is an exemplar of clean, readable code (C). This, while giving users all the flexibility they could ask for, also makes dwm as lightweight as possible, and means that users have a full understanding of how it works.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Encourages user modification
Dwm is part of the suckless suite of tools, and encourages users to extend and configure it by modifying the code itself. To this end, dwm is kept under 2000 SLOC, and is an exemplar of clean, readable code (C). This, while giving users all the flexibility they could ask for, also makes dwm as lightweight as possible, and means that users have a full understanding of how it works.
Pro Simple and small
Dwm is a low-resource window manager that is entirely simplistic in design.
Pro Easy to configure
Configuring dwm is straight-forward thanks to its config.h file (though it will have to be rebuilt for the effects to take place).
Pro Default keybindings and functionality are very useful and well thought-out
An example of this is the application of alt-tab to switch between two tags.
Pro Application grouping with tags
Dwm's design paradigm is to use tags to group clients (applications) that can then be pulled into a view (workspace); this allows you to view multiple clients at once and to assign or reassign those tags and their related views on the fly.
Contrary to most other window managers, when you view a tag you are not ‘visiting’ a workspace: you are pulling the tagged windows into a single workspace.
Combined with rules in the
config.h, this makes for a flexible and responsive means to manage your workflow.
Pro Useful and informative status bar
The dwm status bar can be set to display all kinds of useful information, such as volume level, wifi signal strength, and battery notification.
Pro XRandR/Xinerama support
Dwm has support for XRandR and Xinerama, allowing for multi-monitor support.
Pro Simplifies the graphic stack
Wayland simplifies the graphics stack by trying to force everything through a GEM/DRM stack and straight into the kernel. Furthermore, it manages compositing itself.
Pro Easy to maintain
Wayland has no drawing APIs. Instead, a Wayland client gets a DRM buffer handle, which is practically just a pointer to a graphics memory. Practically Wayland does not care how the client draws to that buffer, it only copies the client's buffers on the screen.
The removes a lot of complexity (because Wayland just pushes the complex stuff to the other layers of the stack) and by making the clients responsible for all the rendering, they can be smarter on how they do things like double-buffering for example.
Con No runtime config file
There is no config file that can be edited after the window manager is compiled: all changes need to be made prior to compiling.
Con By developers, for developers
Basic knowledge of C language, general programming, and compilation are all required.
Con XWayland handles popup windows poorly
Con No mechanisms to configure input
Tools like xinput and xmodmap that help customize keyboard and mouse input are incompatible with Wayland, have no corollary, and there is no clear roadmap for providing their functionality.
Con Little driver support
Most closed sourced drivers do not support the KMS/shared-GEM/shared-DRM technologies on which Wayland works. While this may be okay for open source purists, who only want to use graphic cards that have open source drivers available, it may not sit well with people who spend a lot of money for high-end graphic cards only to get some crappy 3D performance.
Although it should be noted that NVIDIA has declared that they will start supporting Wayland, it may take years before Wayland fully supports most high-end drivers.