Linked by Rahul Gaitonde on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 18:23 UTC
Window Managers IceWM is a lightweight window manager for UNIX-like systems. Although widely used, it is often underrated - there is hardly any IceWM-related content on the Internet. This article is my attempt to share my experiences as a longtime IceWM user. It contains tips and tricks, usage scenarios, and makes use of examples whenever possible to better demonstrate IceWM's features and capabilities. Finally, the article is meant for those with some familiarity with UNIX, but who are new to IceWM.
Order by: Score:
longtime IceWM user
by Daren on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 18:37 UTC

It's nice to hear something about IceWM.

I've been using IceWM for many years now. Gnome and KDE simply kill the performance of my laptop computer. But IceWM runs quite snappy and does everything I need it to do as well as look nice.

Daren

v Re: longtime IceWM user
by Anonymous on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 18:45 UTC
I love IceWM
by saberworks on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 18:49 UTC

I have been using IceWM for years, here's another example of a theme: http://www.massassi.com/etc/desktop.png

re: saberworks
by bonjour on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 18:55 UTC

Yo, dude, your desktop wallpaper is great, but your desktop toolbar is hideous! Lol, what gives?

@ saberworks
by Evert on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 18:57 UTC

ok,i like that icewm theme of saberworks, but i've just browsed a few screenshots and it doesn't look sexy :-(

of course, when performance is at stake, one can still consider the console. i use the console UI with great pleasure.

Just switched from GNOME
by pete on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 19:01 UTC

Some weeks ago I switched from GNOME to IceWM! So far it's pretty nice (small & fast), but I'm still looking for a Nautilus replacement. Any hints?

@ saberworks
by Evert on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 19:04 UTC

@ saberworks: just forgot to ask.. which theme do you use?

RE: Just switched from GNOME
by Eugenia on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 19:06 UTC

>Any hints?

Go with FOX's PathFinder! Really-really fast! (but not 100% developed). Email me if you need hints on how to enable AA support on FOX apps and how to have similar colors with your gnome apps.
http://www.osnews.com/img/7694/Screenshot-2.png

Re: Just switched from GNOME
by quinn on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 19:08 UTC

I'd recommend ROX-Filer (http://rox.sourceforge.net ). It's not much like windows explorer, but it's much lighter than nautilus and supports both thumbnails and desktop icons. It's also been updated much more recently than the DFM program that the article spoke of.

Re: Just switched from GNOME
by Eugenia on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 19:25 UTC

I had the latest ROX completely nuking my share-mime info gnome 2.6 needed, so I am weary of it now.

Tell Me About Display Quality anf Icons
by enloop on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 19:42 UTC

I built IceWM a few days ago but gave up on it: the font display was obviously worse than the Gnome I was considering replacing. (Yes, I use the antialias compile option.)

Also, on the issue of icons on the desktop: Why Not? Why waste usage of 90 percent of the screen?

RE: Tell Me About Display Quality anf Icons
by Julian on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 19:47 UTC

Also, on the issue of icons on the desktop: Why Not? Why waste usage of 90 percent of the screen?

Hey, it's not forbidden to have icons, it's just not the job of a window manager. Think UNIX!

RE: Tell Me About Display Quality anf Icons
by emagius on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 19:54 UTC

Also, on the issue of icons on the desktop: Why Not? Why waste usage of 90 percent of the screen?

The taskbar takes up 5%, and the windows take up the other 95%. There's no use for desktop icons. ;)

RE:  Tell Me About Display Quality anf Icons
by froseph on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 19:54 UTC

Also, on the issue of icons on the desktop: Why Not? Why waste usage of 90 percent of the screen?

Right now I can see maybe 5% of my wallpaper which makes it difficult to get at any desktop icons. Why waste the screen with icons that will only be covered up by applications you actually use? To get at icons, you have to minimize everything or arrange your windows around those icons.

RE: Just switched from GNOME
by Anonymous on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 19:57 UTC

I'm still looking for a Nautilus replacement. Any hints?

X File Explorer is fast -- goes well together with a fast window manager. ;-)

http://roland65.free.fr/xfe/

The [missing] Menu
by epsilon on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 19:59 UTC

Yeah it's so cool that IceWM is so small etc. etc. But when I'm told to build my own menu from scratch (no success with the few tools which should do this semi/automatically), I say "thank you, ma'am" and go some other way. No speed is going to save a WM from the lack of such basic functionality as far as I'm concerned.

