HOWTO: IceWM Basic Configuration

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Postby bodhi.zazen » 2006-08-17 05:57

Lou:

It has been several moons, Thanks for the tips on Icewm. I have been using it for a few weeks and it is nice.

A few quick "findings":

1. IcePref2 is a very handy GUI to help configure Icewm:

http://www.phrozensmoke.com/projects/ic ... /index.php

2. Second, if not already mentioned: With the panel options (in ~/.icewm/preferances)

# Use double height task bar
TaskBarDoubleHeight=1 # 0 / 1

This indeed give a double height task bar, but the new line in the task bar is a "mini command line". Very handy. You may have mentioned this one already, but though I would add it if not.
If it is not broken, tweak it....
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Postby Lou » 2006-08-18 14:50

Hi bud, yes, the double width taskbar and cli was explained in this thread, with the single task bar, all you have to use is:

Windows key + Space bar

and use it as cli, use Escape to back to the regular taskbar/open windows situation. :)
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Lock Workstation

Postby Lou » 2006-09-17 20:16

IceWM works with xlock by default to lock your screen. In Debian use 'xlockmore'.

#apt-get install xlockmore

then i put it in my .xinitrc:

xlockmore &

save/exit

then Ctrl+Alt+Delete+r (to restart)

Windows key + Delete + w (activates lock workstation)

screen goes black...workstation is locked!

right-click on screen, enter user password, hit Enter, back in business.

That google is something else!
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Postby reidar » 2006-09-29 09:56

Thanks for a very nice thread, with some very useful tips on how to use a wonderful wm!!!
I have used IceWM in the past, but I have always abandoned it because of a few issues that I haven't figured out. I would like to use it more, so perhaps some of you guys can help me out on these few issues (I am sure there are some workarounds!):

- When I show presentations in OpenOffice Impress, the panel is showing, and I would like my presentation to use the entire screen.
- I am not able to shut down and reboot my computer from the menu. I have configured sudo so that my user can shutdown/reboot with sudo without a password. I tried the ideas in this thread, and it works ... sometimes. Then, after a while of using the computer, the shutdown/reboot (and even the logout) options in the icewm menu don't respond, i.e. don't do what I want them to.

Does anyone have a solution to my two only reasons for not using IceWM all the time?

-r
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Postby Lou » 2006-09-29 18:23

reidar wrote:
"- When I show presentations in OpenOffice Impress, the panel is showing, and I would like my presentation to use the entire screen."

Hi reidar, i've never used Impress. What happens when you right-click on the screen, any menus?
Right off the top of my head, click on the (>) symbol on the right of the taskbar to eliminate the taskbar and when you're thru, click on it again to get it back.

reidar wrote:
"I am not able to shut down and reboot my computer from the menu. I have configured sudo so that my user can shutdown/reboot with sudo without a password. I tried the ideas in this thread, and it works ... sometimes. Then, after a while of using the computer, the shutdown/reboot (and even the logout) options in the icewm menu don't respond, i.e. don't do what I want them to."

I never use the menu, too slow. I usually just press the 'Windows' key and the space bar to make it a Run/CLI and type:

sudo halt
sudo reboot

Of course that's what i got in my ~/.icewm/preferences:

# Command to shutdown the system
ShutdownCommand="sudo halt"

# Command to reboot the system
RebootCommand="sudo reboot"

it works every time. I don't know if this is what you want, but it's fast.

Another way of doing this is to do it with the keyboard:

Ctrl + Alt + Delete + d (to shutdown)
Ctrl + Alt + Delete + b (to reboot)
Ctrl + Alt + Delete + r (to restart icewm)
Ctrl + Alt + Delete + w (to lock the workstation, after installing 'xlockmore')

You can replace Ctrl + Alt with the Windows key.

You can open a terminal (Ctrl + F1 in my box) and type sudo <halt or reboot, or whatever command you use>.
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Postby Lou » 2006-09-29 19:37

UPDATE: when i tried Ctrl+Alt+Delete+d to shutdown my box it did not do it automatically, i had to shut it down manually.

I went back to my ~/.icewm/preferences and changed this line:

# Command to shutdown the system
ShutdownCommand="sudo halt"

to this:

# Command to shutdown the system
ShutdownCommand="sudo shutdown -h now"

now it worked! it powered off the machine automatically, and STILL i could use:

sudo halt

from the taskbar.
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Postby reidar » 2006-10-01 09:38

Thanks a lot for your ideas Lou!
As far as the panel-thing is concerned, I have tried to minimize the panel with the > button, and that works fine (except that the <-button still shows). I just found it strange that a presentation in Impress would not use the entire screen. Strangely enough, magicpoint presentations appear as they should (displaying on the entire screen, no taskbar/panel visible)...

