I never thought we’d be friends — Me & FVWM

Well, I have been looking for a suitable replacement for KDE3 of late on my laptop — tried enlightenment and chucked it. Nice desktop, very elegant feeling but just not my bag :|. Kicked through and finished working with FVWM, I chose to install the unstable 2.5.x build in port.

Normally I’ll only use stable releases unless I’m testing or in need of a ‘sneak peak’ but this time I opted in. I figure, it should be fairly stable with how long FVWM has been around. The original code base of FVWM 1.x was born in 1993 making it about as old as FreeBSD lol. FVWM 2.5 has newer features and I don’t mind a few quirks really, as long as my session doesn’t die or the entire system lock up.

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So far FVWM is really proving it’s possible to have a desktop *your way* without having to kill someone in the process !

I’ve always thought that if I’m ever going to find a window manager I truly love; I probably would have to write my own. I like programs that are powerful, configurable, and extensible — that’s one of the reasons I use Vim in the first place >_>

I have my pager and a useful means of employing my laptops limited screen space. The way The Flibin’ Virtual Window Manager as I call it, handles virtual desktops is actually quite nice. The M by N thing and configuration options have given me a very nice arrangement for working with many programs. Especially in my case, since I need to work with windows that are some times larger then my screen resolution!

Rather then resize the program (scroll bars, ugh) or rescale it as the situation may offer. I can just scroll my screen between the pages and vola! The illusion that the desktop is much bigger then it really is, really fits with the way I use programs.

I installed x11/trayer to get myself a (transparent) system tray, I actually like how FVWM handles iconifing windows but for some apps a system tray is helpful (pidgin). Notice that I do not have a taskbar, desktop icons, or a ‘panel’ — don’t need them nore want them most times.

I like to keep my workspace very thin, it’s for running programs not holding up bells and whistles everywhere. I fI wanted to look at bells and whistles (or unhide them when going to the screen border) I’d run them outright. And covering or autohiding the panel (KDE, Gnome, Windows) is a poor solution for my habits +S.

I have my FVWM configuration launching a program to auto-rotate my wall paper, need to properly daemonize it someday soon. I’m considering giving the X Session Manager (xsm) a whirl as well, worth a try judging by the manual page. I still have some more work to do but so far, I like how it has come out in such a short time.

Why didn’t I ever try the F* Virtual Window Manager before? lol.