It's the 21st century! Hello!

OpenBox
by Russell Jackson on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 21:01 UTC

If you really want an unobtrusive window manager, try OpenBox.

Just tried it
by Utumno on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 21:06 UTC

I recently gave IceWM a try. Nice, although I think I'll stick with WindowMaker...

@emagius
by enloop on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 21:11 UTC

Doesn't turning over almost all of your visible screen space to a pretty picture acknowledge that the window manager is nothing more than a glorified program launcher? I really don't care if it is the "Unix way" or not, or if icons are covered by other windows. The space is there waiting for effective use to be made of it. Perhaps icons don't represent the best approach, but surely not using the space at all is counterproductive.

@enloop
by Chris on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 21:22 UTC

Um, how about multiple windows opened over it? The wallpaper is there so you can take ss's and send them to friends...
Also, wallpapers can provide contrast against the windows to make the windows more readily identifiable.

RE: Just switched from GNOME
by Intangible on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 21:32 UTC

Try EmelFM2, I still use it quite a bit even though I'm using GNOME now, it's great. http://freshmeat.net/projects/emelfm2/

RE: Just switched from GNOME (path finder)
by Anonymous on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 21:33 UTC

Go with FOX's PathFinder! Really-really fast! (but not 100% developed). Email me if you need hints on how to enable AA support on FOX apps and how to have similar colors with your gnome apps.
http://www.osnews.com/img/7694/Screenshot-2.png


I really want to give pathfinder a try but looking on the fox sourceforge page, I can't seem to find it. Could you please provide a link. Also yes once I'm using it I'll definately want aa support in fox apps, so I'll follow up further if needed.

@ anonymous re: Pathfinder & fox
by standsolid on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 21:42 UTC

check it out:

http://www.fox-toolkit.org/

is what you need.

IceWM
by Artem on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 22:07 UTC

Still GTK 1.x, I guess? Configurable by hand editing? (And no, various "control centers" are not a solution -- is it that damn difficult to make a context menu with "Settings" command for every configurable item and a simple GUI for changing preferences?) Why not XFCE4 then?

As for icons on the desktop, many people like and do use them... Give them the choice to use or not to use them.

PathFinder looks good, but it's Fox-based --> won't blend with GTK2 or Qt...

XPM
by Patrice Levesque on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 22:22 UTC

For at least the 2-3 latest versions, there is no need to convert the PNG files to XPM. Simply use "foobar.png" as the icon name (as opposed at "foobar" only for XPM).

@enloop
by Russell Jackson on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 22:33 UTC

Doesn't turning over almost all of your visible screen space to a pretty picture acknowledge that the window manager is nothing more than a glorified program launcher? I really don't care if it is the "Unix way" or not, or if icons are covered by other windows. The space is there waiting for effective use to be made of it. Perhaps icons don't represent the best approach, but surely not using the space at all is counterproductive.

A window manager manages windows, hence its name. It draws the border around each window and handles events regarding said windows. Many window managers do support some form of program launching, but in my opinion shouldn't really be in the window manager. A seperate program should be responsible for that. Then again, I'm a purist when it comes to these things. If you want to do something with the root window, there are many other programs to do that, but it is not the domain of the window manager.

The window manager is intergal part of the X11 client/server architecture. You can't just do away with it as many people seem to not understand.

IceWM has me curious
by Anonymous on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 22:35 UTC

@Saberworks:
I like your theme. Looks nice and simple.

@Russel:
I just installed Openbox last week. Its great and fast. I had to download fbpanel too because I really like having a taskbar to select open apps with which I didn't see one in openbox.

This article has got me curious about IceWM. I think the last time I used it was with a slack 3.x edition, or maybe it was a live cd I had. But its definitely been a while and I'm going to download and compile it tonight. Looks like it gives me all I want, a task bar and some quick launch buttons.

RE: Eugenia
by pete on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 22:37 UTC

Could you explain how file associations work in PathFinder?

@Russel Jackson
by enloop on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 22:41 UTC

Isn't the screen itself a window?

I understand your position. But, my question remains: Isn't leaving 90 percent of your screen space to a nonfunctional piece of art a waste?

I am not willing to sacrifice capability to the purity of the Unix way. Frankly, it is irrelevant to me what a window manager is supposed to do. (After all, where are the UNix police?)