I have tried to substitute "sudo halt" with "sudo shutdown -h 0" in the preferences file, and I will try that for a while. I have to come back to you with feedback on this. It has worked earlier also, using the suggestions from this thread, it is just that it does not always work when I want to shut down the computer after having used it for a while. When I try to shut it down - or reboot it - just after login, that works perfectly (from the menu). Otherwise, I have to use a terminal (which works every time).

-r
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Postby Lou » 2006-10-01 16:26

reidar wrote:
"I have tried to substitute "sudo halt" with "sudo shutdown -h 0" in the preferences file"

It's "sudo shutdown -h now"
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Postby craigevil » 2006-10-01 16:55

I run Icewm on my crappy Dell laptop, simply because it flies.

There is a nice thread over at LQ.org about Icewm.
IceWM Tips

A great addon to use is:
"IceWM's Control Center"
http://icecc.sourceforge.net/

My IceWM settings. I use Rox to manage the background image and for a file manager.

Toolbar
prog "kpr" "/usr/share/pixmaps/mplayer.xpm" /usr/bin/kplayer
prog "SysGrd" "/usr/share/pixmaps/other/Alien1.png" /usr/bin/kpm
prog "XTerm" "xterm" xterm -ls
prog "Kw" "/usr/share/pixmaps/kword.xpm" /usr/bin/kwrite
prog "gvim" "/usr/share/pixmaps/vim-16.xpm" /usr/bin/gvim -f
prog "Firefox" "firefox" firefox
prog "ROX" "/usr/share/pixmaps/xffm4.xpm" /usr/bin/rox


My Shortcut Keys
key "Alt+Ctrl+c" xcalc
key "Alt+Ctrl+x" xkill
key "Alt+Ctrl+a" acroread #Adobe Reader 7.0
key "Alt+Ctrl+g" gimp
key "Alt+Ctrl+f" firefox
key "Alt+Ctrl+b" blobwars
key "Alt+Ctrl+m" Gkrellm
key "Alt+Ctrl+o" opera #Opera 9.0
key "Alt+Ctrl+i" /usr/local/bin/icecc #IceWM Control Panel


key "F1" terminal
key "F2" rox -pinboard=mypinboard # Opens Rox with background image/icons
key "F3" firefox
key "F4" thunderbird
key "F5" Ctrl+Shift+r
key "F6" grun
key "F7" xmms
key "F8" oowriter
key "F9" gaim
key "F10" xedit



My Preferences file only has a couple of changes from the default.
# Rox changes:Manage root window (EXPERIMENTAL - normally enabled!)
GrabRootWindow=1 # 0/1
# Bitmask of root window button click to use in window manager
UseRootButtons=3 # [0-255]
# Desktop mouse-button click to show the menu
DesktopWinMenuButton=1 # [0-20]
# Desktop mouse-button click to show the window list
DesktopWinListButton=2 # [0-5]
# Desktop mouse-button click to show the window list menu
DesktopMenuButton=3 # [0-20]


The "winoptions" file has some changes made for Rox-filer.
# ROX-Filer pinboard and panel
ROX-Filer.icon: folder
ROX-Panel.layer: Dock
ROX-Panel.doNotCover: 1
ROX-Panel.ignoreWinList: 1
ROX-Panel.ignoreTaskBar: 1
ROX-Panel.ignoreQuickSwitch: 1
ROX-Pinboard.layer: Below
ROX-Pinboard.ignoreWinList: 1
ROX-Pinboard.ignoreTaskBar: 1
ROX-Pinboard.ignoreQuickSwitch: 1
ROX-Filer.layer: Normal
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Going radical

Postby Lou » 2006-11-22 18:28

In my quest for speed and overall making my box faster, and saving resources, i'm always trying new stuff.

I installed icewm-lite which is a lighter version of IceWM regular. It comes with no taskbar and the fonts in the menu have no aliased fonts, which is OK with me, 'cause i seldom use the menu, keybindings are my thing, also it doesn't allow to restart on the fly as with the regular icewm, so logout/login, but everything else is the same, workspaces, keybindings etc.

The diff is that you save 10 MB RAM with icewm-lite acoording the little app 'memstat'. Which for somebody with a crappy box is a good thing.

In regular IceWM, i got the taskbar on the top part of the screen in auto-hide, no title bar.

