When you first look at your Linux Workstation (configured as an X-Term), if nobody is logged on already, you will see a logon screen. This asks for your username and password on mssly3. The program here is xdm. After logging on, the fvwm window manager will start. This has many features. If you would prefer it to look and behave more like DecWindows you can see the configuration section of this document which will tell you how to copy a file. Further modifications will require you to edit this copied file.
Fvwm written by Robert Nation, based upon twm, and is a modern fully-featured virtual window manager.
Virtual means that the desktop you work on is larger than the desktop you see: at any time you see a fraction of the available desktop. If this is too much for you it is easy to turn off this and other features to make fvwm easier to use but after a little practice, the features really become useful.
For more information about fvwm see the FVWM Homepage (http://www.cs.hmc.edu/people/tkelly/docs/fvwm.html)
or see a site with FVWM Configuration Examples (http://www.ssc.com/~roland/fvwm/fvwm.html).
If these are slow, try a (maybe not quite so recent) copy of the FVWM configuration examples locally (http://mssls7/fvwm/).
For for more information on fvwm and its modules see the man pages:
man fvwmetc., which will bring up a text version of the man page.
You can also grab a window (which show up as coloured rectangles in the pager) with the middle mouse button and drag it to another region. You can even drag it out of the pager alltogether onto your desktop (into the `real world').
With the default configuration there are two `Desks' each with four panes.
The keyboard shortcuts for moving around the desktop are:
You can change the Goodstuff buttons to run different applications.
Goodstuff is `sticky' meaning it stays on your desktop even if you move to another region of the virtual desktop (see later for how to do this).
~/.fvwmrcIf this does not exist, fvwm will look for the system startup file
/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fvwm/system.fvwmrc(which is actually the same file as /usr/X11/lib/X11/fvwm/system.fvwmrc and /usr/lib/X11/fvwm/system.fvwmrc).
These files are written in a particular format for fvwm to read but they are also very easy for the human to read too.
To customize your fvwm setup, you should copy one of the system setup files. If you would like to start from the default setup, copy system.fvwmrc:
cp /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fvwm/system.fvwmrc ~/.fvwmrc
If you would like to start from the DecWindows/Motif Window Manager look-alike setup which is simpler and has many options disabled, copy system.fvwmrc.mwm:
cp /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fvwm/system.fvwmrc.mwm ~/.fvwmrc
Then you can edit your setup file to suit your taste:
emacs ~/.fvwmrcor whatever your favourite editor is.
You will have to restart fvwm for changes to take effect.
Comment lines are preceded by a hash `#'.
To uncomment a line is to remove the hash(es) at the start of the line.
To comment a line is to put a hash at the start of the line.
These are pretty self-explanatory. Look for `color' and change the colour
name. Possible colours are listed in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb.txt.
If the colour you want is not there, use its rgb number like the examples in
the fvwmrc startup files.
If you want to change the colours of the xterms you can use the -fg and
-bg options. If you want to change them allm you will have to change them in
numerous places in the .fvwmrc file: one in the InitFunction section, some in the shells section and some in the configuration of the Goodstuff module.
After the colours come the fonts. The line beginning
Font ...defines the font used for the menus. You can select a new font with the XWindows application xfontsel. A typical fonts look like be
There are also WindowFont and Iconfont for window text and icon text.
AutoRaise. If you would like your windows to automatically raise to the
top of the others when they are active, uncomment the
Autoraise line. The number following this is the number of milliseconds
before autoraising. 750 is good.
ClickToFocus. If you would like to have to click on a window for it to become active (rather than just moving the mouse over it), uncomment the ClickToFocus line.
IconBox defines the region in which the icons will tend to appear when windows
EdgeScroll. Setting this to other than `0 0' allows you to scroll off
the side of your desktop onto an adjoining part of the virtual desktop. So you
move your mouse to far to the right and you end up on a pane to the right of
the one you were on. This is off by default because it can be annoying.
RandomPlacement makes new windows come up without intervention,
SmartPlacement makes new windows come up in blank regions if possible.
StubbornPlacement makes windows come up away from icons.
NoPPosition makes windows ignore their built-in positions and come up
where fvwm wants them to rather than where they want to.