RE: Pathfinder
by Anonymous on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 22:42 UTC

I went to http://www.fox-toolkit.org/ and indeed pathfinder is in the sections but it's under construction and nothing listed in the downloads.

Also, in the screenshots they show xfe which I have used and looks very similar to pathfinder. Is one a fork of the other?

Also, I don't know if this is just a result of not having anti-aliasing, but many fonts like free sans look horrible.

A last thing is the icon set. Is there a way to change them for fox to affect apps? For ex, I would like to modify the icon for folders in xfe.

Maybe I'll stick with xfe in the end if I can solve some things but I'd like to give pathfinder a shot, but can't seem to find much info.

Article quibbles and thumbs up
by bonkeroo buzzeye on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 22:50 UTC

Article - No wonder it's also known as the "impersonator".

This is all true but the author overstates that and understates that ice can look completely unique as well. I think this 'impersonation' actually hurts ice these days.

Article - dfm

I agree with those who mention rox. dfm sucks. At least rox has its uses besides just doing icons. But icons aren't necessary. @Eugenia - like Anonymous mentioned, xfe is based on the fox toolkit just like pathfinder and is much better (IMO). Might want to give it a shot. Also emelfm - (@Intangible - the developers of emelfm2 miss the point of emelfm - simplicity, just like ice and just like slack). For those who want a glitzier explorer-alike, there's Endeavour2. Of those, only rox does desktop icons.

Article - converting pixmaps.

As Patrice Lvesque said, not necessary, but if they're not 'ice format' so to speak, you do have to specify the full path, unless the path is on your ice icon path (preferences file) and even then you have to specify the full filename. Beats conversion, though. While I mention the preferences file: there's another optional file, prefoverride, which is great for keeping themes from clobbering settings especially important to you.

GAIM, xmms, gkrellm:

The author mentioned some but missed some (can't be exhaustive, I know.)

gkrellm.Gkrellm.fMinimize: 0
gkrellm.Gkrellm.tray: Exclusive

This keeps you from accidentally minimizing gkrellm and, best of all, puts it in the 'systray' like area. Bring it to the top with a click, lower it with another, and keep it out of your way generally. There are more winoptions, of course.

Article - Graphical configuration tools. Don't like 'em... don't use 'em.

Amen. Ice's third party graphical tools are lacking and who cares anyhow? The text editor of your choice is the best interface and ice's files are so powerful but so simple that it's *much* faster and quite a bit easier to just edit the damn file.

Excellent article on an underappreciated wm overall. I really liked it. The preceding are the only quibbles I had - great stuff.

That said, I think I've switched from ice. *g* I was a longtime flux user, then switched to ice for a long time. Not a thing I dislike about ice but somehow got wanderlust. I'm posting from pek at the moment. Still, more people should know about ice and be more concerned with usability than eyecandy and be a little patient even if they do think eyecandy's the most important - ice doesn't look so hot out of the box but can be made really nice.


@Pete - right click properties fill in boxes, if it's as I remember - like xfe.

@Anonymous - Pathfinder is *in* the fox library download - it's a demo of the library and comes with, along with a calculator and a text editor and so on. Just build the lib and get the apps.

@epsilon: The [Missing] Menu
by mksoft on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 22:56 UTC

Yeah it's so cool that IceWM is so small etc. etc. But when I'm told to build my own menu from scratch (no success with the few tools which should do this semi/automatically), I say "thank you, ma'am" and go some other way. No speed is going to save a WM from the lack of such basic functionality as far as I'm concerned.

It's the 21st century! Hello!


Check out MenuMaker:
http://menumaker.sourceforge.net/

RE: The [missing] Menu
by Anonymous on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 23:07 UTC

It takes me 5 minutes to configure mine with iceme (ice menu editor) and that includes the taskbar icons. what gives?

Sooo ...
by Darius on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 23:09 UTC

Besides the speed, does this thing have any pratical advantage feature-wise over the competition? It doesn't support desktop icons, which is one strike against it ;)

RE: OpenBox
by Anonymous on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 23:10 UTC

Is there a way to increase the fonts' size in the bars and menus? uff, they are pretty small.

