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Date:      Sun, 16 Aug 2020 08:48:24 +0200
From:      Polytropon <>
To:        Victor Sudakov <>
Subject:   Re: A nice looking WM to replace a DE
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <> <>

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On Sun, 16 Aug 2020 12:43:51 +0700, Victor Sudakov wrote:
> There is a box where I'd like to ditch Xfce for a more simple setup with
> just a window manager (WM) and a couple of xterms. This would set the
> resources free from the gnome-shit which Xfce runs in the background.
> Is it still possible?

Definitely. Depending on your magic level, a tiling window
manager could be interesting. If you're not that magic (like
me), maybe fvwm-2 (Motif style) or IceWM will do? Personally,
and even though I have tried many WMs, my personal favorite
is WindowMaker (with non-default configuration, of course).

Because I'm too stupid, the magic of tiling window managers
didn't pour onto me yet. I've heared only good things about
them, though. ;-)

> 1. What good-looking WM would you recommend from the ports? I had a
> quick look at fvwm and was appalled how dated and ugly it looks to the
> modern eye. Even twm is better aesthetically but not rich enough
> for me. A minimal number of dependencies is an advantage.

In this case, IceWM isn't a bad choice. It supports several
themes, as well as a Beastie-style "start button". It does
not automatically "discover apps", i. e., you'll have to
create your own menu file, but that's not a disadvantage
in my opinion. The nice thing about IceWM is that you can
configure all aspects easily with simple text-based
configuration files.

If you want to look very professional, add a Mac OS X
wallpaper and the Warlock Bar (wbar). I've tried that,
it actually works. ;-)

> 2. Without a full-featured DE, how do you setup Xserver parameters? I've
> long forgotten how to configure multiple keyboard layouts, nice fonts,
> various hotkeys (layout switching etc). Is it still done via the global
> xorg.conf or is it possible on a per-user basis?

Today, most of this stuff is done automatically by X itself.
If you want to force a specific configuration (especially
a non-standard one, like a non-US keyboard), there's still
the way of partial configuration files in the xorg.conf.d/
subdirectory. Keyboard layouts can be managed easily with
xinput, the successor of xmodmap. And switching layouts
can be done with IceWM keyboard bindings.

For everything that you don't want to be a global setting,
there's always ~/.xinitrc and/or ~/.xsession; you can use
programs like xinput and xrandr to configure things after
user login.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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