Configuration help for a reluctant user

I am working on some servers where fvwm is the only available window manager. It is very obtuse - is there some documentation for beginners?

The servers are running SLES 11 which seems to have a very minimal X installation. OK, so it has firefox and openoffice in the fvwm menu, but nothing that looks like a directory browser. I downloaded a file with firefox and saved it, but it is not where I thought it should be so I right-clicked the file in the Downloads list and selected “Open Containing Folder” and it brought up the Launch Application dialog. Clearly firefox has no idea how to display a directory and neither do I.

What does fvwm typically use for this task?

And finally, our systems are configured to have xeyes and a clock, plus some swirly wall paper, all of which consume bandwidth (I typically have windows open to 3 or four systems that are 5000 miles away, so less is more…) Where is that set up?
Thanks for your help.

No more so than what you can google and see linked via the main site.

That’s nothing to do with FVWM – that depends what you’ve registered file-types with (either via .mailcap or xdg-open, etc). Firefox has a setting for this, I believe.

Eh? As this is SusE and I wrote their FVWM config, it’s system-wide – probably in /etc/X11/fvwm/system.fvwm2rc – you’ll have to go and look on the SuSE forums to find that information out.

When you do, copying that file to a user’s $HOME as: $HOME/.fvwm/config – and editing that, will suffice.

– Thomas Adam

Thank you for your quick reply. I eventually found the beginners guide buried under “Window Decors and Other Configuration Tips” on the links page. I don’t care about window decors, so I didn’t look there first time round.

I think I will start a campaign to get something more instantly usable installed - fvwm seems to have a very steep learning curve which is not very efficient in my customer’s environment, where consultants are coming and going on a regular basis. Gnome and KDE are familiar enough that they can work most stuff out without further advice.

I am rather puzzled about the absence of a file manager in the fvwm configuration for the SLES-11 installation. Does that mean that the base SLES X installation does not include one by default, but does include OpenOffice?
Thanks Again.

It depends on your requirements. Send them to me, and maybe I can help anyway – it will take some of the learning away.

I can’t speak for the default applications SLES installs – and I am sure it does have any number of graphical file managers at its disposal by default – the point is though that FVWM is a window manager – that’s all it does. It is not a desktop environment like GNOME or KDE which has all the nice shiny bells and whistles. It’s down to you, the user to tell FVWM what you want done with the applications, and not the applications themselves.

– Thomas Adam

Thank you for your help.

All we need is a minimal-network-load configuration with a file browser and xterm. Everything else comes from the software that we install. That means removing Xeyes, the clock and the wallpaper, and finding a file manager program.

I have removed Xeyes (but not installed Xroach) and the clock successfully. I like the way the window manager can be restarted without losing the windows.

Next project is to get a completely monotonic background - just plain old windows-3.1 blue is fine. I have had a look at the wallpaper section and it is all patterned, so I presume there is a setting in the config file to set a monotonic background.

Finally, I am looking for some kind of graphical file manager - but I have no idea what they might be called. Do you have a suggestion? I can see how to add it to the tools menu, so the only need is to identify an appropriate suspect.

That should be enough.

You can use FvwmBacker for this – it’s a module which must be loaded from your .fvwm2rc file:

DestroyModuleConfig FvwmBacker:*
*FvwmBacker: Command (Desk *, Page * *) -solid blue

AddToFunc StartFunction I Module FvwmBacker

Well, theres:


Go look on freshmeat.

– Thomas Adam

Rox is also a rather popular option.

As for Fvwm documentation, I maintain a bunch of links to useful resources.