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#1 2021-03-03 15:35:59

Colonel Panic
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Registered: 2018-11-13
Posts: 300

FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

Has anyone used FVWM recently, or any of its spinoffs, and if so, what did they think of it?

I've recently installed FVWM-Crystal and found it to be a very good desktop manager on the whole; it's lightweight, looks classy and has a full range of configuration options. I particularly liked having the ability by default to launch a new terminal by right-clicking on the desktop.

One of its few downsides in my view is that it's much harder to set the menu options manually than it is in Openbox, because all the menus are generated automatically.

Last edited by Colonel Panic (2021-03-03 15:46:15)

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#2 2021-03-03 17:10:27

Nili
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Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

I installed once just to check it, but removed it after a few days as it seemed too complicated for my minimalist needs.

I'm not sure is lightweight, it is fast, but not the faster level of CWM, spectrwm, dwm, fluxbox when I made my comparisons with ps_mem. It is full featured with too many settings and configs that can help dozens of people making many cool desktop efforts, but not me.

FVWM isn't on version 3 on Debian package repo, while the crystal officially is on 3.7.1. The Debian version looks like on dormant status for 5y. It must have lost a lot of new features, changes or adjustments right now.

I do not understand, why a WM like FVWM or Fluxbox stays asleep for years on Debian? I used to make aware maintainers of upgrading especially to Fluxbox, but I never got an answer and gave up.

OK, to have a piece of fresh cake from FVWM3 one must compile it to enjoy the current version, Personally I would not recommend such an old version from Debian. If FVWM3 reach Debian repo i will gladly test it to compare with the last time i tried it.


OS: Fedora 34 (Workstation Edition)
\m/ Ijime, Dame, Zettai「イジメ、ダメ、ゼッタイ」\m/

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#3 2021-03-03 17:14:30

manyroads
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From: around here, somewhere
Registered: 2019-04-16
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Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

I doubt you'll see version 3 on vanilla Debian anytime soon. It is under active development and supported/ tested on  MXLinux through their repos. It is also trivial to build.  When Thomas Adams thinks things are ready for prime time....


Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com  Professional Genealogist
dwm & i3wm on arch ~ Reg. Linux User #449130
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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#4 2021-03-03 17:20:29

Nili
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Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

I think Debian/Maintainers must give it to us a fresh version in some way ie : from experimental, sid or testing repo even if do not reach the final destination (Stable), I thought from Sid or Testing repos we could benefit something from source, but i was wrong as HOAS explain to me. At least the experimental repo should be used to have a newest from source. Would be good to test it without minor complications of compiling.

If those WM have broken policies with Debian as I do not know wich may be the cause for such long delays, this is acceptable.

edit: i had to edit to re made my comment.

Last edited by Nili (2021-03-03 17:39:36)


OS: Fedora 34 (Workstation Edition)
\m/ Ijime, Dame, Zettai「イジメ、ダメ、ゼッタイ」\m/

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#5 2021-03-03 17:41:49

Colonel Panic
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Registered: 2018-11-13
Posts: 300

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

Thanks to you both for replying. I would have thought that since FVWM-2.x is the stable version, FVWM3 would make an appearance on Debian Testing first?

Nili - I agree, it seems that way. It's as though fluxbox and FVWM are lower priority for the Debian devs than the "big boys" such as KDE /Plasma and Gnome.

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#6 2021-03-03 17:52:59

Nili
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From: $HOME/♫♪
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Posts: 1,020
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Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

Unfortunately this seems like a lack of attention to both WM, but i'm not entirely sure it is the only reason.

However, there will always be good mans in other distroes like MX or steve.p that creates alternative options.

As i said i'd like debian to give a go FVWM3 on official repo any time soon.


OS: Fedora 34 (Workstation Edition)
\m/ Ijime, Dame, Zettai「イジメ、ダメ、ゼッタイ」\m/

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#7 2021-03-03 18:19:33

manyroads
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From: around here, somewhere
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Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

FWIW @rasat has been doing 'tons' of work on fvwm3 ... it is all posted in the arch & mxlinux forums.  It is worth a read.


Pax vobiscum,
Mark Rabideau - http://many-roads.com  Professional Genealogist
dwm & i3wm on arch ~ Reg. Linux User #449130
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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#8 2021-03-03 18:32:17

DeepDayze
Like sands through an hourglass...
From: In Linux Land
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 1,278

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

if someone has built an unofficial deb package of FVWM3 then that be cool.


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#9 2021-03-03 18:39:32

unklar
Back to the roots 1.9
From: #! BL
Registered: 2015-10-31
Posts: 1,513

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

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#10 2021-03-03 18:49:40

DeepDayze
Like sands through an hourglass...
From: In Linux Land
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 1,278

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

Thanks, didn't remember seeing that post. Will check it out and maybe try to theme it close to BL Lithium. Fvwm is where I got my first taste of X window managers back in the mid 90s before KDE/Gnome/OB etc.