Style and Borders
If you want wider borders on windows, change the Borderwidth and
HandleWidth parameters in the
Style "*"option to a larger number.
New applications can have style lines entered here. NoTitle removes the title bar; NoHandles removes the size-handles; Sticky makes the window stick to the desktop when you move around the virtual desktop; WindowListSkip removes the window from Fvwm's WindowList; BorderWidth 0 removes the border.
The things to do at startup are in here.
These things are done when fvwm is restarted
(`Utilities'-`Exit Fvwm'-`Yes, Restart Fvwm').
The menu definitions follow. These can be edited by looking at the examples.
The mouse button definitions define what functions are bound to particular key
and mouse combinations (like shift-left_mouse_button).
The keyboard shortcuts may be edited and it should be easy to see how by
Next comes the module confogurations.
Goodstuff has a
*Goodstuff text icon Exec "name" app &line for each application where text is the text you want to appear as a title in the Goodstuff button; icon is the bitmap or pixmap to use on the button; "name" is the name of the application to look for with the Style line; and app is the command itself.
No-Clutter Window-Identifier Pager FvwmWinList all have a section defining fonts etc.
setenv DISPLAY msslXX:0.0where msslXX is the computer whose display you wish to plot to (so this would be setenv DISPLAY mssll1:0.0 to display to mssll1. You can make an alias for this to make it easier: just put a line
alias s1 'setenv DISPLAY mssll1:0.0'in your ~/.cshrc file and then you only have type
s1to have the same effect.
You must also have permission to plot to this display and to get this you must type
xhost +msslYYon the computer you are plotting to where msslYY is the computer you are plotting from (sitting at).
Because you will probably want a few computers to always be able to plot to your display, you can put an xhost line in your ~/.profile file. Edit this (creating a new file if necessary) and put in lines looking something like:
. . if [ "$DISPLAY" != "" ] then xhost +mssly3 +mssla3 fi . .where mssly3 and mssla3 are the computers you would like to be allowed to plot to your display.
It is possible to say `xhost +' to allow everyone to plot but DO NOT DO THIS as it is a Lab. security risk and is not allowed.
If you find you need to do something different for Linux than for DEC-Unix in
your .cshrc, .fvwmrc or .xinitrc files you can put a conditional
expression in there. Say you want to have `edit' to run `jed' in DEC-Unix and
`emacs' in Linux, you would write:
if ( $OSTYPE != "linux" ) then alias edit emacs # Linux specific else alias edit jed # Non-Linux specific endifwhere $OSTYPE == "linux" is true if you are running Linux and false if you are running DEC-Unix.
pc_to_lkor, the X version:
xpc2lkIf you want to use the lk-style keymap permanently type:
cp /usr/local/etc/config-files/.Xmodmap ~If you want any other mappings, put them in your own .Xmodmap file:
emacs ~/.Xmodmap(Use xev to get the keycode and xmodmap to check.) Your own .Xmodmap file will get processed after the system one.
If you want your Backspace key to generate BackSpace (Control_h), instead of the default Delete, then use:
keycode 14 = BackSpacein your .Xmodmap file.
If you would like X to interchange Delete and Backspace:
keysym BackSpace = Delete keysym Delete = BackSpaceIf you would like to do this temporarily type:
xmodmap -e "keysym BackSpace = Delete" -e "keysym Delete = BackSpace"If you would like to switch Caps Lock and Control on the keyboard:
remove Lock = Caps_Lock remove Control = Control_L keysym Control_L = Caps_Lock keysym Caps_Lock = Control_L add Lock = Caps_Lock add Control = Control_L
Backspace is the key to the right of `=' key.
The DO key is Pause.
The HELP key is Scroll Lock.
There is no keypad comma key.
kill -9 <pid>e.g.,
kill -9 1234
Cut and Paste
You can select a region of text in an xterm by clicking on the xterm with the
left mouse button and dragging the cursor to another position. The selected
text is highlighted. You can then insert this text at the text-cursor location
by clicking with the middle mouse button.
If you are pasting to an X application like emacs then you insert the text
at the mouse cursor position (as opposed to the text cursor position) by
clicking on that location with the middle mouse button.
