Science and technology

Revamp your previous Linux desktop with Joe’s Window Manager

Joe’s Window Manager (JWM for brief) is a light-weight window supervisor for X11. It’s written in C, minimally utilizing Xlib. Because it is so small and easy, JWM makes an important window supervisor for sluggish or previous computer systems. The Raspberry Pi barely registers that JWM is operating, leaving treasured system sources for extra vital duties than the desktop.

JWM follows within the footsteps of environments like FVWM, Window Maker, and Fluxbox. It offers an software menu, window ornament, and a panel with an software menu, taskbar, and clock.

Install JWM out of your distribution’s software program repository. After putting in it, log off of your present desktop session so you possibly can log into JWM. By default, your session supervisor (KDM, GDM, LightDM, or XDM, relying in your setup) will proceed to log you into your earlier desktop, so you need to override that earlier than logging in.

To choose a brand new desktop with GDM:

With KDM:

The first time you log into JWM, chances are you’ll discover a black display screen with a panel on the backside. It’s regular on most distributions to allow you to select the wallpaper for this minimal desktop. You can set a wallpaper with the feh command (chances are you’ll want to put in it out of your repository). This command has a couple of choices for setting the background, together with –bg-fill to fill the display screen along with your wallpaper of selection, –bg-scale to scale it to suit, and so forth.

$ feh --bg-fill ~/Pictures/wallpapers/mybackground.jpg

There are two areas for the appliance menus in JWM: it seems at your mouse cursor while you left-click on the desktop, and it’s also accessible by clicking the JWM brand within the lower-left nook.

There are not any functions bundled with JWM, so it is as much as you to resolve what functions to make use of. You can get functions from any desktop, like GNOME or KDE, or you should use impartial functions. Most of the combination between functions is completed by D-Bus and different backend expertise on Linux, so it is secure to combine and match them. I take advantage of PCManFM-Qt as a file supervisor, unicode-rxvt as a terminal, and, in fact, Firefox as an web browser.


Two configuration information govern JWM. The system-wide configuration file is /and many others/jwm/system.jwmrc, and the consumer native file is $HOME/.jwmrc. Configuration information are written in XML, however the schema may be very primary and simple to reverse-engineer, whether or not you understand XML or not. Configuration choices are well-documented on, residence of the JWM undertaking.

Why it’s best to use JWM

There’s no scarcity of light-weight window managers accessible for Linux, and also you would possibly surprise why there appears to be a lot redundancy, a lot much less why it’s best to attempt Joe’s. There are a couple of causes JWM is as vital as any of the others. When software program initiatives, redundancy is a good factor. Should one undertaking’s implementation of a desktop paradigm fade, you will have many others to select from. And typically, the strengths of every undertaking are within the minor particulars. For instance, the short and simple setup of a taskbar and software menu makes for a fast, wise default configuration for all of the customers who need that frequent setup. For technical customers, the XML configuration could also be a refreshing change from the customized configuration codecs in different environments.

Joe’s Window Manager, in a means, demonstrates the wealthy range of open supply and the way it’s a luxurious Linux customers take pleasure in. If you are concerned with JWM, attempt it out right this moment, and see if you can also make your personal window supervisor, too.

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