My config

The concepts I used were minimal clutter and minimal mouse use, without catching the sterile-white or deadly-black themes that often abound :slight_smile:

Following a lot of editing, here are the current pix:

Login screen:

Here’s what I see on startup:

And here’s what it looks like with a few windows and menus open:

My config file grew so large I split it into several smaller ones for ease-of-use, but if anyone wants it I’ll upload them & give a link. . .

Ahh, nice and clean config, I like it :slight_smile:

But your xdm setup is absolutely amazing, I knew you could do nice stuff with xdm but I never found out how I could properly configure it, maybe you have some suggestions?


XDM is like FVWM, I think - looks a bit yawn with the default config, but you can do so much with it when you dig a bit, especially when you realise how many other apps you can run within it to make it even more funky :slight_smile:

I actually have two XDM configs - the nice clean white one, and this one:

It’s not at it’s best in a static picture - the matrix-text in the background is actually animated. Possibly the definititve Matrix-fan login screen? :slight_smile:


The first config (xdmaqua, as I call it) needs the following config options:

In the Xsetup file, I have these options:
/usr/bin/qiv -x /etc/X11/xdm/pixmaps/wall.png
/usr/bin/gkrellm2 -t /space/gkrellmthemes/Aqua -geometry +0+0 &
/etc/X11/xdm/xdmshutdown -geometry -108-300 &
import -pause 10 -window root /home/dominic/tmp.png &

The last line is just to take the screenshot - usually commented out.
Qiv is my favourite wallpaper-setting software. xdmshutdown is a little script I found on the web that creates configurable buttons:

It allows me to reboot, shutdown, and update my computer without logging in as root - quite a timesaver. Requires tcl and tk libs tho. . .

The rest of the config stuff is in Xresources. I won’t post the whole thing, but the relevant bits are:
[i]xlogingreeting: Gentoo Linux
namePrompt: \040\040\040\040\040\040\040Login:
xlogingreetFont: -adobe-helvetica-bold-r---15-------
xloginfont: -adobe-helvetica-bold-r---15-------
xloginpromptFont: -adobe-helvetica-bold-r---15-------
xloginfailFont: -adobe-helvetica-bold-r---15-------
xloginborderWidth: 1
frameWidth: 1
xlogininnerFramesWidth: 2
shdColor: white
xloginhiColor: white
background: white
xlogin*greetColor: black

xloginfailColor: red
Foreground: black
Background: white
useShape: true
logoPadding: 1
geometry: 300x150-200-300[/i]

Lastly, in GiveConsole, I have:
killall xdmshutdown
killall gkrellm2

Otherwise I’d still have root’s gkrellm and buttons in my FVWM session :slight_smile:

And then there’s xdmatrix, which makes use of an Xscreensaver hack, glmatrix. A great way of making a login screen more interesting is to animate the root window with an xscreensaver hack. They run just fine, unlike xscreensaver itself, which doesn’t like being run by root. . .

Xsetup lines:

/usr/bin/gkrellm2 -t /space/gkrellmthemes/Matrix_Green -geometry -0-0 &
/usr/lib/xscreensaver/glmatrix -root &
/usr/X11R6/bin/xsetroot -solid black

Xresources lines:

[i]xloginborderWidth: 1
frameWidth: 1
xlogininnerFramesWidth: 2
shdColor: green
xloginhiColor: green
background: black
xlogin*greetColor: green

xlogin*failColor: red
*Foreground: green
*Background: black

xloginborderWidth: 3
frameWidth: 0
xlogininnerFramesWidth: 1
shdColor: green
xloginhiColor: green
useShape: true
xloginlogoPadding: 1
geometry: 300x150+0-0

And again, in GiveConsole:

killall gkrellm2
killall glmatrix

So there you go - two examples of how to make dull old XDM look a lot more appealing :slight_smile: You could even use the xdmshutdown buttons script to make it capable of selecting different WMs with a little thought, if you really wanted to, eliminating the one advantage GDM and KDM have over it.

Hope that helped!

Thanks for the reply, I’ve been playing with it now that I’ve got some time :slight_smile:

The first proble is that your version of the xdmshutdown script won’t work with me, I really can’t see why not even when I compare it to what I think is the original (here), but the script on that page worked so I used that instead. Now I wanted to change the background colors, I figured out how to change the colors on the buttons, both background and foreground but now I’d like to change the color on the “panel” they are on… So I wondered if you knew how to do that :slight_smile:

Anotoher problem I’m having is that when I use xscreensaver to set the root window it stays there even after Fvwm has started, I tried putting a killall xscreensaver in the GiveConsole file but that just restarts xdm so I no longer get logged in at all…


[EDIT]Screenshot for clarificatoin is here.
[EDIT2]Fixed the xscreensaver thingy, stupid me, had to kill glmatrix of course… :blush:

Following the loss of my previous screenshots, and since it’s evolved a bit since then, I figured I’d post a few updates.

