Fabulous Virtual Window Manager Sees First Release in Five Years


After five years, a new stable release of FVWM has finally been announced. FVWM is a lightweight and fast window manager still used by a few distributions and offered as an option on several. This landmark release brings several new and improved features.

Some of the new features include:

  • Extended Window Manager Hints support allows the use of docks, widgets, and such.
  • Colorset used to define color, gradient, transparency, etc. in specific areas of themes, backgrounds, icons, etc.
  • WindowStyle command used to segregate styles to individual elements
  • Unmanaged command used to separate any window from FVWM control
  • FocusStyle allows focus stealing
  • Window states can be used to perform functions on similar groups
  • XFT font are support
  • Module dynamic actions allow changes while running
  • Menu now uses XDG specifications
  • PNG/SVG support for icons
  • Mouse gestures and window-specific key / mouse bindings
  • Lots of new style options for themers
  • A new script to upgrade FVWM 2.4 configuration files
  • Support for Xinerama, XRender, and Xcursor

FVWM 2.6.0 was released April 15 and a follow-up bugfix, 2.6.1, was released April 16. F doesn't really stand for Fabulous. Tradition says F used to stand for Feeble, but the actual meaning has been lost. Today F doesn't stand for anything. Austrumi is one distribution that relies upon FVWM for its desktop.

Helpful links:

FVWM Homepage
FVWM Forums
Full Release Announcement

Default FVWM 2.6.0 desktop


Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.


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Cool Info!

Anonymous's picture

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xiaojieksp's picture

What the "F" in FVWM actually stands for

Sum Yung Gai's picture


Ok, maybe except BlackBox....

Thanks for the update about FVWM! An oldie, maybe, but still good.

'F' is for Feline....

mrunion's picture

I believe the 'F' in FVWM is for "Feline": http://fvwm.org/fvwm-cats/

More, please.

Mozai's picture

I'd actually love to see an article comparing the alternative window managers available to modern distros (not reviewing! no vi/emacs fights please). Hitting the just Ubuntu repositories, I see over twenty window managers, from the big three of GNOME's 'metacity', KDE's 'KWin' and Unity's 'mutter', there's XFCE's 'xfwm4', the ports from Plan 9 '9wm' and 'w9wm', the latest blackbox-alike 'openbox', Amiga lookalike 'amiwm', the mouseless 'ratpoison'...
...I'm going to end up writing this article myself, aren't I?

F this

istok's picture

So what is written here that I can't read in the project's release notes?

I can google for helpful links myself, thanks.

This type of "article" is fairly useless but it seems to be popular among "writers".

Useful site and useful article.

Anonymous's picture

Everything reported in news sites is something readers can find for themselves if they go through the trouble. This author caught a first release in five years, that's not something most of us would have done and it was news to me. In fact, reading Linux Journal itself is too much effort for me. I got the story from the techrights news links, which itself was just a line item in my RSS reader. I'm grateful to both Linux Journal and Techrights for making it so easy to get good news about gnu/linux.

Techrights, though, is a community effort. If you are the type to read release notes and quick enough to catch details like the release of the Free Virtual Window Manager and have time to comment, why don't you join the Techrights IRC channel and share? That would be a lot nicer than telling the author to Free her work.

Systematic trolling.

Anonymous's picture

This kind of trolling is becoming somewhat recurring.

Sometimes it seems there's some seemingly coordinated group action to discredit anyone who talks about linux -- especially those of more fame in our communities.

They seem to have perceived money is of not interest to tech people, but reputation is. Maybe they want to create insecurity or foster an artificial image of stagnation for linux, perhaps to demotivate potential new users.

Pretty low, but then again we've read about yet lower tactics from them.

We need more articles like this. It's not only excellent, it shows even old things have an evolution in linux.


istok's picture

That up there is not an article. It's release notes with a byline stuck on them. I assume this anonymous comment that talks about "fame and reputation" and accuses this "group of trolls", i.e., me, comes from the writer?

In which case, ok, maybe I overreacted. I clicked on the link in the hope of learning more about fvwm - a bit obscure even in the world of WMs - and found bugger all.

As a journalist - non-tech, but nevertheless - I see an erosion of professional standards, even the most basic ones, everywhere. My advice to you, next time take some time and actually write an article.

That's all you have to do to shut up coordinated hordes of evil trolls xD

Re. headlines and trolls

Anonymous's picture

The poster was not trolling. He/she was simply expressing a view that many people have expressed before on the many Linux 'news' reporting websites, which is that there is a growing tendency to simply harvest headlines and regurgitate those as if they were full blown articles. Simply carrying announcements is now made to appear as reporting news.

Another growing trend is for some people to use the old 'mccarthyism' of accusing anyone they don't agree with of being a 'troll'.

A Linux magazine like this one should be interested in what its readership is saying; perhaps the author of the article could take note and next time add a little extra (just a teeny bit more) to her article and provide some helpful (original?) information.

The fact that you found these 'release notes' interesting means nothing to the person that is writing to the magazine asking for more information in their articles.


So what is written here that

W. R. A.'s picture

So what is written here that I can't read in the project's release notes?

Would you have checked this particular project's website to read the release notes? I bet most people wouldn't have. I know I wouldn't have; the only reason I know this project has made a new release is because of this very post.

I may not be interested in it, but then I didn't have to click the link to this article either.