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Window Manager Weirdness


raymac46
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As you know, if using the LXQt desktop you can choose what Window Manager you want as LXQt doesn't have a native one. Openbox is the default but pekWM, Fluxbox or Xfwm work very well.

I thought I would try a few other WMs and see what happens. This is in Debian Bullseye LXQt.

  • JWM - this installs and looks fine. I don't see much reason to choose it over the other well-functioning WMs but it's OK.
  • IceWM - well, it takes over the panel, launch button and applications menu and looks pretty bad. It's like bolting the chrome grill, bumper and tail fins off a 1955 Dodge unto a modern Honda Civic.
  • Window Maker - yikes! It blows away the LXQt desktop completely. Fortunately you can kill it, get the original desktop back and change the WM back to something sane.

After all that I think I'll just stick with Xfwm.

 

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Hedon James

kwin is another popular WM in LXQt.  Not for me, but lots of folks love the combination, especially those migrating from KDE to a lighterweight QT-based DE.

 

Based on nothing more than simple observation of comments & questions in the LXQt forums, my opinion is that XFWM4 is the most popular choice; followed by Openbox; followed by Kwin.  After that...who knows....its a free-for-all.

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4 hours ago, raymac46 said:

Window Maker - yikes! It blows away the LXQt desktop completely. Fortunately you can kill it, get the original desktop back and change the WM back to something sane.

 

Hummmph. I agree with

 

"Window Maker - yikes! It blows away the LXQt desktop completely." as it does every other WM ever invented. 😝

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Hedon James
2 hours ago, abarbarian said:

 

Hummmph. I agree with

 

"Window Maker - yikes! It blows away the LXQt desktop completely." as it does every other WM ever invented. 😝

 

Well played, sir, well played!  😆

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Window Maker is much better behaved if you use it on its own as a standalone WM. In fact it is rather cool. I am going to investigate further.

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I have played around with Window Maker but I am having trouble putting stuff on the dock. Some apps don't have icons and some dockapps cannot be dragged. I am probably doing it wrong. I did get Firefox and a File Manager to dock properly.

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I know there's a lot of love here for these lightweight WMs but personally I find all the right click, drag and scroll action annoying. It's great you can fold a WM of your choice into a DE like LXQt and use it there.

I have never been a fan of menu-centric DEs - just give me a dock and a few app icons and I'm happy. i3 looks like a good WM if you want to do a lot from the CLI so it would be perfect for you, Josh. As I recall you have a lot of screens in service.

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Well I have figured out how to get dockapps on the dock. I was not dreagging the icon properly. Still haven't figured out how to put an app on the dock that doesn't have a proper icon. I can maje a drawer and put an icon on that but it won't launch with a double click, You need to right click on the icon and then choose launch. Maybe Erik has some insight into this.

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securitybreach

He'll definitely be able to guide you. He is the only person I know of that uses WindowMaker and he has for many years now.

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https://www.maketecheasier.com/relive-nextstep-operating-system-with-window-maker/

6 hours ago, raymac46 said:

Well I have figured out how to get dockapps on the dock. I was not dreagging the icon properly. Still haven't figured out how to put an app on the dock that doesn't have a proper icon. I can maje a drawer and put an icon on that but it won't launch with a double click, You need to right click on the icon and then choose launch. Maybe Erik has some insight into this.

 

Oooooh goody another possible Window Maker user.

 

This might be of some use,

 

https://www.windowmaker.org/docs/guidedtour/dock.html

 

An this too,

 

https://forums.scotsnewsletter.com/index.php?/topic/56171-window-maker/&do=findComment&comment=395344

 

The whole tread is dedicated to Window Maker and I have put some detailed guides in the thread along with some useful links to articles that have helpful tips. The good thing about Window Maker is that it does not change very much so old guies and articles can still be relevant.

 

I do not have Window Maker running on my fresh Arch install yet as life has been throwing me curved balls and I keep on getting sidetracked.

 

Usually when you launch a program a small dock app appears at he bottom of your screen. These dock apps have a very thin border which your mouse pointer needs to sit on, left click then you can drag the dock app to the clip. Where in that thin border you can right click and bring up a menu, this allows you to do various self explanatory actions.

 

You can use a dock app to open two programs. One with a normal left click or double left click, The second program can be opened with a mouse wheel press.

