Window Maker a very fine window manager.


Abarbarian

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This thread is dedicated to Window Maker one of the oldest window managers for linux still actively maintained. It is still as functional and useful as when it made its debut in 1997.

I will include TIPS and articles as I find them. The forum does not allow for editing posts after a short time so scanning the whole thread will be necessary to find any relevant and useful TIPS.

Amanda the Panda is the official mascot for Window Maker. She is a real cutie.



THE WINDOW MAKER HOME SITE

WINDOW MAKER WIKIPEDIA SITE

The Window Maker Live Linux distribution

Window Maker User List ------- A place to ask questions concerning running Window Maker.

Enjoy

:cool:
 
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Abarbarian

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TIP - Shutdown pc

There are several ways to shutdown your pc when using Window Maker.

You can close Window Maker from the menu and power off via the command line.

You can use a dock-app like "wmshutdown" available for Arch at the AUR. This is quite neat as you shutdown from within Window maker.

https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/wmshutdown/

On an Arch system you can use the middle click feature available on icons on the dock utilising systemd. If you have the pc set up with polkit configured you can simply add " systemctl poweroff " to the middle click box on any icon.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/allow_users_to_shutdown



One thing to watch out for if using the above is that Window Maker by default will not let you use the middle click feature if the icon is already used by a running program. When I used this method I added the shutdown command to my keepassxc icon as I always close that program before powering down.
There is a way to utilise the middle click feature even if the icon is used by a running program I will include that information in another tip at some time.

I am sure that there must be more ways to shutdown or re-boot your pc from WIndow Maker so if anyone has any other method maybe they would be kind enough to share here.

Enjoy.

:cool:
 
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Ian

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This is a silly question @Abarbarian, but what is Window Maker? The description on their homepage of "an X11 window manager originally designed to provide integration support for the GNUstep Desktop Environment" means very little to a non-linux expert like myself, so I hope you may be able to put it in to laymans terms for me :).
 

Abarbarian

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This is a silly question @Abarbarian, but what is Window Maker? The description on their homepage of "an X11 window manager originally designed to provide integration support for the GNUstep Desktop Environment" means very little to a non-linux expert like myself, so I hope you may be able to put it in to laymans terms for me :).
Simple really as the hint is in the title, a window manager manages windows. :D

You can use a computer without a complex graphical interface from the command line which has very basic graphics showing on a screen.
For the average user you really need some way to show on the monitor videos and pictures and pages for your office program and so on this is commonly called a desktop.

You are familiar with Windows and Apple's Mac. Both of these contain a desktop environment.We are not looking at the core components of the operating systems which have changed quite dramatically over the years we are concerned here with how the operating system appears to the user. The two operating systems have seen various different versions which all have almost the same functions and to some extent contain the same programs and to some extent have the same sort of look.
For example all the Windows from 98 to 7 have a taskbar at the bottom of the screen with a menu launcher in the bottom left corner.They have a file manager and notepad, browser, music player etc etc. In each version they integrate with each other and have the same look. You can change the look to some extent by changing icon sets, wallpapers, and colours for title bars and so on but they still have that same sort of look and function in the same way.
In Linux you have KDE,Gnome and Enlightenment and others all of which look different and function differently to each other but can be viewed to be the same as Windows or Mac. The only way they differ to Windows and Mac's is that they generally contain more programs as part of the package. You may get a torrent program or a chat program or a dozen programs included and they will all have the same look and feel and integrate with each other.

You could look at Windows, Mac's, KDE, Gnome and Enlightenment as popular car marques, Ford ,Volvo and BMW. They all have gravity fed engines tweaked slightly differently but basically the same. Where they differ is in how they look and feel to the user, body shape and interior design and so on.

here is what Arch says about desktops,

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Desktop_environment

Back at the car example then, a desktop environment is like a car made by BMW for instance and that will contain a window manager.
So a desktop is quite a complex beast which has one component that is necessary for it to be functional. That is it needs windows. All programs you run when using a GUI, graphical user interface, must use a widow to contain the program otherwise how would you know where the edges of a video stop.How would you know where on the screen or control six or seven running programs.Opening each program and telling it where to appear at a certain size every time you ran it would be a real pain. So we have windows.

