building FVWM up from Ubuntu mini.iso

Hello, I’m a barely competent Ubuntu user that has had to learn some tricks in order to really make the most of his old and potentially-dying comp. On that same line of thought I’ve been downscaling from full fledged DE’s into custom ones and very recently someone pointed me towards window managers, of which, FVWM just struck me as both beautiful and functional. Now then, I do have a couple of questions:

  1. does this forum also provide support for FVWM-Crystal or is it so radically different from “vanilla” FVWM that it would be impossible to do so?

  2. is there a tutorial floating around the web for building up a FVWM (optional Crystal) DE from a netboot Ubuntu? if not, would anyone be kind enough to do one? or at least give some pointers and hints?

I recently started a similar thread on the Ubuntu forums and I’ve been doing quite a bit of googling, but info on FVWM seems rather scarce, specially when compared to say, Openbox.

This is a pure FVWM forum. If you have questions related to FVWM-Crystal use the mailinglist or contact Dominique directly.

  1. Install a lightweight version of Ubuntu like Lubuntu or Xubuntu to get the Ubuntu specifics (software center, configuration settings, etc.) and not the complete bloat from their official one (useless services, not needed libs, etc.).
  2. Install FVWM from the Ubuntu repo. It is already the latest stable version (2.6.5). So you cannot do something wrong.
  3. Read the FVWM related documentation found here (Things to read) to configure FVWM to your taste. Or if this is too much at the beginning install FVWM-Crystal from the repo or the newest from here (3.3.2) or try Fvwm-Nightshade (0.6.9) or its very nice develop version (it’s usable - I insure :mrgreen: ).

Yes because Openbox has a bigger community than FVWM (Lubuntu is based on Openbox for example) but you can do much more than on Openbox … but it needs more time to read snippets here and there and testing them. But if you’re finished you won’t miss em ever 8)

– Thomas –

Will do. Thank you.

Oh ok, the system I’m currently on is actually the Ubuntu mini.iso with hand-picked X/Lubuntu dependencies installed one by one rather than using any distro or flavor as base. I thought FVWM was different and somehow more complex.

Thanks for pointing me towards Nightshade too btw, I found this website which gave me some new ideas. For example I now think I’m going to replace Thunar with XFE, my only reason for choosing the former was Thunar-volman and it seems XFE comes with its own automounter for USB devices and such, neat!

I hope Nightshade picks up, FVWM as a whole needs a TON of publicity since it is so great and yet so obscure. Plus, should anything happen to Crystal, users like me would have something else similar to fall back on… as FVWM is slightly less noob-friendly.

The problem is, that FVWM-Crystal has many features implemented which are based on FVWM functions but sometimes really special so it’s better to ask on problems directly on its mailing list. For Fvwm-Nightshade it is the same but as I am the former questions about it aren’t a problem though 8)

No, not. What you’ve done is fine. You can use your system as is. I wrote it because I didn’t knew how you’ve installed your system :wink:

Heh, this site came from me because if FNS 0.8 will be released I’ll make a live-CD based on Tanglu and FNS ^^

XFE hasn’t mount support but PcManFM.

FVWM is very complex in its command structure and has tons of possibilities though. That’s why it isn’t very noob-friendly. But if you’ve learned the ropes you won’t miss all those great features :slight_smile:

– Thomas –

well it’s not exactly automount but one-click-mount which is perfectly fine by me, just as long as it keeps me away from the CLI.

Surprisingly I’ve decided to go with “vanilla” FVWM rather than Crystal or Nightshade. For one thing I don’t see the developement of a window manager as old (old in a good way) as FVWM stopping, which is not something I can say about its forks.

Moreover, Crystal comes bundled with trayer or stalonetray, which makes no sense to me as it’d be easier to just get tint2 which is a task list, quick launcher and systray all-in-one. Also, I don’t know if FVWM has its own panel, but if not there’s always tint2.

Btw, does FVWM draw backgrounds (wallpapers) by default or should I get feh+iDesk or something along those lines?

A panel can be built with FvwmButtons. There’re many examples around e.g. here, here or here.

You can use fvwm-root. But it hasn’t jpg support. feh is a good alternative. I’m using it in FNS, too. For icons on desktop idesk is a good joice. PcmanFm supports them, too or Rox filer. Or you can use FvwmButtons as described in the Wiki.

– Thomas –