 

Some of the above may be not quite right so You might get more help today from this article,

 

https://www.maketecheasier.com/relive-nextstep-operating-system-with-window-maker/

 

"At the top right of the desktop is the Preferences icon. Double-click to open it."

 

The Preferences program is worth looking at if you are new to WM.

 

Also Arch AUR has a ton of dock apps.   The Debian system has a ton of dock apps which may or may not be useful. 😎

 

I'll be in better shape to offer clearer help tomorrow. 😜

Edited by abarbarian
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Thanks for the advice. It is sorta fun to go back to the NeXT cube of the late 80s - before Linux, before Windows, before Macs, before the WWW. I could never have afforded one of those machines back then.

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On 4/2/2021 at 12:38 AM, raymac46 said:

I think I have enough figured out to give a reasonable looking desktop with Window Maker.

 

Ah ha you have only just started out on the journey of a lifetime my friend. 🤣

 

If you fancy a change of THEME here is a link to a few. The folder is less than 50 MB and not all of the themes are set up to display correctly on modern monitors. I think that they all work though.

 

Just one or two themes for Window Maker

 

😎

Edited by abarbarian
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Thanks I'll download the folder and look into it.

Window Maker is fun in a perverse anti-Unity sort of way. It would be perfect for those old netbooks I had back in the early 2010s. :w00tx100:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I hadn't used anything with LXQt besides Openbox, so I started playing around and setting LXQt to use some other WMs, in Arch. Then I started feeling like LXQt simply isn't good enough right now. So I removed it.

 

And, that was interesting. That installation had Xfce, LXQt, and Openbox. Removing LXQt also removes Openbox. I went to a tty console, removed LXQt, then reinstalled Openbox. I made sure to not let the config files get touched. I was worried about breaking a bunch of things, but there were no problems other than having to put Openbox back.

 

I think LXQt still needs improvement with config options and Settings.

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Hedon James
11 hours ago, saturnian said:

Well, I hadn't used anything with LXQt besides Openbox, so I started playing around and setting LXQt to use some other WMs, in Arch. Then I started feeling like LXQt simply isn't good enough right now. So I removed it.

 

And, that was interesting. That installation had Xfce, LXQt, and Openbox. Removing LXQt also removes Openbox. I went to a tty console, removed LXQt, then reinstalled Openbox. I made sure to not let the config files get touched. I was worried about breaking a bunch of things, but there were no problems other than having to put Openbox back.

 

I think LXQt still needs improvement with config options and Settings.

 

I'm mostly happy with LXQt, but I can't argue with that statement.  I'd say it's "mature enough" and "ready", but still room for improvement.  FWIW, I've been known to run a "naked WM" and autostart lxqt-panels, making it LOOK like LXQt.

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Hedon James
Just now, raymac46 said:

I wonder what would happen if you used a different WM with LXQt, such as XFWM4 or JWM? Most of the time I use XFWM4.

 

I almost always use Fluxbox as the WM in LXQt.  Sometimes PekWM.  Rarely, Openbox, when I realize how much I miss (NEED?!) tabbed windows.

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On my Thinkpad which is Debian based I run LXQt with Openbox and I have added in picom. It works OK.

LXQt seems mature enough for me. I find it a nice compromise between the heavier Cinnamon and the more spartan window managers. It works great with Arch. Almost every desktop I set up is going to have the traditional Windows style look and feel and LXQt has that as a default. There's no point in sticking with LXDE as that seems to be a dead end.

The only place where I mix and match WMs and DEs is on the Thinkpad. My other Arch install is on the Toshiba netbook and while it has Xfce as well I just stick with LXQt there.

 

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I ran this command in Bullseye:

 

$ apt-cache depends lxqt

 

There's a long list of window managers in the output following the "Depends: <x-window-manager>" line. LXQt requires at least one of those. But I think xfwm4 is the default, kinda. Looks like it would be the only WM brought in by apt install lxqt.

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I have never had any trouble getting LXQt to run if I had previously installed Xfce. When I installed LXQt on a Lenovo Flex2 laptop with Arch I just installed XFWM4 at the same time and it works great. I think you are right that Debian has XFWM4 as the default choice for LXQt.

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Well, I still have LXQt in Bullseye on my "test" machine, so I'll take another look at it sometime. I'm feeling a bit frustrated with LXQt right now. It's little annoyances here and there, seems like. Over the past several years, I've spent a lot of time with LXDE, and now LXQt. There's a lot that I love about LXQt. Perhaps it simply isn't the best fit for me.

 

I did try switching to some other WMs. Besides Openbox, I tried xfwm4, Fluxbox, and one other (I think it was jwm). It's fascinating to me that you can do this, run LXQt with any WM. I'll explore that further.

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I have found over the years that there are only a couple of things I want in a desktop:

  • Ability to use a mouse and have icons available on a panel or dock.
  • No searching through a menu hierarchy to launch a program.

Once I get my program going, the rest of the desktop is irrelevant.

I am pretty much agnostic when it comes to file managers, terminals, photo organizers, and music players although I do lean to the GTK side of things. LXQt gives me the option of looking at the Qt apps without dealing with Plasma.

Although Plasma is much improved I still find it configuration overkill and death by menu compared to other DEs. I know many penguins disagree with me.

The age of the PC and resources available on my aging hardware have an effect on which DE to choose, that is for sure. Also with Arch I tend to gravitate to something light and snappy. 

As far as WMs go with LXQt the only difference I see is that with XFWM4 you have your compositor built in and with the others you have to add picom.

 

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Hedon James
On 4/14/2021 at 7:50 AM, raymac46 said:

I have found over the years that there are only a couple of things I want in a desktop:

  • Ability to use a mouse and have icons available on a panel or dock.
  • No searching through a menu hierarchy to launch a program.

Once I get my program going, the rest of the desktop is irrelevant.

I am pretty much agnostic when it comes to file managers, terminals, photo organizers, and music players although I do lean to the GTK side of things. LXQt gives me the option of looking at the Qt apps without dealing with Plasma.

Although Plasma is much improved I still find it configuration overkill and death by menu compared to other DEs. I know many penguins disagree with me.

The age of the PC and resources available on my aging hardware have an effect on which DE to choose, that is for sure. Also with Arch I tend to gravitate to something light and snappy. 

As far as WMs go with LXQt the only difference I see is that with XFWM4 you have your compositor built in and with the others you have to add picom.

 

absolutely correct.  and i think that is why the majority of LXQt users prefer xfwm4.  If it wasn't for my "need" of tabbed windows and floating root menu, xfwm4 would be fine for me.  While I can add a floating root menu (jgmenu), I can't fix the tabbed window issue.  So it's tabbed window managers for me, and I can fix the compositor issue with Compton.  I have no issues with compton.

 

Whether it's "ready" or not, I REALLY like the modularity of LXQt....using the components YOU prefer.  I used to be a gtk guy, for similar reasons you cite.  KDE/Plasma is a VERY NICE desktop, but just too many options for configuration.....there are options for the option selections!  LXQt is the perfect option for guys like us to enter the Qt system.  And now that I'm in the LXQt ecosystem, I've found several Qt replacements for gtk programs that I may even like better, for various reasons.  The only gtk software that I REALLY miss is Shutter.  Qt has some options, like Spectacle, but not as good as Shutter.  And I really miss Banshee.  Cantata & MPD suffice, but Banshee was the bomb.  I'm good with everything else though!

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Hedon James
24 minutes ago, sunrat said:

 

Tried Flameshot?

i did, but preferred Spectacle.  I think Flameshot was a beta at the time, so I'm willing to reconsider.  Can't remember though....is Flameshot Qt or GTK?  I'd prefer to stay in the QT ecosystem if at all possible.  But I heard a new developer picked up the abandoned Shutter project, and if he maintains it without removing features, I'd absolutely put that GTK app on my QT distro!  LOL!

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When it comes to desktops I have a functionality "floor" which is the LX* set. I probably would have gone with LXDE but I don't see the future there - not when the developers are moving to LXQt.

It's fun to play around with Window Managers but I am not really a "right click menu" sort of user. By the time I get finished adding in all the bling to Openbox I might as well stick with LXQt. I am surprised that I "moved down" successfully from Xfce and I probably would not have done so except for the opportunity to explore the Qt universe.

I certainly have a DE "ceiling" as well. The most exotic and complicated DE I want to use is GNOME3 - and only then if I can bend it to my way of doing stuff.

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