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#11 2021-03-03 19:11:49

sleekmason
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Registered: 2018-05-22
Posts: 584

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

^^ + 3 or 4 - taking both.

Nice topic. I tried a bunch of different WM's recently.  I can't remember if FVWM-Crystal was on the list. Will have to check it out again.

The cycle of some of these wm's is wild.  Years of nothing only to spring alive again.

I agree with Nili that there could/should at least be an experimental version if nothing else. Would just be nice to pull from the Debian repo's somehow.

This kind of thing has come up a couple of times for me.  need to make my own repo, and need to learn how to make a .deb out of whatever I wind up with.

Course, easier if one of you wants to host a few of these oddballs already packaged? big_smile  Well, fingers crossed anyway).

Last edited by sleekmason (2021-03-03 19:12:52)

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#12 2021-03-04 00:31:56

PackRat
jgmenu user Numero Uno
Registered: 2015-10-02
Posts: 1,428

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

I do not understand, why a WM like FVWM or Fluxbox stays asleep for years on Debian?

Fluxbox 1.3.x and Fvwm 2.6.x have been feature complete for years and only committing bug fixes.

Also, I think the maintainer for fluxbox passed away and nobody has picked it up.

FVWM isn't on version 3 on Debian package repo, while the crystal officially is on 3.7.1.

Fvwm-Crystal (and Fvwm-Nightshade) are not window managers/desktop environments. They are both complex configurations for Fvwm and require Fvwm 2.6.x or Fvwm3 installed.

Last edited by PackRat (2021-03-04 00:35:25)


You must unlearn what you have learned.
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#13 2021-03-04 03:13:19

DeepDayze
Like sands through an hourglass...
From: In Linux Land
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 1,278

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

@Sleekmason you thinking of adding FVWM to your sleek little mini-distro? As for Fluxbox I hope someone will take that and bring that up to date somehow.

Last edited by DeepDayze (2021-03-04 03:14:40)


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#14 2021-03-04 06:46:44

ohnonot
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Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 5,532

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

PackRat wrote:

Fvwm-Crystal (and Fvwm-Nightshade) are not window managers/desktop environments. They are both complex configurations for Fvwm and require Fvwm 2.6.x or Fvwm3 installed.

I was just going to post this.
The independent versioning of fvwm-crystal is a bit confusing.

fvwm 2.6.9 is in the Arch repos, but fvwm3 is only in the AUR, and only as a git package, and only has 1 upvote. For me that's a good indicator that fvwm3 isn't quite ready yet...


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#15 2021-03-04 07:56:32

Nili
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From: $HOME/♫♪
Registered: 2015-09-30
Posts: 1,020
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Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

Thanks for sharing those useful info PackRat & ohnonot.
At least we've an answer regarding Fluxbox.

I had never thought of passing, This would be the last thing i would think or never thought of it. We're humans and everything happens in our life until the worst comes and takes us. My condolences for the FB maintainer.

Personally, I am not in a hurry for FVWM3 now, however i would like to have it on the Debian packages manager one day when it seems ready.


OS: Fedora 34 (Workstation Edition)
\m/ Ijime, Dame, Zettai「イジメ、ダメ、ゼッタイ」\m/

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#16 2021-03-04 10:55:46

PackRat
jgmenu user Numero Uno
Registered: 2015-10-02
Posts: 1,428

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

fvwm3 is only in the AUR, and only as a git package, and only has 1 upvote. For me that's a good indicator that fvwm3 isn't quite ready yet...

I use Fvwn3 on a regular basis. Has a few bugs but it's stable and can be used for production work. The new Fvwm forum is active and the developers participate.


You must unlearn what you have learned.
    -- yoda

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#17 2021-03-04 14:09:20

sleekmason
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Registered: 2018-05-22
Posts: 584

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

DeepDayze wrote:

@Sleekmason you thinking of adding FVWM to your sleek little mini-distro? As for Fluxbox I hope someone will take that and bring that up to date somehow.

No, still haven't completely themed the ones I have.  It was a nifty idea for the toggles, but not exactly practical. I'm holding onto the concept to see what else I can come up with. Bunch of little ideas here.

The wm's all behave in  different ways.  Jwm doesn't adhere to the same gtk theming rules as the others, so I keep it to theme with in case I miss something.
Pekwm is in active development, and I like what they are doing.
Damn shame about the Fluxbox dev. I've always enjoyed Fluxbox.

All of the above have right-click menus as well which makes getting started with them a bit easier I suppose.

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#18 2021-03-04 14:24:01

eight.bit.al
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Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 1,016

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

+1 for right-click menus; without that, I'm not interested. Found FVWM a bit primitive looking, fast and light.

8bit


If art is how we decorate space; music is how we decorate time.

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#19 2021-03-04 17:36:47

DeepDayze
Like sands through an hourglass...
From: In Linux Land
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 1,278

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

sleekmason wrote:
DeepDayze wrote:

@Sleekmason you thinking of adding FVWM to your sleek little mini-distro? As for Fluxbox I hope someone will take that and bring that up to date somehow.

