FVWM (简体中文)

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FVWM is an extremely powerful ICCCM-compliant multiple virtual desktop window manager for the X Window system. Development is active, and support is excellent. For those who wonder, FVWM means Feeble Virtual Window Manager.

This wiki is by no means complete, therefore, it would be nice if everybody could share their knowledge. I think, that it is not wise to copy the man pages of FVWM, but various info about the real potential of FVWM would be nice. The discussion in Arch Forums is here.


ahclinux上可以选择三种fvwm版本,stable,unstable,和pached.Stable当前版本为2.4.20(2006年12月6日发布), stable足够健壮但缺乏一些更多的特性相比于“unstable”版.

# pacman -S fvwm 

unstable版为2.5.28, 发布不久 (2009年9月20日). 尽管称之为unstable, 但完全没有不稳定的迹象. 放心安装.

# pacman -S fvwm-devel

前面安装的是官方版本, 如果想拥用更多的特性, 可以安装patched版. fvwm-patched from the AUR.

或者你在pacman.conf加入了archlinuxfr源 (查看 Unofficial user repositories 词条)

# pacman -S fvwm-patched

还有一个FVWM-Crystal, 也包含在Arch软件仓库中


fvwm会自动在kdm/gdm加入启动项, 如果没有, 在用户目录下的.xinitrc中手动加入 exec fvwm2 或 exec fvwm

也可以看看 SLiM 教程, 关于在.xinitrc怎么配置多种窗口管理器.

举个例子: 下面是我的 .xinitrc 配置文件


case $1 in
        exec fvwm
        exec awesome
        exec $DEFAULT_SESSION


启动 fvwm 后,首先进入一个空白的布局, 不过, 你左键单击桌面, 就能看到设置fvwm的选项. 选择你想改变的模块就可以开始了. 可以看看 http://www.box-look.org 的配置文件. 另外有一个 fvwm 论坛也可以参考一下: http://www.fvwmforums.org

SLiM is very good login manager, that does not have many dependencies and acts well with FVWM. SLiM can also be used with multiple environments as well so it makes it very appealing if one need several environments, but want to have a real control of the process. Useful applications are similar to those suggested for Openbox or Fluxbox.

从一块白布上开始涂绘, 就是FVWM所要做的, 这里有一些网上收集来的小技巧.

fvwm beginners guide by Jaimos F Skriletz

Although it is quite outdated, it helps to understand how FVWM functions and how to build your basic setup. FVWM beginners guide

Thomas Adam tips for FVWM2

Here are some tips by Thomas Adam written in http://fvwm.lair.be forum (Google cached copy of it). 
Currently it is unreachable due to some reason (I just copied and formatted everything).

I am not too good at these things, so bear with me. I've been seeing more and more configs (both in terms of answering questions on these forums, and via IRC, with ad-hoc email, etc.) that seem to be redefining existing functionality for no good reason other than (I assume) ignorance.

So here's a few things to bear in mind (in no particular order):

1. SetEnv.

Ah yes. SetEnv. I would never had imagined how such an insignificant command would annoy me so much, especially through its apparent mis-use. It seems more and more people are defining things like this:

SetEnv fvwm_home $[HOME]/.fvwm

Which is innocent enough, and indeed works. Except for the fact that it's completely unnecessary. FVWM defines for you (which you yourself can change) the environment variable FVWM_USERDIR which by default will point to ~/.fvwm -- so why in hell people seem to think setting "fvwm_home" is doing themselves any good is beyond me.

Now consider for the moment the implications of doing so. By and large it's fine, because you presumably wrote the configuration, right? Well, yes, but what happens when you decide to share your all singing all dancing, brand-new complex function you spent the past two days trying to write? What if it contains a reference to "fvwm_home"? The person deciding to try that function is going to come unstuck because he or she may not have "fvwm_home" defined. You should always rely on using "FVWM_USERDIR" where you need to reference a likely and pre-defined location for personal configuration files.

If you're one of these people whom uses a split configuration file via a series of Read commands, and hence had relied on something like:

Read $[fvwm_home]$[some_other_location]/file1

Read understands (and expands) the variable "$." relative to a path -- so you can use that as well to further increase neutrality.

Not to mention that it leaves endless environment variables defined which might only ever get used once.