A happy icewm
by Diego on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 23:18 UTC

I'm a happy icewm user, it's not as "ui-nice" as gnome but it actually leaves RAM for your apps, and has nice features like ie: alt + F11 fullscreens the window. _any_ window, I mean, that's the real place where fullscreen should be not just in 4 or 5 apps ;)

I use the console as "file manager", no desktop icons (desktop space was made to be occuped by windows not having to minimize things) and i like taskbars. Also, it can load KDE-compatible tray icons ;)

In short: simple and stupid, as i like ;)

RE: Sooo ...
by Anonymous on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 23:37 UTC

"Besides the speed, does this thing have any pratical advantage feature-wise over the competition? It doesn't support desktop icons, which is one strike against it ;) "

Probably, not for you.

It's a no-nonsense wm, i like it, i can do anything that i used to do with those other 2 bloated behemoths. I got my icons on the taskbar (bar in auto-hide), the main menu only contains what i need, i got the time, the date, a net and cpu monitor that comes by default, and speed. What else do you want? I don't need eye candy, little birds in the desktop; icons on the desktop? i already got icons in the taskbar. Screen pictures in the background that are gonna be covered 5 seconds later by the apps? Puleeze!

I want that leaf wallpaper where can I get it?
by me on Thu 22nd Jul 2004 23:58 UTC

I want that leaf wallpaper where can I get it?

Been a couple of years
by Anonymous - Bert on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 00:24 UTC

since I've used this fantastic window manager.... (using OSX so don't really use window non-apple managers anymore) . Surprised no one mentioned the amazing keyboard support... one of the few wm's that you can fully control without a mouse.

anyway, just wanted to pay my respects to this fantastic piece of software...

fullscreen issues with icewm
by Anonymous on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 00:40 UTC

I've had a few fullscreen issues with icewm.

mplayer full screen used to have the toolbar regardless in fullscreen video playback until i added

TaskBarKeepBelow=1

Which works but it's kinda clunky in that windowed apps can now cover the taskbar.

Also a psx emulator (epsxe) fullscreen mode stays a zoomed scrollable app, where I can scroll down and see the taskbar even with this setting. At first I thought it was epsxe but it doesnt happen in other wm's.

If I right click and choose fullscreen, epsxe becomes a normal fullscreen. I tried making it a fullscreen app in icewm prefs but couldn't get it working properly as the emu spawns another window for the actual game.

Re: The [missing] Menu
by walterbyrd on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 00:44 UTC

I have to agree. The menu is a pain to edit. There are tools that are supposed to help. But, frankly, I don't think any of those tools are very good.

Re: @ saberworks
by saberworks on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 01:29 UTC

The theme is called elberg and I got it from http://themes.freshmeat.net/ - I have changed the fonts from the original theme though, because I didn't like them.

Why do you say my taskbar is hideous? It's very simple and has every program I use sort of often but not often enough to warrant a shortcut key. I downloaded an icon pack from icewm.org, which is where all those icons came from.

The thing I like most about IceWM (other than its speed) is the fact that it's very easy to set key bindings. I have alt-e for my terminal, alt-f1 - alt-f4 for my four desktops, alt-v for my gvim (which is what I use most of the time - I work as a perl programmer), and quite a few other interesting ones.

I got the desktop background from themes.freshmeat.net as well but I don't use that one anymore - I now have darth vader but I'm too lazy to upload another shot ;)

Re: @ saberworks
by saberworks on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 01:32 UTC

Oh, I also don't use any root window drawing icons-on-desktop program. Even when I was on windows, I didn't have many icons. I generally just use alt-e to start a terminal, or a really nice shortcut in icewm is ctrl-alt-space, which will temporarily blank your taskbar (just the part that gives icons for all your open apps), and it lets you type a command (and executes it from your home directory I think). So if I want to open mozilla, which I don't normally use (and thus don't have a shortcut key nor a quicklaunch icon), I type ctrl-alt-space then "mozilla" (no quotes of course), then press enter, and mozilla pops up. It's a lot easier than going start/applications/www browsers/mozilla with the mouse.

RE: Re: @ saberworks
by Anonymous on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 01:50 UTC

I type ctrl-alt-space then "mozilla" (no quotes of course), then press enter, and mozilla pops up. It's a lot easier than going start/applications/www browsers/mozilla with the mouse.

But is it easier than clicking (or double-clicking) an icon?

I've tried IceWM a couple of times but every time I thought it's kludgy to use with mouse (especially in trying to resize windows). I do know that most IceWM users prefer to use keyboard only. For me, a handful of keyboard shortcuts is enough and I prefer to do the rest with mouse.