Back to the car analogy. Lets call the chassis, wheels, engine and gearbox the operating system. Now to drive the car you need very little extra, a steering wheel,seat and pedals. Lets call them the windows.Oh and you need a driver lets call the driver a manager.

So we have windows that need to be given instructions this is taken care of by the manager. A good description of this task is given in the Arch Wiki,

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/window_manager

"Window managers are X clients that control the appearance and behaviour of the frames ("windows") where the various graphical applications are drawn. They determine the border, titlebar, size, and ability to resize windows, and often provide other functionality such as reserved areas for sticking dockapps like Window Maker, or the ability to tab windows like Fluxbox. Some window managers are even bundled with simple utilities like menus to start programs or to configure the WM itself."

Back to the car again. The driver will decide when to change gear how quickly you would turn and in which direction and so on. The window manager decides how big the window will be where it is placed on the screen and will it have a close button and so on.Just as the car can be the most basic build so can the window manager. Add a turn indicator to the car or a dock to the window manager or make as many additions you like that provide functionality for the car or windows.

I have no idea if the above will make sense to folk but the two links above do provide useful information.
As there are so many types of window manager and desktops available to Linux users choice can be difficult. Reading and watching some videos of the ones you may be interested before deciding on which distro to use is probably a good idea.

Have fun with your penguin. :lol:
 
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Ian

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Thanks @Abarbarian - I had always assumed that the window management was done as part of the desktop environment, so it's quite interesting to see the number of layers. I had incorrectly guessed that all you needed was the GNOME / KDE / etc... part and it contained everything required for the GUI.

I've done quite a bit of reading from the Arch Linux Wiki you posted and now I get it :).
 

Urmas

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I had incorrectly guessed that all you needed was the GNOME / KDE / etc... part and it contained everything required for the GUI.
That is not incorrect -- but thing is that if you were to install KDE or GNOME (i.e. a desktop environment), it is, using Abarbarians analogy, a car. With bumpers, stereo, leather seats (or not)... i.e. a metapackage.

A metapackage is -- rather unsurprisingly -- a package you can choose to install, but the way it works is that it "pulls in" the necessary amount of "actual" packages.

I just checked some relevant Ubuntu DE metapackages: let's say you have the normal Ubuntu desktop (Unity) installed, and want to install KDE alongside it, this is how many additional packages the available metapagage variants (back to AB's car analogy, prices from, standard, deluxe...) install:


  • plasma-desktop = 209
  • kde-workspace = 209
  • kde-plasma-desktop = 243
  • kde-standard = 374
  • kubuntu-desktop = 477
  • kde-full = 677

All of those above variants produce a working GUI environment that you can log into. The difference is "no seats vs. standard seats vs. leather seats" or "navi & 24-loudspeaker AV system vs. a hole in the dash".

Clear as mud? :lol:
 
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Abarbarian

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To install Window Maker you just need these dependencies,

and you will have a working GUI, in size that is,

Package Size: 1.5 MB
Installed Size: 5.1 MB

so no matter what size your engine you still have loads of scope to add all sorts of stuff. Like furry dice or christmas tree air freshners, dual dvd players for the rear seats or window blinds or a rear cigarette lighter socket.

Makes you think that you can have a working environment with

Window Maker = 8 packages
KDE =209 to 677 packages

Looking at it from a stability point of view with Window maker you have eight chances of someone making a cock up, nine if you include Window maker itself, versus 210 chances of a cock up with KDE.

:cool:

Mind you humans very rarely make cock ups :rolleyes:
 
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Urmas

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Looking at it from a stability point of view with Window maker you have eight chances of someone making a cock up, nine if you include Window maker itself, versus 210 chances of a cock up with KDE.
True dat. Go-kart vs. Citroën DS. But it is a choice. And choice is good, n'est-ce pas?




:p
 
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Abarbarian

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True dat. Go-kart vs. Citroën DS. But it is a choice. And choice is good, n'est-ce pas?




:p
Demonstrates my point exactly. Takes an army to make it and an army to repair it :nod: an not everyone has legs that will attract an army of free repair men. :lol:

Choice is good, an the lady looks to have plenty of choice :D
 

Abarbarian

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I'm sure it does. However, I love KDE, although it ALWAYS seems to be somewhere between alpha & beta stage.

For a modern desktop KDE is pretty darn neat and slicker than a brylcreem hairstyle.



If I was to use a modern desktop though I would go for Enlightenment.
Trouble is Enlightenment is still an unfinished product and they keep on changing things and never ever seem to get a full set of tools in a finished state all at the same time.
KDE is further along the path with loads of tools specially designed to integrate but not all of them work 100% and most have some annoying glitches that never seem to be resolved. Due in part to the next major release appearing shortly with even more bells and whistles so the promise is that the tools will work well in the next release.
The main reason I do not fancy running one of the above is that with the new version releases you generally have to relearn how to use stuff as the developers have made cosmetic changes that will help the user make better use of the DE, changing button layouts, adding/subtracting features and all manner of wonderful useful stuff. I just can not cope with all the changes and do not want to.
An then there is the reliability factor. I have in the past run both DE's and they have both crapped out on me at the most inopportune moments. Causing me no end of grief for a short while ie: no usable pc till it was fixed. That is solvable by keeping regular backups but it is a bit of a pain in the neck to have to reinstall a backup of your os because your desktop blew out yet again. It is almost as bad as running Windows. Looks great works well but you know it will blow up at some time.
To be fair both of the above do seem to be getting much better.
So I stick with good ol Window Maker which has tons of features and does not change hardly at all and keeps on rolling along. Finding out how to do stuff with Window Maker can be like a treasure hunt though, loads of old clues ,tons of digging around and you need good luck to find the right current information.

:cool:
 
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Abarbarian

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TIP -- Change Docked Icon Behaviour

Window Maker has a few quirks in its behaviour. If you add a program icon to the dock and change the programs default icon to one of your own when you open the program the dock icon changes back to the default icon for the program. Close the program and you get your own chosen icon back. Also when you minimise the program you get the default icon showing rather than your own.
This can be useful as you can keep track off all opened programs.
However I like my icons to look the way I have set them up all the time. After all I spent some time tracking down groovy icons and I want to see them displayed all the time.

I'll show you how to do this with REMIND. Remind is a command line program but does have a GUI and the program is called TKRemind which seems to behave a little differently to some other programs I have tried. This means there is one little step at the beginning of the guide to follow that you would normally not need.

Open tkremind from the RUN box and miniaturise.



I get a generic icon and a generic mini window in the holding area, they are the two on the bottom right.



With most programs you would get a default icon showing straight away when you open one up from the RUN box and when you docked the icon you would not see a pop up box.

Drag the icon to the dock and a pop up opens.

Complete instruction and close ,you will see that the icon has changed from a generic to the TKRemind issued one.



Right click icon on dock, tick LOCK box , and also START WITH WINDOW MAKER box if required.



Open the miniaturised TKRemind > right click title bar and choose ATTRIBUTES > ADVANCED OPTIONS tick EMULATE APPLICATION ICON.



ICON AND INITIAL WORKSPACE tick IGNORE CLIENT SUPPLIED ICON , choose an icon image OK > SAVE then APPLY.



Miniaturise TKRemind > you should see the new icon graphic both in the dock and on the miniaturised icon. Re-start Window Maker from the menu just to see if the changes stay effective.

Enjoy.

Long Live Window Maker.

:cool:
 

Abarbarian

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TIP -- Manual Menu Entry

I am still finding out how Window Maker does things so there may be other ways to accomplish this task. For this exercise I am using TKRemind.

I normally use icons or the RUN feature and do not bother with the menu but as I am training to be a Window Maker ninja I thought I should be familiar with every facet of this wonderful program.