2. InitFunction versus StartFunction versus RestartFunction

Unless you're someone as foolish as I am, and are still using FVWM 2.4.19, FVWM 1.24 and FVWM 2.2.5, this is going to be of consideration to you. OK, I joke. This is really only of importance to the small minority of people running FVWM stable (2.4.19). For the rest of you running 2.5.X (at the time I writing I would hope 2.5.16) then you need to be made aware of the following:

You don't need to use InitFunction

Gasp! It's true. In FVWM 2.4.X, you do need to use it because the Test command does not include tests for Init, Reboot, etc. However for FVWM 2.5.X, forget InitFunction, and incorporate it into your StartFunction. Here's an example:

DestroyFunc InitFunction
AddToFunc   InitFunction
+ I Exec exec xsetroot -solid pink
+ I Exec exec xconsole
DestroyFunc  StartFunction
AddToFunc    StartFunction
+ I Module FvwmProxy
+ I Module FvwmButtons myBar

Put the two together, and from within your StartFunction you can define what's in InitFunction via the use of the following:

+ I Test (Init) ...


DestroyFunc  StartFunction
AddToFunc    StartFunction
+ I Module FvwmProxy
+ I Module FvwmButtons myBar
+ I Test (Init) Exec exec xsetroot -solid pink
+ I Test (Init) Exec exec xconsole

And that's it. There you have it. You now have a StartFuction which FVWM reads at Init, Reboot and Exit. The same logic applies for RestartFunction:

You don't need to use RestartFunction

What is even more perplexing about this is I have seen a lot of configs which define the following:

DestroyFunc  StartFunction
AddToFunc    StartFunction
+ I Exec exec xterm -T Wooo -ls
DestroyFunc   RestartFunction
AddToFunc     RestartFunction
+ I Exec exec xterm -T Woo -ls

Now, guess what this does. That's right, when you reboot FVWM you get two copies of the same xterm running. That's because, again, StartFunction is read by FVWM at initialisation and reboots. FVWM hence re-reads RestartFunction and StartFunction and does the same thing twice. How do you get around this. Easy: remove the definition for RestartFunction entirely. If that application is only intended to be started during a restart (slightly odd scenario) then use:

DestroyFunc  StartFunction
AddToFunc    StartFunction
+ I Test (Restart) Exec exec xterm -T Woo -ls

3. Exec exec and the dreaded FvwmCommand versus PipeRead.

This one baffles me profoundly. The classic observation of this is with some of the many different incantations of Thumbnail functions that exist. Here's a snippet:

DestroyFunc Thumbnail
AddToFunc   Thumbnail
+ I Exec nice 19...; some_other_shell_commands; FvwmCommand 'WindowStyle foo, bar'

ARGH! What the hell is that all about? For the love of God, learn how to use PipeRead. Please? It's not that hard. Consider what's happening with the above. Exec forces a shell, some idiotic processing goes on (probably running convert a few times) and then FvwmCommand forces FVWM to be told instructions via FIFO. How dull, when all this time PipeRead would have saved you all of the superluousness of it all.

PipeRead forces a shell, but more importantly one is then able to "echo" commands back to FVWM. Not only does this synchronise things (especially if the PipeRead command exists within a function) but it means you don't have to worry about sending commands back indirectly via FvwmCommand. FvwmCommand is only useful if you're calling some external script that doesn't rely on directly ending with FVWM (or where you don't want it to block with PipeRead).

If you ever find yourself writing:

+ I Exec ...; FvwmCommand '....'

You want PipeRead.

4. I'm too good to use ImagePath.

This one always makes me laugh, and it comes back to point 1, with SetEnv. Again, most people delight in doing something like this:

SetEnv fvwm_home $[HOME]/.fvwm
SetEnv fvwm_images $[HOME]/.images
SetEnv fvwm_icons $[fvwm_home]/.icons
Style some_app Icon $[fvwm_icons]/icon.png

When actually all you need to do is this:

# Remove all those damn SetEnv commands
ImagePath $[FVWM_USERDIR]/.icons:+

Then you can do stuff like this:

Style some_app Icon icon.png

And FVWM will know where to look by traversing the directories listed in the ImagePath.

If I think of any more, I'll let you know.

External Links

Links used in this tutorial: