Well, I've installed xfce4 to take a look at it. Having a rather strong preference for the lean and mean, it is doubtful that a full DE will stay on my box very long but many here and elsewhere seemed quite taken with it so I thought I'd consider it myself. First impression: A visually attractive, very light version of Gnome. Am I being fair? Anyway, long a fluxbox afficionado, I tinkered with the interface long enough to get Eterm and gkrellm functioning on it and to hide the panel so I'd feel at home.
After a reasonable trial, my thought is that if I could make use only of xfwm4, their window manager, together with enough of the other xfce4 packages to make it work properly, I'd probably keep it for a while. The on-line manual claims that stand-alone use is possible but I've stalled trying to get it to work that way. I've created a ~/.xinitrc with the entry, exec xfwm4, run startx and am taken directly into an environment in which there is only a mouse, albeit a mobile and fully functioning mouse. Otherwise nothing else is possible there, not even right clicking to a menu to exit the darn thing. And, yes, I've installed their settings manager as suggested.
Has anyone else tried xfwm4 as a stand-alone WM? If so what did you do to get it up-and-running?
Xfwm4 works great as a stand-alone window manager. But therein lies the problem. It manages your windows. It does a damn good job of it. But that's all it does.
It doesn't provide a menu because that is not the job of Xfwm4. That job is left up to xfdesktop (which provides the background image and a desktop menu) and the panel.
Xfwm4 + Xfdesktop may do something like what you're looking for, but the panel really is the central feature around which XFce4 was built. Xfwm4 instead of Metacity in Gnome works great. Xfwm4 instead of kwin in KDE works great. Xfwm4 alone really doesn't accomplish all that much.
Another happy XFCE user.
Every person I know whose tried XFCE4 has never looked back. :twisted:
XFWM is a nice functional WM, though I cant think of much to set it apart.
"Contrary to popular belief, penguins are not the salvation of modern technology. Neither do they throw parties for the urban proletariat."
Too bad, but the way things are, I suppose. One thing I wanted to do with this approach was to retain the benefit of how Mozilla functions in xfce4 - no need for userChome.css editing to get the menu and tool bars to look right here - without having to buy into everything else, the panel, etc. At this point, I'm almost constitutionally incapable of finding value in something like a file manager, for example. I've learned more about GNU/Linux working on the command line. There was a time for me with the Manhats and the Reddrakes but that would seem now to have come and gone. As a former Slack user, I'm sure you understand.
Incidently, I added the desktop package by itself but, clearly, you need the whole shabang to get anything of value out of xfwm4. I'd like to try a WM other than *box but Waimea is out of action at the moment (the themes can't be accessed) and I have no experience with anything else. Suggestions?
I really didn't like the file manager xffm either. It was slow, and somewhat unstable. The rest of XFce4 was nice though.
Waimea was just another *box derivative, though atleast it looked better. It is no longer being developed but Kahakai is which I believe was forked from Waimea. You could probably give that a shot, or try the development version of Fluxbox, though I always hated Flux.
Try IceWM. It has a bit more clutter than blackbox et al. but it doesn't take up much resources and is fast and easy to use.
I just may have an answer to this question of using xfwm4 as a stand-alone WM. I'll have to test it first, but the solution comes from a very reliable source, is straight-forward and may appeal to someone not interested in installing the whole magilla.
Incidently, I appreciate your recommending Kahakai.
Thanks for the suggestion. As you can see, hope is still alive for using xfwm4 as a stand-alone WM. I have a suggested solution but must test it. If it fails, I'll take a look at IceWM.
Again, thank you.
you may also want to checkout openbox3. this beta version is completely rewritten and no longer incorporates old box code. i had asked Xentac to try making a package for it as i had no time to trouble shoot some annoyances with a earlier version of the beta but i assume he forgot or got disinterested.
anyway, why are you trying to start xfce4 with .xinitrc and startx? just atrt it with startxfce4 once logged into your console. the native terminal is very much like xterm and can be personalized in very much the same way.
you can edit the root menu, which is xml, to look much like any other menu. as for the file manager...well unless they split screen it i find it not very functional, not like mc or emelfm. the only issues i have had with xfce4 were a few minor taskbar problems and the panel occasionally loses the launchers i setup. i have the panel on autohide which keeps it out of the way, but i have not disabled it because i need the pager as i run a few things full screen and paging with a menu does not work for that that i have found.
I am not your friend
Victory At Last!!
I've got a functioning xfwm4 here that runs in the same fashion as fluxbox - that is to say with a hidable taskbar, a right-clickable menu that launches programs and runs Mozilla 1.4 with the right-sized menu and toolbar fonts without one's having to edit userChrome.css - all that without having to buy into the whole of the xfce4 DE in the process. Interestingly, the working parameters include an idea you'd brought here a week or so ago that I could not get working properly in fluxbox when I tried it, but it works convincingly with this set up.
Anyway, here are the elements:
Packages required -
Some of the above install as dependencies of others.
~/.xinitrc required -
xrdb -merge - <<EOF
You'll notice something familiar here, of course.
Editing required -
nano -w ~/.xfce4/menu.xml (note: this to create the file)
cp /opt/xfce4/etc/xfce4/menu.xml ~/.xfce4/menu.xml
nano -w ~/.xfce4/menu.xml
edit to change "built in name" line item "visible" from "no" to "yes" - importantly this change enables exiting xfwm4 from the right-clickable menu.
Fonts required -
As you've previously recommended, install true type fonts and enable in /etc/X11/XF86Config as required.
In the last analysis, xfce4 without the panel and all the icon do-dads. Its quick and visually appealing, believe me.
Glad to hear you're happy with the desktop setup and fonts!