Re: Resizing windows
by Bernard Swiss on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 01:58 UTC

I've never encountered any problem re-sizing a window in icewm.

It's a straight-forward click & drag operation, or if you prefer you can use the title-bar accessible menu.

Look here...
by TenaciousOne on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 02:34 UTC

Compare all WMs here:

http://www.xwinman.org/

Re: @ saberworks
by saberworks on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 04:05 UTC

But is it easier than clicking (or double-clicking) an icon?

Considering the thousands of programs and commands most linux distros come with, I would say yes. Also, I type somewhere around 120 words per minute, and typing "mozilla" is much easier than moving windows out of the way to expose some icons in the background.

Re: @ saberworks
by Anonymous on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 04:16 UTC

typing "mozilla" is much easier than moving windows out of the way to expose some icons in the background.

You do it your way, I'm OK with that. Just out of curiosity, isn't there a keyboard shortcut in IceWM to make the root window (the "desktop background") visible quickly?

Re: Just switched from GNOME (OT)
by Felix on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 04:21 UTC

I had the latest ROX completely nuking my share-mime info gnome 2.6 needed, so I am weary of it now.

Really? Interesting. But considering that Thomas Leonard wrote both shared-mime and ROX-Filer, I suppose you ought to be wary of Gnome. If you can find the cause (whether in shared-mime, ROX or Gnome), you might want to file a bug. (Also, are you sure it was with shared-mime? Gnome and ROX try to be compatible with icon themes, but fail badly, so when I run Nautilus 2.6.something under ROX-Session I don't get any icons.)

Also, what is the 'latest ROX'? 2.0.1 (stable)? 2.1.2 (developer)? CVS? (If you or anyone else wants to try ROX out (again), I would recommend 2.1.1 at /uri/0install/rox.sourceforge.net/apps/ROX-Filer/ROX-Filer-2.1.1/ or the CVS snapshots at /uri/0install/rox.sourceforge.net/apps/ROX-Filer/latest/. IME there were a few showstopper bugs in 2.1.2.)

Re: Just switched from GNOME
by kundor on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 05:46 UTC

"Some weeks ago I switched from GNOME to IceWM! So far it's pretty nice (small & fast), but I'm still looking for a Nautilus replacement. Any hints?"

Well, you could just keep using Nautilus. Apps run under any WM if you have the libraries installed.

icons in IceWM
by Anonymous on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 05:57 UTC

The author mentions DFM as a way of getting icons on the desktop. There is an alternative. XtDesktop. Buffalo Linux uses it with IceWM as its default desktop. Damn Small Linux and Feather Linux use XtDesktop to provide icons with Fluxbox.

As a longtime Windows user, I like having desktop icons, but since I decided to ditch KDE and Gnome to use IceWM exclusively (without XtDesktop), I have not really missed the icons at all.

simply the best wm!
by Wolfram Fischer on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 07:13 UTC

I've tried nearly every WM and DE which is available for Unix - IceWM was simply the best: I'm using nearly exclusively the keyboard, and IceWM is perfectly easy to configure in a way, that every app I need is simply a hotkey away.
Besides that, its fast, lightweight - and after using it 2 years in my workplace we've grown together.

Lefty friendly...
by Anonymous on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 07:40 UTC

I the maximize, minimize and close buttons can not be set on the left hand side of the window manager, I will not use that window manager.

Long Live Icewm!

re: Just switched from GNOME
by david on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 08:07 UTC

XFE works a treat!

path finder
by neutron on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 08:10 UTC

I've just installed the fox-toolkit, but I can't find path finder in my kde menu. The fox calculator is there though...

When I type pathfinder in the terminal it tries to start it, but fails with something like: c++ command not found.

Anybody has an idea?

Icewm and rox --pinboard
by theARE on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 08:30 UTC

I use Icewm on and off. I use rox to get desktop icons - just run it in pinboard mode, for filemanager i also use xfe.

Icewm really is a nice desktop, it's simple, fast and yet powerfull and it's easy to go in and fiddle with images to adapt a theme to your liking.

Its a nice change from KDE from time to time, but kde is still what i normally use.

nice icewm theme?
by Richard Spindler on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 09:08 UTC

Is there a nice iceWM theme?
Most of them look strange to me. especially these bold fonts are hideous.