So, here’s my default screen (Click for a full-size, of course):

Top right we have a small torsmo app - because I like the network readout - below which is a GKrellM which, in addition to monitoring things, allows me to mount & unmount disks & USB thumb drives. It also controls XMMS, saving me having it visible in my display. Torsmo & GKrellM use the same fonts & colours to make them appear as seamlessly-integrated as possible. . .

Then below them, there’s the pager, 2x2. To its left is an Xterm & Xclock. All three of which are actually swallowed in an FvwmButtons module. I’d prefer the clock to be white, but it refuses to be anything but black :frowning: The xterm is just there for occasions when I want to run a command but can’t be bothered to load a new xterm. . .

All these apps have been configured to blend in with the steelblue border - GKrellM requiring a custom theme, everything else just needing the right background colour & no frames, handles or other such borders. They’re set to StayOnBottom, and thanks to an answer from theBlackDragon, they also don’t show up in the pager list, aiding the illusion that they’re all part of the background. . .

Next up, here’s what it looks like when a few windows are open & I’m meddling with the menus:

Nothing too surprising in there. Translucency courtesy of Gentoo. The active window decoration is a rainbow theme, the inactive windows are greyed out.

Lastly, a screenshot that isn’t exactly mine. I’m in the early stages of writing (yet another) FVWM tutorial. As part of which, I’m creating my own artwork - it’s about time I learnt how to use Gimp properly. So any feedback on this small preview of the wallpaper & menus would be appreciated!

I think that about wraps it up for now. . .

Whats the trasparent clock that you have in the corner?

The clock is just a standard Xclock with the background set to the same colour as the root window and no window decorations. . .

Thats what i figured. Ive been looking for a xclock clone that does transparnecys.


I’m not a huge fan of it, but “oclock” does at least partial transparency, and is included with the standard xorg release. . .

Or you could use Torsmo with a large font if you’re OK with a text-based transparent clock. . .

Yeah i use Oclock now and its pretty ugly. Maybe some day ill install gdesklets or something.


Hi Voider,

If you want a different clock, low on resources, may I recommend xtu

It’s very configurable via it’s own ~/.xturc

It does float above other apps, which doesn’t bother me much (I can always see the time :slight_smile: ), but I’m sure some .fvwmrc setting could fix that if it’s a problem.



A bit on the bottom screenshot, it’s sweet, the only thing I’m not really fond of are the menu graphics, but then again, I tend to either have an icon for the app I’m using or no icon at all, but aside from that I really like the menu setup.

The wallpaper is also nice, maybe someone ougt to start a wallpaper thread in “General Fvwm discussion” it would be real nice to see more Fvwm wallpapers pop up :slight_smile:

Keep up the good work! :slight_smile:

So do I, but I couldn’t face making an icon for every item on the menu, so I went for a more generic approach :slight_smile:

Could you post your configs for fvwm2rc and xdm. I love that xdm and would like to see the config to get it like that. Can you post a link to that side fvwm icon in the tutorial screenshot? Thanks in advance!

Okay, the config file for this XDM screen:



$Xorg: Xsetup_0,v 1.3 2000/08/17 19:54:17 cpqbld Exp $

#xconsole -geometry 480x130-0-0 -daemon -notify -verbose -fn fixed -exitOnFail

get KDEDIR value (only) and run kdmdesktop from there

eval “grep KDEDIR /etc/profile.env
[ -x $KDEDIR/bin/kdmdesktop ] && ${KDEDIR}/bin/kdmdesktop

— Gentoo —

create list of sessions for kdm

for x in ls /etc/X11/Sessions
echo sessions: $sessions

update all kdmrcs located; tries some pretty much impossible locations

to make sure we get 'em all

source /etc/make.conf
for dir in /usr/kde/* /usr $KDEDIR $KDE2DIR $KDE3DIR $KDE2LIBSDIR $KDE3LIBSDIR

echo "Changing kdmrc in $dir"
cd ${dir}/share/config/kdm || continue

cp kdmrc kdmrc.orig
sed -e "/SessionTypes=/c\

${sessions}" kdmrc.orig > kdmrc
rm kdmrc.orig


#My stuff!
/usr/bin/qiv -x /etc/X11/xdm/pixmaps/wall.png
/usr/bin/gkrellm2 -t /space/gkrellmthemes/white -geometry +0+0 &
/etc/X11/xdm/xdmbuttons -geometry -108-300 &
/usr/bin/xclock -digital -geometry +778-260 -update 1 -strftime ‘%A %d %B %G %H:%M:%S’ &

The FVWM logo used in this in-progress theme (New icons in progress, if anybody’s interested. . . ?)

was actually my own creation, but is available from

The fvwm config file is actually spread over several files, and isn’t too well organized at present, but you’re welcome to tkae a look at them at

Hope this helps!

Thanks! I will look at them! Very well done! Oh yeah, in your first screenshot up top you have a small tux icon for a titlebar button. Can you post that please?

What, this one?

yep, thanks! :thumbsup: