What's a good WM for use exclusively w/ VNC?


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I was running Gnome for quite a while but the bloat was killing me -- it constantly needed apps/libraries updated as it seemed like it had dependencies into the hundreds.. Since I will be using VNC only, I'm not looking for anything super fancy but would like something with more flare than TWM certainly..

I was trying to get XFCE 4.x working but it's giving me fits with dependencies after after a few days (on and off) of trying to make it happy I'm going to move on (I'm using FreeBSD 7.1 if it matters)... I also do not need 32 bit color depth and that sort of thing or slick backgrounds. Something with a taskbar would be nice and lightweight menu if I need to open more terminals.. Tabs would be OK but not mandatory. Anyway, if you've got some suggestions, I'm all ears! Thanks!


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I use fbpanel with Openbox. After typing startx they are immediately running while my graphics card is still busy switching from CLI to X11. I don't need desktop icons but you can add Idesk for that.
When I have time I'm going to try Pypanel, the fastest panel I have ever seen, but it's configuration might take a while.



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osx-addict said:
I was trying to get XFCE 4.x working but it's giving me fits with dependencies
Contrary to almost any other (smaller and simpler) software, when you get a version that does not fit *exactly* with the versions of the dependencies you already have (especially GTK and co.), it's always better to update everything, i.e. remove everything and reinstall from scratch. Otherwise, you risk breaking the equilibrium and making a real mess.

osx-addict said:
I'm not looking for anything super fancy but would like something with more flare than TWM certainly
Something with a taskbar would be nice and lightweight menu if I need to open more terminals
If you're not afraid of reading a little (okay, a lot), try FVWM. It's as minimalist as TWM at first, but you can make it look like *anything* you want.
Here, you have a FVWM with some personality disorder. ;)

I've never seen anything as customizable and flexible as FVWM. Every type of widget you could possibly imagine in a WM is there and can be positioned exactly where and how you want it.

Screenshots (some with their configuration files that you can reuse): http://fvwm.org/screenshots/
Beginners Guide: http://www.zensites.net/fvwm/guide/
FAQ: http://fvwm.org/documentation/faq/
man pages: http://fvwm.org/documentation/manpages/


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Thanks MG & Beastie..

I may give XFCE one more chance and blow away all X11 related items and re-install as suggested.. This is all running within a jail so once I blow away the X11 stuff there really isn't that much left over in terms of installed packages.. If that doesn't pan out for whatever reason then I'll try either Openbox or FVWM which I've used in the long distant past... Thanks!


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I use sawfish wm and rox-filer. (as in puppy linux)
I chose sawfish cos you can totally and utterly configure
windows, position borders etc, (as in fvwm but point and click)
e.g. I have xconsole, xsession-errors, httpd-error
as tail -f xterms, sticky with no borders on my desktop.

and rox-filer is a brilliant desktop, no bloat, no trash.
you can set run actions for files etc, i.e. shell code.
it has a desktop you can drag stuff on but they're just placeholders like in CDE. so you can drag and remove things willy nilly without a poxy desktop directory and soft and hard links all over the place.

xfce panel has some cruft, but i like a pager.

my .xsession
exec > $HOME/.xsession-errors
exec 2>&1

set -x
xrdb $HOME/.Xdefaults
rox -S &
sleep 1

xterm -title xsession-tail -geometry 80x10-0-50 -bg grey \
                        -e tail -f $HOME/.xsession-errors &

xterm +sb -geom 50x10-0+0 -title htop htop&
xosview &
xload &

exec sawfish



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Maybe you want to take a look on tiling WMs. For just using vnc it should fit perfect. My suggestion: ratpoison!


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One stupid question.. I cleaned the old stuff out -- ALL of it and issued a "pkg_add -r xfce4" and it installed a bunch of stuff.. Afterwards I issued a "pkg_version -vIL=" and get all of these being out of date.. Do I have something messed up that keeps it from installing the latest stuff from the get-go?

I'm running 7.1-RELEASE if that helps..

www# pkg_version -vIL=
Terminal-0.2.8_1                    <   needs updating (index has 0.2.12_4)
Thunar-0.9.0_1                      <   needs updating (index has 1.0.1_1)
atk-1.22.0_1                        <   needs updating (index has 1.26.0)
cairo-1.6.4_2,1                     <   needs updating (index has 1.8.8,1)
consolekit-0.2.10_2                 <   needs updating (index has 0.3.0_8)
dbus-1.2.1                          <   needs updating (index has
dbus-glib-0.76                      <   needs updating (index has 0.82)
fontconfig-2.5.0,1                  <   needs updating (index has 2.6.0,1)
freetype2-2.3.7                     <   needs updating (index has 2.3.9_1)
gamin-0.1.9_2                       <   needs updating (index has 0.1.10_3)
gio-fam-backend-2.16.5              <   needs updating (index has 2.20.5)
glib-2.16.5                         <   needs updating (index has 2.20.5)
gnomehier-2.3_10                    <   needs updating (index has 2.3_12)
gtk-2.12.11_1                       <   needs updating (index has 2.16.6)
gtk-xfce-engine-2.4.2_1             <   needs updating (index has 2.6.0_1)
hal-0.5.11_1                        <   needs updating (index has 0.5.11_26)
inputproto-                  <   needs updating (index has 1.5.0)
intltool-0.37.1                     <   needs updating (index has 0.40.6)
jpeg-6b_7                           <   needs updating (index has 7)
libSM-1.0.3_1,1                     <   needs updating (index has 1.1.0_1,1)
libX11-1.1.3_1,1                    <   needs updating (index has 1.2.1_1,1)
libXau-1.0.3_2                      <   needs updating (index has 1.0.4)
libXext-1.0.3,1                     <   needs updating (index has 1.0.5,1)
libXi-1.1.3,1                       <   needs updating (index has 1.2.1,1)
libXinerama-1.0.2,1                 <   needs updating (index has 1.0.3,1)
libXrandr-1.2.2_1                   <   needs updating (index has 1.3.0)
libexo-0.3.4_1                      <   needs updating (index has 0.3.101_1)
libiconv-1.11_1                     <   needs updating (index has 1.13.1)
libnotify-0.4.4_2                   <   needs updating (index has 0.4.5_1)
libxfce4gui-4.4.2_1                 <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1_1)
libxfce4mcs-4.4.2_1                 !   Comparison failed
libxfce4util-4.4.2_1                <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1)
libxml2-2.6.32                      <   needs updating (index has 2.7.5)
mkfontdir-1.0.3_1                   <   needs updating (index has 1.0.4)
mkfontscale-1.0.3                   <   needs updating (index has 1.0.6)
mousepad-0.2.13_1                   <   needs updating (index has 0.2.16_2)
orage-4.4.2_2                       <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1_1)
p5-XML-Parser-2.36                  <   needs updating (index has 2.36_1)
pango-1.20.5                        <   needs updating (index has 1.24.5)
pcre-7.7_1                          <   needs updating (index has 7.9)
pixman-0.10.0_2                     <   needs updating (index has 0.16.0)
png-1.2.32                          <   needs updating (index has 1.2.40)
policykit-0.9_1                     <   needs updating (index has 0.9_5)
python25-2.5.2_3                    <   needs updating (index has 2.5.4_2)
randrproto-1.2.1                    <   needs updating (index has 1.3.0)
shared-mime-info-0.51               <   needs updating (index has 0.60_1)
startup-notification-0.9_2          <   needs updating (index has 0.10)
tiff-3.8.2_2                        <   needs updating (index has 3.9.1)
vte-0.16.14_1                       <   needs updating (index has 0.20.5)
xextproto-7.0.2                     <   needs updating (index has 7.0.5)
xfce-4.4.2_1                        <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1)
xfce4-appfinder-4.4.2_1             <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1_1)
xfce4-desktop-4.4.2_1               <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1_1)
xfce4-icon-theme-4.4.2_1            !   Comparison failed
xfce4-mcs-manager-4.4.2_1           !   Comparison failed
xfce4-mcs-plugins-4.4.2_2           !   Comparison failed
xfce4-mixer-4.4.2_2                 <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1_1)
xfce4-panel-4.4.2_2                 <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1_1)
xfce4-print-4.4.2_1                 <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1_1)
xfce4-session-4.4.2_2               <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1_1)
xfce4-utils-4.4.2_1                 <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1_1)
xfce4-wm-4.4.2_1                    <   needs updating (index has 4.6.1_1)
xfce4-wm-themes-4.4.2               <   needs updating (index has 4.6.0)
xorg-fonts-truetype-7.3             <   needs updating (index has 7.4)
xproto-7.0.10_1                     <   needs updating (index has 7.0.15)


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Nevermind.. I fixed my missing PACKAGESITE environment variable to point to the latest 7.1 code and all appears to be better now..