(pseudo) transparency question

I’m running FVWM 2.6.8 on debian on three old machines, each with different hardware. On two of them, out of the box, I can get pseudo-transparent aterms and urxvts both with and without tinting and shading options. On the third I can only get a pseudo-transparent window if I don’t use any shading or tinting options.

urxvt -tr results in a completely transparent window
urxvt -tr -tint green results in a solid green window )

I’m assuming this is because all three have different video cards. On the problematic machine lspci shows:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 07)

Are there any relevant FVWM options to try to get this to work? (If not, I’ll try a compositor.)

fvwm -V shows support for: ReadLine, RPlay, Stroke, XPM, SVG, Shape, XShm, SM, Bidi text, Xinerama, XRender, XCursor, XFT, NLS

Thanks for any suggestions (or insights about the specific cause!)

(First time using the forum - I hope this question is in the right category. Also I’ve been using FVWM for about 20 years now, and just want to say thanks to everyone who works on and supports it.)

Hi @geranium,

What you’re describing when using urxvt -tr in Fvwm is pseudo-transparency in that it’s using the root background to achieve that effect. This is hat the ParentialRelativity is for,

To use truer transparency under X11, you would need to use a composite manager (such as xcompton?) to be able to have windows “see through” to each other, and not just use the root background.

I’m still not sure what effect you’re going to achieve – fundamentally, if you want true transparency, use a composite manager. For everything else, it’ll be as it is is now.


Thanks Thomas.

I actually prefer pseudo-transparency; it’s what I’ve been using all along and it always worked nicely. But on this specific machine, it’s impossible to get a pseudo-transparent aterm or rxvt with a tint or shading (something that works fine on default installations on every other machine I’ve ever used). I’m mostly curious as to what’s going on and whether there’s any interaction with FVWM that might be relevant. But it’s a pretty niche problem so I expect I’ll have to “make do” with a compositor and real transparency.

I tried using ParentalRelativity (like so, right?
Style rxvt ParentalRelativity ). It didn’t make any difference.

It’s pretty weird, especially since things like transparent tinted menus work fine on this machine. Maybe it’s more on the aterm/rxvt side, but all the documentation I could find there said to look at the window manager, so I thought I’d ask.

Thanks anyway!