The ideal desktop: FVWM + your killer apps

How do you setup your desktop? Which are the (lightweight) applications you use in combination with FVWM?
I would like to have some opinions about what makes a good desktop combination.

  • terminal?
  • file manager?
  • music/video player?
  • web browser?
  • image viewer/editor?
  • instant messaging?
  • cd burner?

Look at other people’s configs for that. There’s an entire section devoted to it. Not to mention several other threads about specific apps.

Since I have hundreds of them open, I use ‘rxvt’ to save on memory.

mc, emelfm, gentoo, xftree3, etc.

MPD with ncmpc/mpc



Loathingly use bitlbee when I have to. It’s IRC for me all the way, hence irssi.

cdrecord in a terminal window, of course.

– Thomas Adam

Does somebody knows a good console msn-client, like irssi for irc?

Did you somehow miss my mentioning ‘bitlbee’? Look also at ‘centericq’.

– Thomas Adam



zsh or nautilus (but I wouldn’t call the latter ‘lightweight’)

mpc for music, xine for video

Firefox or links (mainly for viewing the Java API documentation)


Gaim and Irssi (sometimes using Bitlbee)

Don’t actually use one, but if I do it’s mosttimes k3b as it’s the easiest one for (very) sporadic use.

[EDIT]Of course, editor: emacs, with fvwm-mode of course! :wink:







  • terminal?


  • file manager?

Xterm again :slight_smile:

  • music/video player?


  • web browser?


  • image viewer/editor?


  • instant messaging?


  • cd burner?

cdrecord or, recently, K3B

  • xterm
  • none (zsh)
  • zinf|xine
  • firefox
  • gimp
  • gaim|EPIC5
  • none

aterm or rxvt

mc, konqueror, occasionaly nautilus

music: mpd+mpc+ncmpc/gmpc
video: mplayer, vlc, xine

firefox on my main computer, dillo on an old laptop, links if I need internet on the console

gthumb but I’m still looking for something else. gimmage looks promising though. f-spot mayby?

amsn, despite the anoying bugs

k3b although it’s so slow to start… any lightweight gui tools available?

editor: mc, nano, bluefish
systemmonitoring: xosview, top, ‘ps ax’, netstat,conky,…
ftpclient: gftp, ftp
remote desktop: tightvnc,freenx
virtualization: vmware
scientific graphics: gnuplot, ImageJ
other graphics: gimp, sodipodi, inkscape
desktop publishing: scribus

amsn-cvs (no boring bugs)

you forgot two important things:
editor: vi
shell: bash

  • terminal? xterm with 256 color and freetype support
  • file manager? none, unless zsh or vim counts as one
  • music/video player? gqmpeg if I have gtk available, or just mpg123 if not. mplayer for video.
  • web browser? links -g
  • image viewer/editor? gqview if I have gtk available. ImageMagick.
  • instant messaging? used to have bitlbee but I don’t IM anymore.
  • cd burner? burncd, or others which come with OS. cdrecord

  • [/quote]

morbusg, what is your hardware?

Err… P4 2Ghz /w 1Gb memory & PPC 1.25Ghz (orsomething) /w 512Mb memory. Why?

I keep things slight-light… My main machine is a Intel® Pentium® 4 CPU 2.66GHz w/ 1024 MB of RAM, so no need to be light-weight.

Terminal: mrxvt (I love tabs)
File Manager: Nautilus/ROX/xfe, but mostly just ls/cp/rm/mv
Music Player: mpd or beep
Movie Player: mostly xine, but vlc for mkv fansubs (they are buggy in xine, I watch a ton of fansubbs anime…)
Web Browser: Firefox (again i love tabs) Opera
Image Viewer: feh/Nautilus (I really use nautilus for image browsing than real file management)
Image Editor: gimp
Instant Messageing: gaim (again, tabs = yay)
CD Burner: k3b (I wish there was a good gtk one)
Editor: gedit and nano about 50/50 (gedit = tabs & gtk)
Shell: bash

I heavily favor gtk apps (for a unified window appearence, I currrently use the gtk Milk theme, I want to make a dark mod of it) and apps with tabs, I like to have many douments open but I hate a cluttered taskbar. If only openoffice started supporting tabs… Not that it really matters… I avoid rtf and use plantest as much as possible (I even type up papers in gedit and copy paste into OO for formatting, gedit has spell check and that’s all I need)

  • terminal?

  • file manager?
    Mostly the shell, sometimes Nautilus

  • music/video player?
    xmms & xine + xine-ui

  • web browser?

  • image viewer/editor?

  • instant messaging?

  • cd burner?

  • editor

XFCE’s Terminal

cd and ls :stuck_out_tongue:

mpd with gimmix or ncmpc for audio. mplayer for video.



Gaim (Now named Pidgin) or irssi + Bitlbee


xterm - It comes with X. Are others really any better? I used mrxvt for a while for it’s tabs, but then I started using screen heavily and just kind of stopped using mrxvt.

bash - I used rox for a while, but just kinda stopped using it because it was faster to use the console. Though I do like nautilus with --no-desktop, I’m not installing all of gnome just for nautilus.

mpd to serve music (actually I’m using it with icecast2 too)
mpc for binding buttons to commands to control the music
glurp for building playlists
xine & mplayer for video

Firefox for browsing the net
elinks (supports tabs) for reading documentation or remotely browsing the net

gqview (replaced ee for me when it was dropped from portage)
gimp for editing

mcabber - I only used the jabber chat in gaim, switched to mcabber because I could have it running in a screen session which I could detach and reattach from different locations
xchat - when I use IRC, never liked gaim for IRC

mkisofs - to make images
growisofs - to burn dvds
cdrecord - to burn cds

I was using gcal as a calendar, but I stopped using its appointment and note features, so now I just use that cal script someone posted not too long ago. I’ve been using claws-mail at work, pine from on campus.
That’s about it for apps that aren’t games.

[Edit: fixed a typo]

Err, of course. Xterm has some nice features (such as translations) but it’s bloated with all the textronics stuff. I use rxvt-unicode myself, with screen all the time.

My primary browser.

– Thomas Adam

Yes. Xterm is an example of bloated application.

rxvt-unicode has a much smaller memory footprint, a better ttf support, a better unicode support, nice keysyms support, and many more features that xterm has not, besides being much heavier than urxvt.

So, I can’t see how xterm is a so good app, unless you need that old stuff for a concrete purpose. The only “nice” thing about xterm, is that it is almost everywhere where there is an X server.

++ to screen.