Tips and tricks for Window Managers


This page contains a few "tips and tricks" for Window Managers. Either Window Manager specific (i.e. only for GNOME, KDE, XFCE4) or they can be applied to any Window Manager.

Please add your tips and tricks here!

Binding keys in X

xbindkeys is a really useful utility that can be used in any Window Manager that allows you to trigger events when key combinations are pressed. Once you have xbindkeys installed, create yourself a ~/.xbindkeysrc file. The configuration is really simple:

 "xterm; killall xbindkeys; xbindkeys"
    Control+Shift + x

Now when you press Ctrl+Shift+X, xterm will run. It will also restart xbindkeys for you so you can easily make changs to your ~/.xbindkeysrc. See the next trick for another application you can use with xbindkeys!

3D desktop switching

3D-Desktop (Debian package: 3ddesktop) is a 3D virtual desktop switcher that uses OpenGL (so you'll need direct rendering support). It's great for showing off. Although it must be noted that it can eat up your CPU and memory. To quote from the Debian package:

 The transition from working desktop to fullscreen 3D environment is
 seamless: when the pager activates you see your current desktop appear
 to zoom out to a point in space where you can see your other virtual
 desktops allowing you to select another.

This can be used with xbindkeys nicely. Add the following in to your ~/.xbindkeysrc file:

 "3ddesk --mode=carousel; killall xbindkeys; xbindkeys"
    Control+Shift + q

Now pressing Ctrl+Shift+q will activate 3ddesktop and you can whizz around your virtual desktops and show off.

=== Transparent terminals ====

Install aterm (an xterm alternative that isn't as resource intensive) and then create an ~/.Xdefaults file containing:

  Aterm*foreground: white
  Aterm*background: black
  Aterm*cursorColor: darkgray
  Aterm*transparent: true
  Aterm*shading: 30
  Aterm*font: fixed
  Aterm*scrollBar: true
  Aterm*transpscrollbar: true
  Aterm*internalBorder: 1

Every time you change .Xdefaults, you should run xrdb -merge ~/.Xdefaults. Note that it is also a good idea to ln -s ~/.Xdefaults ~/.Xresources since some Xservers will look for this file as well. Run aterm and you should have transparency. If you don't see any transparency:

System information on your desktop

You can display system information on your desktop using a program called conky. You can run conky so it sits transparently on your desktop, so you can see your wallpaper through it.

A Super Collection of Wallpapers

get them from here, the link is Debian specific but there are many others

LinuxHints/WMTipsAndTricks (last edited 2008-03-15 09:41:12 by 217)