No, still haven't completely themed the ones I have.  It was a nifty idea for the toggles, but not exactly practical. I'm holding onto the concept to see what else I can come up with. Bunch of little ideas here.

The wm's all behave in  different ways.  Jwm doesn't adhere to the same gtk theming rules as the others, so I keep it to theme with in case I miss something.
Pekwm is in active development, and I like what they are doing.
Damn shame about the Fluxbox dev. I've always enjoyed Fluxbox.

All of the above have right-click menus as well which makes getting started with them a bit easier I suppose.

No rush, just curious :-)


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#20 2021-03-06 09:16:25

Colonel Panic
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Registered: 2018-11-13
Posts: 300

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

Thanks again to everyone who's replied. I may have flattered FVWM-Crystal by calling it a desktop environment but it does require other software than FVWM in order to work (such as trayer or stalonetray, Image Magick, alsamixer etc.).

Vanilla FVWM (if I can call it that) is the most configurable window manager I've ever seen but its very configurability can be a drawback; I've spent literally hours in the past trying to work out the "perfect" FVWM configuration and I know from the old FVWM forums that other people have too.

That's why I'm glad there are variants such as FVWM-Crystal out there that I can use and that have done all the hard work for me.

Last edited by Colonel Panic (2021-03-06 16:29:12)

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#21 2021-03-06 17:40:50

Colonel Panic
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Registered: 2018-11-13
Posts: 300

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

Further notes on FVWM;

If you use Sparky, there's a desktop environment available for it called NsCDE which is also based on FVWM but follows the design of CDE very closely although it uses Openbox for the menus.

I'm using it now and it works well although it won't appeal to anyone who doesn't like retro desktop design (in fact that's largely the point of it);

https://sparkylinux.org/tag/nscde/

There's another FVWM configuration called FVWM-Nightshade. It looks good and has a lot of features (including the ability to minimize windows down to thumbnails which are miniatures of the originals, which I really like) but it appears to be fussy about what it's installed in. I managed to get it working in Ubuntu 16, for example, but have had no luck with it in any more recent version of Ubuntu.

Here's a link to it;

http://fvwm-nightshade.github.io/Fvwm-N … about.html.

Last edited by Colonel Panic (2021-03-06 17:44:42)

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#22 2021-03-06 17:48:29

DeepDayze
Like sands through an hourglass...
From: In Linux Land
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 1,278

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

Colonel Panic wrote:

Further notes on FVWM;

If you use Sparky, there's a desktop environment available for it called NsCDE which is also based on FVWM but follows the design of CDE very closely although it uses Openbox for the menus.

I'm using it now and it works well although it won't appeal to anyone who doesn't like retro desktop design (in fact that's largely the point of it);

https://sparkylinux.org/tag/nscde/

There's another FVWM configuration called FVWM-Nightshade. It looks good and has a lot of features (including the ability to minimize windows down to thumbnails which are miniatures of the originals, which I really like) but it appears to be fussy about what it's installed in. I managed to get it working in Ubuntu 16, for example, but have had no luck with it in any more recent version of Ubuntu.

Here's a link to it;

http://fvwm-nightshade.github.io/Fvwm-N … about.html.


Ohhh CDE...I remembered that back in mid-90s when I was working with IBM AIX based systems. Good times! To me, retro desktops do look bland compared to today's desktop environments but they are still fun to play with. Now only if I can find retro themes for firefox, LibreOffice and chrome...


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#23 2021-03-06 18:38:53

Colonel Panic
Member
Registered: 2018-11-13
Posts: 300

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

I agree (and with the wish for retro themes for firefox and libreoffice; I don't use chromium much). Retro desktops are usually lighter on resources than their more modern equivalents too, which is a good thing for those of us with older computers.

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#24 2021-03-06 19:35:30

DeepDayze
Like sands through an hourglass...
From: In Linux Land
Registered: 2017-05-28
Posts: 1,278

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

Colonel Panic wrote:

I agree (and with the wish for retro themes for firefox and libreoffice; I don't use chromium much). Retro desktops are usually lighter on resources than their more modern equivalents too, which is a good thing for those of us with older computers.

Yes they be great for real old laptops/desktops with little RAM and having rather underpowered CPUs/GPUs.


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#25 2021-03-18 20:01:06

Colonel Panic
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Registered: 2018-11-13
Posts: 300

Re: FVWM and FVWM-Crystal

Here's another couple of themes from Pierre-Eric Marchandet;

http://pemarchandet.free.fr/fvwm.html

I haven't yet managed to get all the graphics or window resizing buttons displaying properly in these two but, as I've said before, I really like the "fast thumbnails" facility fvwm has that shrinks windows down to small copies of themselves, and which Pierre incorporates in these themes.

Also, fvwm is the only window manager I know of apart from openbox that offers "smart" growing / maximising of windows - expanding the space they take up on the desktop but taking into account the size and position of other windows that are already there, and not just according to some pre-agreed dimensions.

Last edited by Colonel Panic (2021-03-18 20:12:23)

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