RE: nice icewm theme?
by Tyr on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 11:07 UTC

This is my favorite icewm theme :
http://themes.freshmeat.net/projects/miggy4/

I just wish they would port it to other wm.

There are a lot of good themes for IceWM on Freshmeat ( http://themes.freshmeat.net/browse/925/ ) Including TrueCurve, a nice Bluecurve look-a-like, and themes that look almost exactly like winxp if you like hat sort of thing.

RE: nice icewm theme?
by Nosrail on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 11:46 UTC

I just wish they would port it to other wm.

This is a little known trick, It is possible to use IceWM themes with KDE.

Make sure you have installed the kdeartwork package, then right click on a title bar, configure Window behavior... Then on the drop down benu for Window Decoration select IceWM. You can now use IceWM themes with KDE. Just extract the tarballs in the directory.

Rox + fluxbox-devel
by benn on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 12:23 UTC

I run a rox filer (just a panel, no pinboard) + fluxbox development version desktop. It's light, fast and easily configurable. Right now, it looks similar to windows/icewm, with incredible drag 'n' drop capabilities...

It's quite awesome

RE: RE: nice icewm theme?
by Tyr on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 12:54 UTC

I'm more of a gnome man (I have been known to run icewm as my gnome wm in fact (-: ), but I will definately try that next time I install KDE. Probably when my SuSE evaluation package arrives.

whats about keyboard layout?
by Anonymous on Fri 23rd Jul 2004 13:22 UTC

is there a keyboard layout can be used i iceWM ,
if there's how to enable it ?

Desktop icons with idesk
by Johnno on Sat 24th Jul 2004 07:50 UTC

I'm surprised that there was no mention of idesk, a lightweight yet good looking desktop icon manager.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/idesk/
Works perfectly with IceWm

freedesktop standard menu
by Asc on Sat 24th Jul 2004 18:11 UTC

I would use IceWM if it respects freedesktop.org menu structure. As far as I know WindowMaker allows you to use external programs to build menu on the fly, why icewm shouldn't? Every app in the modern distros has a .desktop file in it's package. The structure is ready, just use it. And have the same menu in Gnome, IceWM, BlueBox KDE and any other WM (or better desktop manager) in the world.

Re: @ saberworks
by saberworks on Sun 25th Jul 2004 05:20 UTC

You do it your way, I'm OK with that. Just out of curiosity, isn't there a keyboard shortcut in IceWM to make the root window (the "desktop background") visible quickly?Yeah, but I'm not sure there's a way to put them all back quickly... probably, but I've never looked, because typing a command is easier ;)

A small correction
by jlliagre on Tue 27th Jul 2004 10:46 UTC



The syntax of the toolbar exactly the same as the one for the menu file, but of course, no submenus!

Actually, it is also possible to have submenus in the toolbar.

Desktop Icons
by C. Whitman on Tue 27th Jul 2004 19:16 UTC

Some of these posts seem to be missing the point of people who are saying that drawing desktop icons isn't the window manager's job. I'll put it an entirely different way. What other window manager draws application launching icons? I can't think of one offhand (although there very well may be one in existence).

Desktop icons are generally drawn by file managers rather than window managers. Remember that IceWM is a window manager rather than a complete desktop environment. In GNOME, Nautilus draws the desktop icons (and you can use Nautilus with IceWM if you want). Again in KDE, the window manager, kwm, does not draw the icons (kfm used to, not sure if Konqeror took over any of that job or not).

If you are using separate components rather than a desktop environment, you should be prepared to mix and match them to get the features you want. I actually much prefer to do it that way. The only possible drawback is that different components don't always interact smoothly to produce your environment. This is one reason why desktop standards are important. Still, it gives me the opportunity to have features where I want them, and not where I don't. As more standards for the way different components interact are created and are supported by various desktop utilities, it will become easier to create your own custom desktop that is streamlined and lightweight, but also works well.

Remote X on WindowsXP
by BoneBaby on Wed 28th Jul 2004 11:25 UTC

On my linux pc with starting 'startx', I get IceWM running.

I got exceed running and when starting 'xterm', I get a grafic terminal. So all is working fine, but I would like have more than just the terminal, I rather have the whole desktop with nice background and toolbar with nice buttons.

Does someone know what to start (or configure), so I get the IceWM desktop and toolbar projected on my WindowsXP ?

PS IceWM kicks some ass...