Open WPrefs > Applications Menu Definition > add RUN PROGRAM to the correct applications menu > I used EDITORS > follow instructions ie: add "tkremind" in the white box PROGRAM TO RUN > SAVE.



Open your file manager and find > GNUstep > Defaults > then open WMRootMenu > I used EDITORS so find the entry RUN PROGRAM and alter it to TKreind > SAVE and CLOSE.





Now open the MENU and you will see the entry 'Run Program' has changed to 'TKremind'. Click on this to open the program just to check that it works.



Simple enough ain't it.

Enjoy.

Long Live Window Maker.
 

Abarbarian

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Dug around the dusty old areas of the net and found a dock app from 2003 that was languishing. So I made a Arch package for it and installed it and to my surprise it works.
The app is a simple reminder app that was originally intended for birthdays.As I am billynomates these days, most of my mates are dead, I have added in reminders for other important stuff. The app flashes on the day of the event so if you are lucky you can still buy presies if you forgot.

:nod:
 

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I know you are all eager to see my Dock Apps in full animated mode, screenshots just do not hit the spot. So I called upon the awesome power of ffmpeg to convert a vokoscreen movie to a gif so that you could appreciate the graphical delights of Window maker.
I found this guide,

https://davidwalsh.name/convert-video-gif

Altered the commands to suit and ran them in a terminal. Now I know you are really interested to see what the terminal output was so here it is,

Code:
[longship@14:38:13 Vokoscreen]$ ffmpeg -i  vokoscreen-2017-08-31_14-28-11.mkv -b 2048k dockapp1.gif
ffmpeg version 3.3.3 Copyright (c) 2000-2017 the FFmpeg developers
  built with gcc 7.1.1 (GCC) 20170630
  configuration: --prefix=/usr --disable-debug --disable-static --disable-stripping --enable-avisynth --enable-avresample --enable-fontconfig --enable-gmp --enable-gnutls --enable-gpl --enable-ladspa --enable-libass --enable-libbluray --enable-libfreetype --enable-libfribidi --enable-libgsm --enable-libiec61883 --enable-libmodplug --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopencore_amrnb --enable-libopencore_amrwb --enable-libopenjpeg --enable-libopus --enable-libpulse --enable-libschroedinger --enable-libsoxr --enable-libspeex --enable-libssh --enable-libtheora --enable-libv4l2 --enable-libvidstab --enable-libvorbis --enable-libvpx --enable-libwebp --enable-libx264 --enable-libx265 --enable-libxcb --enable-libxvid --enable-shared --enable-version3
  libavutil      55. 58.100 / 55. 58.100
  libavcodec     57. 89.100 / 57. 89.100
  libavformat    57. 71.100 / 57. 71.100
  libavdevice    57.  6.100 / 57.  6.100
  libavfilter     6. 82.100 /  6. 82.100
  libavresample   3.  5.  0 /  3.  5.  0
  libswscale      4.  6.100 /  4.  6.100
  libswresample   2.  7.100 /  2.  7.100
  libpostproc    54.  5.100 / 54.  5.100
Input #0, matroska,webm, from 'vokoscreen-2017-08-31_14-28-11.mkv':
  Metadata:
    ENCODER         : Lavf57.71.100
  Duration: 00:00:30.58, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 313 kb/s
    Stream #0:0: Video: h264 (High), yuv420p(progressive), 1298x156, 25 fps, 25 tbr, 1k tbn, 50 tbc (default)
    Metadata:
      ENCODER         : Lavc57.89.100 libx264
      DURATION        : 00:00:30.583000000
    Stream #0:1: Audio: mp3, 48000 Hz, stereo, s16p, 128 kb/s (default)
    Metadata:
      ENCODER         : Lavc57.89.100 libmp3lame
      DURATION        : 00:00:29.879000000
Please use -b:a or -b:v, -b is ambiguous
Stream mapping:
  Stream #0:0 -> #0:0 (h264 (native) -> gif (native))
Press [q] to stop, [?] for help
[swscaler @ 0x8f413a7660] No accelerated colorspace conversion found from yuv420p to bgr8.
Output #0, gif, to 'dockapp1.gif':
  Metadata:
    encoder         : Lavf57.71.100
    Stream #0:0: Video: gif, bgr8, 1298x156, q=2-31, 2048 kb/s, 25 fps, 100 tbn, 25 tbc (default)
    Metadata:
      DURATION        : 00:00:30.583000000
      encoder         : Lavc57.89.100 gif
Past duration 0.999992 too large
frame=  430 fps=0.0 q=-0.0 size=    1878kB time=00:00:17.25 bitrate= 891.7kbits/frame=  749 fps=747 q=-0.0 size=    3282kB time=00:00:30.01 bitrate= 895.9kbits/frame=  763 fps=748 q=-0.0 Lsize=    3372kB time=00:00:30.57 bitrate= 903.7kbits/s speed=  30x   
video:3365kB audio:0kB subtitle:0kB other streams:0kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead: 0.200363%
[longship@14:42:15 Vokoscreen]$
Phew that is some complicated stuff. Here is what it produced. Watch and weep at the sheer beauty of Window Maker.



