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Home » , » Vtwm (the Virtual Tabbed Window Manager) is an X window manager that was developed from the twm codebase.

Vtwm (the Virtual Tabbed Window Manager) is an X window manager that was developed from the twm codebase.

Vtwm (the Virtual Tabbed Window Manager) is an X window manager that was developed from the twm codebase. The first release was in 1990, and it is very much an "old school" window manager.

It added features like xpm icons, autoraising of windows, and a virtual desktop; the latter feature is from where the program takes its name.

Later additions include playing sounds in response to window manager events, and Motif-style window decorations in place of the "flat," 2D titlebars commonly associated with twm.

Vtwm was one of the first window managers to have an icon manager, a box of click able windows which mapped to the application windows currently on the desktop. Clicking the entry in the icon manager iconizes/deiconizes the associated application. This behavior is common today in taskbars in many operating systems.

Features.

  • A stacking window manager
  • Written in C
  • Uses the xlib toolkit
  • opensource and freely available
  • No menubar
  • Lightweight - Has few dependencies
  • Support for multiple desktops


Other features of twm, including shaped window titlebars, are faithfully incorporated into vtwm.

The focus of vtwm is to maintain simplicity and compatibility. It is believed to still work under X Window System revision 4, and can be compiled and run with no dependencies beyond the standard X libraries.


Install.


- Determine if you have the XPM library installed:
The library is usually found in /usr/X11/lib, /usr/local/lib, or some such directory. It's usually called "libxpm.a".
The header file is usually found in /usr/X11/include, /usr/local/include, or some such directory. It's "xpm.h".

- Determine if you have regular expressions ("RE"s) support:
On many systems, the routines are built into the standard C library. If not, the library might be in /usr/local/lib, /usr/lib, or some such directory, and would be called something like "libregex.a".
The header file is usually found in /usr/local/include, /usr/include, or some such directory. It's "regex.h".
Note that the routines must conform to the POSIX 1003.2 specification. Older systems may have regex support that predates this POSIX spec, and will not suffice.

- Determine if you have the rplay library installed:
The library is usually found in /usr/lib, /usr/local/lib, or some such directory. It's usually called "librplay.a".
The header file is usually found in /usr/include, /usr/local/include, or some such directory. It's "rplay.h".

$ which rplay


- Determine if you have the m4 macro processor installed:

$ which m4

Look over the Imakefile, and edit to taste. If you use a VNC client, or Cygwin under MS-Windows, you may want to make changes as described further down in this file. Sound is default, comment this if you do not have rplay or if you do not want system sounds on your computer.

- Unpack the (latest) package:

$ tar zxvf vtwm.VERSIONNUMBER.tar.gz

$ cd vtwmDIR/

$ vi Imakefile And comment or uncomment the file.

After that Issue 'xmkmf'. If that doesn't work (you'll know it), you'll have to copy Makefile.QNX to Makefile, and edit the latter to taste.

$ xmkmf -a [enter]

- Issue 'make'. This shouldn't take very long at all; VTWM is small.
Should the build break, check further down in this file. If it still breaks, ask a friend or join our mailinglist!

$ make

- The sysrc_add_apps.sh script in contrib/support/ may be of help in customizing the default system resource file. It automagically adds selected applications found on your system to system.vtwmrc. Issue 'sh contrib/support/sysrc_add_apps.sh -h' for a brief help message.


INSTALLING VTWM 5.4
===================

- If you trust whoever set up your build environment:

$ su

$make install


Or build a package for your zoom zoom box (use checkinstall for example)
If you don't:
- Issue 'make -n install' to see what it'll do, without actually doing it.
- If you want (or have) to set it up manually:
- As root, copy vtwm to /usr/X11/bin, or to wherever other X window managers and binaries are.
- As root, copy system.vtwmrc to wherever it's spec'd in the Makefile (this path is built into the VTWM binary).
- As root, copy vtwm.man to wherever other X window manager man pages are (usually /usr/X11/man/mann).

