Basic fvwm Configuration
Now that you've copied the .fvwmrc file to your home directory and decided how you'll track your changes to it, you're ready to start tinkering! One of the first things you might be interested in is automatically launching programs when fvwm starts. You may want to start an xterm or two, a clock or calendar, xbiff (to warn you when mail arrives), and so forth. fvwm allows you to define an InitFunction within .fvwmrc that handles program launching at initialization. Before discussing this, however, we need to briefly mention xinit.
xinit is the program responsible for starting the X Window System and, like fvwm, it uses an .xinitrc file. A user may create a personalized copy of this file in her or his home directory as ~/.xinitrc, or simply use the system wide default located in /usr/lib/X11/xinit/xinitrc. To see how xinit launches programs at startup, let's look at the default xinitrc file that came with Slackware 2.2.0:
# start some nice programs xsetroot -solid SteelBlue & fvwm
In this simple example, xsetroot sets the color of the root window to SteelBlue. Once it is done, fvwm is started. A slightly more complicated example is given in the manual page for xinit:
xrdb -load $HOME/.Xresources xsetroot -solid gray & xclock -g 50x50-0+0 -bw 0 & xload -g 50x50-50+0 -bw 0 & xterm -g 80x24+0+0 & xterm -g 80x24+0-0 & twm
In this example, several programs are launched before twm is started. The important thing to point out is that the stanzas which launch programs, such as xclock and the xterm, need to end with an ampersand (&) so as to have them running in the background. It is also important that the window manager be started last and that it runs in the foreground (i.e., do not add an ampersand at the end of the line).
fvwm provides a similar method for launching programs at startup using the InitFunction. To see how, let's look at a sample entry in .fvwmrc:
Function "InitFunction" # Module "I" FvwmBanner # Get the fvwm GoodStuff button bar running Module "I" GoodStuff # Module "I" FvwmPager 0 3 # Then, the analog clock - Swallowed by GoodStuff Exec "I" exec xclock -g 140x160-145+138 & Wait "I" xclock # Start xmailbox - swallowed by GoodStuff Exec "I" exec xmailbox & Wait "I" xmailbox # Fire up xload - also swallowed by GoodStuff Exec "I" exec xload -geometry 80x80+100+100 & Wait "I" xload # Now, start up xcalendar Exec "I" exec xcalendar -g 345x382+793+372 & Wait "I" xcalendar # Finally, fire up a full screen xterm Exec "I" exec xterm -sb -j -ls -g 84x48+4+4 & Wait "I" xterm EndFunction
Since it's easiest to explain by example, let's see what you'd need to do to add a second xterm to the startup. To begin with, InitFunction generally uses two-line stanzas for launching programs, and these take the form:
Exec "I" exec program_name -options & Wait "I" program_title
For example, the stanzas which start xcalendar look like:
# Now, start up xcalendar Exec "I" exec xcalendar -g 345x382+793+372 & Wait "I" xcalendar
Lines which begin with the hash (#) character are treated as comments and ignored by fvwm. The first line begins with the reserved word Exec and has four arguments:
1. An "I" (in double quotes).
2. The word exec.
3. The command used to start the program.
4. Any command line options followed by an ampersand (&).
The next line begins with the word Wait which causes an fvwm function to pause while a window with the name given on the command line is drawn to the display. In this case, the InitFunction pauses while a window with the title xcalendar is drawn to the display. Once the window has been drawn, fvwm continues.
Be aware that this is a bit of a fib, but a useful one for the moment. The Wait function is primarily used when programs are launched on more than one desktop—something we won't touch on for the moment. Assuming you use a single desktop, as in this present example, the Wait stanza may be safely omitted.
Going back to our assignment to start another xterm, we could launch a second xterm by adding the following:
Exec "I" exec xterm & Wait "I" xterm
which would be sufficient to get a second xterm going.
If you added this entry and started fvwm, you'd find that when fvwm got to the point in the initialization process where the second xterm was started, it would draw the outline of the xterm window and wait for you to position it before proceeding. That's not very convenient if you have to do this every time fvwm starts. The way around this is to add a command line option specifying the xterm's geometry, which allows you to control where to place the window from the command line.
|Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development||May 20, 2013|
|Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)||May 16, 2013|
|Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This||May 15, 2013|
|Home, My Backup Data Center||May 13, 2013|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Seashore||May 10, 2013|
|Trying to Tame the Tablet||May 08, 2013|
- RSS Feeds
- Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)
- New Products
- Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This
- A Topic for Discussion - Open Source Feature-Richness?
- Home, My Backup Data Center
- Validate an E-Mail Address with PHP, the Right Way
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- Trying to Tame the Tablet
- New Products
- git-annex assistant
5 hours 45 min ago
- direct cable connection
6 hours 7 min ago
- Agreed on AirDroid. With my
6 hours 18 min ago
- I just learned this
6 hours 22 min ago
6 hours 52 min ago
- not living upto the mobile revolution
9 hours 43 min ago
- Deceptive Advertising and
10 hours 19 min ago
- Let\'s declare that you have
10 hours 20 min ago
- Alterations in Contest Due
10 hours 21 min ago
- At a numbers mindset, your
10 hours 22 min ago
Enter to Win an Adafruit Prototyping Pi Plate Kit for Raspberry Pi
It's Raspberry Pi month at Linux Journal. Each week in May, Adafruit will be giving away a Pi-related prize to a lucky, randomly drawn LJ reader. Winners will be announced weekly.
Fill out the fields below to enter to win this week's prize-- a Prototyping Pi Plate Kit for Raspberry Pi.
Congratulations to our winners so far:
- 5-8-13, Pi Starter Pack: Jack Davis
- 5-15-13, Pi Model B 512MB RAM: Patrick Dunn
- Next winner announced on 5-21-13!
Free Webinar: Linux Backup and Recovery
Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.
In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.