:cool:
 

Ian

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Haha, those icon docks remind me of when Windows first introduced widgets and I had one for everything - WinAMP, CPU temps, CPU load, etc... I'm sure it slowed my PC to a crawl at the time.
 

Abarbarian

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Haha, those icon docks remind me of when Windows first introduced widgets and I had one for everything - WinAMP, CPU temps, CPU load, etc... I'm sure it slowed my PC to a crawl at the time.
Even with all those running my Window Maker uses far far less resources than KDE or Gnome or LXDE etc. I have a ton more to try out but I want to make Arch packages for them so they do not screw up my os if they do not work and do not have the time at the moment.
Most of them are just eye candy though a couple are pretty useful :lol:
 

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Liquid Lemur Linux (aka: Lemur)

"Liquid Lemur Linux (aka: Lemur) is a custom Debian distro, based on the Stable branch. Currently we have one desktop available, a Hybrid Window Maker (shown above). Available in 64bit only. Lemur includes the latest Window Maker base, custom Lemur and Window Maker apps, and lots of custom scripts / artwork. It was created to fill the void left behind by others in the same class. The goal was simple — create a fairly fast and functional base distro, that was also pleasing to the eyes. Liquid Lemur was never intended to be a “Beginner’s” distro. However, anyone familiar with Linux should be able to figure it out. We also offer help, via this site, to those that may need it. At the same time, we also accept help and suggestions from others that may have more experience in the field, as we are by no means “experts.” Liquid Lemur is a hybrid of sorts. Taking bits and pieces from many other distros, to build a more complete package. It is a growing toddler in the distro world, but continues to evolve with each release. We welcome the ideas and suggestions from the community. Although we may not use them, we will at least listen."



Hurray finally a developer with exquisite taste and sense.
 
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Abarbarian

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If you are looking for Dock-apps for Window MAker you will find some interesting ones at these two sites.

https://github.com/window-maker/dockapps

https://www.dockapps.net/category/misc

Not all of the dock-apps will work. However many of them will some have had work done to them in the last year or so.

I am interested in "wmArchUp" and intend trying to install it.

https://www.dockapps.net/wmarchup


"wmArchUp is a very simple program used to monitor for package updates in Arch Linux. It uses the checkupdates script that come with pacman for safe checking if there is any package updates. It is a dockapp that is supported by X window managers such as Window Maker, AfterStep, BlackBox, Fluxbox and Enlightenment.


This dockapp is quite simple. It contains an Arch Linux logo icon. When there is not package updates then the Arch Linux logo icon is greyed. When there are package updates then the Arch Linux logo icon is blue. The program check for updates every 10 minutes."


Of course your own distro may have wm dock-apps in their repositoties. Arch for instance has a good selection in the AUR.

https://aur.tuna.tsinghua.edu.cn/packages/?O=350&SeB=nd&K=wm&SB=n&SO=a&PP=50&do_Search=Go

Enjoy.

:cheers:
 

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