- Set up user resource files:
- Copy system.vtwmrc to your home directory as .vtwmrc, and edit it to suit your immediate needs (you'll be editing it a lot more,
I'm sure).
- If you built VTWM with m4 support, you can copy the contrib/ directory into your home directory as vtwm/ or some such. Then, create a symlink $(HOME)/.vtwmrc to one of the vtwmrc-*ish files in that subdirectory, or specify one of those files on VTWM's invocation (either will give you much more to work with).
- The sysrc_add_apps.sh script may also be useful in customizing user resource files by playing with its command-line switches.

- Edit the script that starts your current X window manager to start VTWM instead (example: 'vtwm -p -d :0.0 -f vtwm/vtwmrc-MWMish -s -m' in
$(HOME)/.xinitrc).

- Exit X, and restart it.

BUILD HINTS
===========

- If, during the build, you get complaints of an undefined "yylineno", remove the "extern" keyword from the declaration in gram.y. Likewise, if "yywrap" turns up as undefined, add a line "yywrap() {return(1)};"
to lex.l. Finally, if "yylex" turns up undefined, it can be fixed by adding a line "#define YY_DECL int yylex YY_PROTO((void))" to lex.l.
These are all expected to be in the lex skeleton file, but there are systems that have choked on them.

- If, during the build, you get complaints of undefined data types and functions "Xpm" whatall, it's because you've built VTWM with XPM image support and either you don't have the XPM library available, or it's not a recent enough version (3.4h is the earliest I know of). Read the
comments in Imakefile and/or Makefile.QNX.

- If, during the build, you get complaints of an undefined data type "regex_t" or functions "reg" whatall, it's because you've built VTWM with regular expressions ("RE"s) support, and either you don't have regex support, or it's not POSIX 1003.2 compliant. Read the comments
in Imakefile and/or Makefile.QNX.

- If, during the build, you get complaints of an undefined data type "RPLAY" or functions "rplay" whatall, it's because you've built VTWM with sound support and you don't have the rplay library available. Read the comments in Imakefile and/or Makefile.QNX.

- If, during the build, you get complaints of an unknown data type "Pixel", add "EXTRA_DEFINES=-DNEED_PIXEL_T" to the make command.

- If you expected HTML or Postscript man pages on build completion, or VTWM doesn't fall back on system resource files on startup, read the comments in Imakefile and/or Makefile.QNX.

- VNC users: If you regularly use a remote X desktop, you may want to add "EXTRA_DEFINES=-DORIGINAL_DRAWIT" to the make command. It seems
that VTWM's diagonal resize/move lines are more expensive than TWM's horizontal and vertical lines. YMMV.

- Windows users: VTWM builds and runs with Cygwin (DLL version 1.3.2), but the Makefile must have the line "vtwm:" after the "all:: vtwm" line, and the directory /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/twm from Cygwin's install may have to be deleted.


RUNTIME HINTS
=============

- If, on startup, things are coming up weird (if at all!), check the resource file for m4 macros, and if found, see that VTWM is version 5.4.6 or later, that it was built with m4 support, that "-m" is in the line that starts VTWM, and that m4 is in $(PATH).

- If you like a border on the virtual desktop's real screen, and your resource file is from versions before 5.4.6, you will find that it generates errors on startup. That's because the UseRealScreenBorder resource no longer exists! If the RealScreenBorderWidth resource is non-zero, why wouldn't you want to use it?

- As of version 5.4.6, random zooms during deiconification won't occur unless the ZoomZoom variable is set.

- If you use any of the 3D resources from versions before 5.4.5, you will find that they generate errors on startup. They no longer exist!
See the man page or the CHANGELOG file for the new resources (look for the word "Bevel").

- If you use a SqueezeTitle list from versions before 5.4.4, you may want to check the man page to see if the new enterpretation of the resource's list parameters fouls your setup.

- See also the man page, and the SOUND and BUGS files in doc/.

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