Generally, i try to save RAM in every aspect, i commented my TTYs in the /etc/inittab, i only need one:

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1
#2:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2
#3:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty3
#4:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty4
#5:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty5
#6:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty6

Disabled the colors in the grub menu, i commented it in the /boot/grub/menu.lst :

# Pretty colours
#color cyan/blue white/blue

which gives a vainilla white color (less resources used)

In the same file i changed the time in seconds for debian to boot:

## timeout sec
# Set a timeout, in SEC seconds, before automatically booting the default entry
# (normally the first entry defined).
timeout 0

So if you got a nice box, use icewm, but if you got a crappy box like me, icewm-lite can help you. Opera uses half of the ram than Firefox, and you can disable the images on the fly with Shift+i and enable them with 'i', it's a fast browser.

In my .icewm/preferences for icewm-lite i erased the taskbar options, no need:

$ jpico .icewm/preferences

And copied/pasted this:

##These are for icewm-lite

OpaqueMove=0 # 0/1
OpaqueResize=0 # 0/1
SmartPlacement=1 # 0/1
MenuMouseTracking=1 # 0/1
ModSuperIsCtrlAlt=1 # 0/1
UseMouseWheel=1 # 0/1
QuickSwitch=1 # 0/1
AutoReloadMenus=1 # 0/1
ShowProgramsMenu=1 # 0/1
ShowThemesMenu=1 # 0/1
ShowHelp=1 # 0/1
ShowRun=1 # 0/1
ShowWindowList=1 # 0/1
DesktopWinMenuButton=1 # [0-20]
DesktopWinListButton=2 # [0-20]
TerminalCommand="aterm"
ShutdownCommand="sudo halt"
RebootCommand="sudo reboot"
WorkspaceNames=" 1 ", " 2 "

For regular icewm i added these taskbar options to the above:

ShowTaskBar=1 # 0/1
TaskBarAutoHide=1 # 0/1
TaskBarShowClock=1 # 0/1
TaskBarShowAPMStatus=0 # 0/1
TaskBarAtTop=1 # 0/1
TaskBarShowAPMStatus=0 # 0/1
TaskBarShowAPMTime=0 # 0/1
TaskBarShowMailboxStatus=1 # 0/1
TaskBarShowWindows=1 # 0/1
TaskBarShowShowDesktopButton=0 # 0/1
TaskBarShowTray=1 # 0/1
TaskBarShowWindowIcons=0 # 0/1
TaskBarShowCPUStatus=0 # 0/1
TaskBarShowNetStatus=0 # 0/1
TaskBarShowCollapseButton=1 # 0/1
TaskBarWorkspacesLeft=1 # 0/1
TimeFormat="%a %d %b %R"

My icewm/winoptions:

***************************************************
##These keep my apps maximized and without title bar

aterm.startMaximized: 1
pine.startMaximized: 1
irssi.startMaximized: 1
gqview.startMaximized: 1
mozilla-firefox.startMaximized: 1
xfe.startMaximized: 1
opera.startMaximized: 1

aterm.dTitleBar: 0
opera.dTitleBar: 0
gqview.dTitleBar: 0
openoffice.org.dTitleBar: 0
firefox-bin.dTitleBar: 0
xfe.dTitleBar: 0
gqview.dTitleBar: 0

****************************************************

My .icewm/keys

key "Ctrl+F1" aterm
key "Ctrl+F2" xfe
key "Ctrl+F3" xchat
key "Ctrl+F4" gqview
key "Ctrl+F5" mozilla-firefox
key "Ctrl+F6" opera
key "Ctrl+F7" aterm -e pine
key "Ctrl+F8" aterm -e scrot -c -d 10
key "Ctrl+F9" xlock -mode blank

key "Alt+Ctrl+KP_Divide" aumix -v -5 # lower volume
key "Alt+Ctrl+KP_Multiply" aumix -v +5 # raise volume

****************************************************
Because there is no taskbar in icewm-lite i put in my .icewm/keys xlock as Ctrl+F9, inmediately the screen goes black and is locked, to unlock start writing your USER password on the blank screen (it is blank to save resources). You have to install the app 'xlockmore'.

Ctrl+F8 launches a nice little app (scrot) to take screenshots, it starts in your terminal and gives a count in seconds (specified by you, in my case, 10 seconds) enough time to alt-tab to the screen you want photographed and click anywhere on the screen, when the amount of seconds pass, it beeps and that's it. You find your screenshot in your /home.

It usually takes me 5 minutes after a new installation to configure my window manager. I keep my configurations of different window managers in different folders i create in my web mail (Yahoo mail in my case) I copy the configs and send them to myself at that mail address. So after an installation is just a matter of copy/paste them.

Without a taskbar, i needed a date/time app, xclock uses a lot of ram for my taste. So i installed 'asclock', light and small. Also installed 'unclutter', a little app that makes the mouse tip disappear after 5 seconds of inactivity, which is nice if you're reading or writing an article. It comes to life again the moment you move the mouse.