To scroll a window with a scroll bar use:
xsetroot -solid darkslategreyfor example. The colour (darkslategrey in this case) is chosen from the /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb.txt file.
To display a pixmap on the desktop use:
xpmroot pixmapfile.xpmAnd to display an image use
xv -root -quit image.gifOne of the above can be put into the InitFunction of your .fvwmrc file.
However if the module Backer is being used (it is by default) you should search for
*FvwmBackerDesk 0 ... something ... *FvwmBackerDesk 1 ... something ...and change the "... something ..." to the command you would like, e.g.,
*FvwmBackerDesk 0 xsetroot -solid darkslategrey *FvwmBackerDesk 1 xv -root -quit picture.gif &It is best to use the first option (xsetroot) and particularly to use a grey because this will not use up valuable colours from your colour table. Using a colourful image (say with xv) can reduce the number of colours available for other applications.
Colour and mouse
Often, the cursor will have to be moved into a window for that window's colour
table to become active. This is normal. Also if too many colours are used by
applications, new applications may complain about not being able to get a
particular colour or colours. This too is normal. Just close the offending
If there are still too few colours available, kill Goodstuff (e.g., click on the Goodstuff Bomb icon twice).
To make Netscape use a private colour map (i.e. to leave more colours free for other applications), which is the default for the standard setup, use
Netscape -install(this does make the screen `flash' when moving the mouse).
To change the mouse speed use the Unix command xset (see
man xsetfor details).
program: Can't open displaySet your DISPLAY environment variable to tell X where to plot:
setenv DISPLAY msslXX:0.0where msslXX is the name of the display you want to plot to (e.g., mssll2)
Xlib: connection to "msslXX:0.0" refused by server Xlib: Internal error during connection authorization check program: Can't open displayDo an xhost on the machine you are plotting to:
xhost +msslYYwhere msslYY is the machine on which you are running the program.
... could not allocate color ...Other applications are using the colours you need. Either put up with the lack of colours or close some other applications.
With VMS you may not get a warning just an error opening the window.
X Toolkit Warning: Cannot convert string "-*-Menu-Medium-R-Normal--*-120-*-*-P-*-ISO8859-1" to type FontStructCan't find a font - don't worry.
The program running the window application has probably been stopped or the application has been programmed badly. The former happens when you type
xterm ^zThe control-z stops the xterm and so the processor doesn't do anything else with the xterm's contents so it doesn't redraw.
This can happen if you have too much to do in your .logout file or if savehist is set. With the latter, linux takes a long time to write a ~/.history file across nfs so it is best to keep it as short as possible by setting savehist to a small number or not setting it at all:
if ( $OSTYPE != "linux" ) then set path=($HOME/bin $path /usr/local/lib/clist/bin ) set savehist=2048 else set savehist=16 endif
The mouse may have got unplugged or it may be switched to the wrong mode - there is a switch on the bottom which should normally be on `3'.
Make sure Num-Lock is not on
If X windows really gets confused, use restart fvwm (look for the Exit Fvwm sub-menu of the Utilities menu and if that doesn't work, exit fvwm.
You should never need to and you should not reboot. This should be done by a Linux system manager (Alisdair, Phil, Andy) because they can find out if and why it needs rebooting, they can check if anyone or anything is running important processes on the machine and they can shutdown the system with minimum damage to files. Most of the time the problem will probably be with the network, servers, etc. causing the machine to hang and rebooting won't do any good anyway.
It is best to exit or logout xterms because then you will be warned of stopped jobs (see a Unix manual). If you just kill an xterm or quit the window manager, you will not be warned.
Be careful not to exit fvwm when you don't want to. You have to go through two menus to actually quit so this shouldn't happen too often. Don't press Control-Alt-backspace
The background and window borders belong to fvwm and the window contents to the XWindows application. This is why you can restart the window manager without harming the windows themselves.
Do not reboot: you could
Do not turn off except in an emergency (e.g., fire).
Remember to set you Netscape home page. This is done by the user. The default home page is in the US so change it to http://www/ using the following:
menus: Options Preferences ... Window and Link Styles Home Page Locationand use Blank Page.