Here's my .xinitrc:

xlockmore &
numlockx &
unclutter &
asclock -shape -noblink &

icewm-lite

***************************************************
Last, but not least, i got this in my monitor options in the /etc/X11/XF86Config-4:

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Default Layout"
Screen "Default Screen"
InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"
InputDevice "Configured Mouse"
Option "StandbyTime" "3" # Turn off screen in 3 minutes (DPMS)
Option "SuspendTime" "8" # Full hibernation in 8 minutes (DPMS)
Option "OffTime" "15" # Turn off DPMS monitor (DPMS)
EndSection
***************************************************

hope it helps,
Last edited by Lou on 2006-11-26 14:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Going radical

Postby Fluenza » 2006-11-22 20:00

Lou wrote:
Generally, i try to save RAM in every aspect, i commented my TTYs in the /etc/inittab, i only need one:

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1
#2:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2
#3:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty3
#4:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty4
#5:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty5
#6:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty6


I'm just curious, how much RAM does this save? And do you notice any discernable performance improvement?
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Re: Going radical

Postby Lou » 2006-11-22 20:47

Fluenza wrote:I'm just curious, how much RAM does this save? And do you notice any discernable performance improvement?


IIRC, it was something ~435 kb per TTY, but i'm not certain for sure, why don't you check and tell us (ps -aux or memstat). My machine is faster with all the things that i'm always implementing.

I got firefox open, opera with 3 windows open, xchat, 2 aterms open for 115 MB RAM usage. IceWM-lite is using 352 kb of memory.

Edit: Let me put it this way: if you have a lot of ram, it won't make much difference (it's only ~ 3 MB of ram, but if have little ram, it helps you a lot.
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Re: Going radical

Postby Fluenza » 2006-11-23 21:00

Lou wrote:
Fluenza wrote:I'm just curious, how much RAM does this save? And do you notice any discernable performance improvement?


IIRC, it was something ~435 kb per TTY, but i'm not certain for sure, why don't you check and tell us (ps -aux or memstat). My machine is faster with all the things that i'm always implementing.

I got firefox open, opera with 3 windows open, xchat, 2 aterms open for 115 MB RAM usage. IceWM-lite is using 352 kb of memory.

Edit: Let me put it this way: if you have a lot of ram, it won't make much difference (it's only ~ 3 MB of ram, but if have little ram, it helps you a lot.


I'm more interested in performance increases versus RAM savings. I'm not too concerned about saving 3MB of RAM, but if I can squeeze a little more performance out of the machine by disabling the extra consoles, then I'm all for it.

I know that you're saving some memory by disabling your extra consoles, and I realize that you may be seeing slight improvements in performance due to slightly lessor use of swap, but I want to know if you're seeing any "real noticeable" performance improvement from these measures. Slightly decreased swap usage notwithstanding.
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Re: Going radical

Postby Lou » 2006-11-23 22:38

I'm more interested in performance increases versus RAM savings. I'm not too concerned about saving 3MB of RAM, but if I can squeeze a little more performance out of the machine by disabling the extra consoles, then I'm all for it.

I know that you're saving some memory by disabling your extra consoles, and I realize that you may be seeing slight improvements in performance due to slightly lessor use of swap, but I want to know if you're seeing any "real noticeable" performance improvement from these measures. Slightly decreased swap usage notwithstanding.


Well, it is a subjective matter depending on your hardware. If you got a P4 and half a gig of memory i don't think it will matter or if you will see any "noticeable" improvements at all, all this without knowing what hardware and if you're using kde, gnome or icewm.

The thing with ram is that the less you use and save, the more you got to switch windows giving the appearance your box is faster, keeping your swap intact; and if you got ADSL, your pages come up faster, thus, the importance for me to squeeze as much ram as possible with the window manager and apps. Most people in the First World have don't have this problem, of course as always there are exceptions.

It's a combination of factors: using non-gui apps, no wallpapers, no colors, having a small amount of ram, with a very slow processor. For example i use mutt and antiword to read .doc mails (i don't use OOo), elinks, firefox, and opera with the images disabled, etc. My neighbor switched from kde to icewm on a P4, he thinks he got a new computer because of the change in performance. In my case every insignificant modification is a big deal, the increase in performance is noticeable in my old box, but i don't know if it's noticeable in yours.

Why don't you comment those TTY lines and try it (reboot), if it does, let us know together with your specs, amount of ram. If it doesn't work, uncomment them again and nothing is lost. It is not an irreversible operation to be afraid of, nothing is gonna be screwed up :)

I'm playing with ratpoison, it uses a ridiculous small amount of ram and is faster than icewm, but it has problems with the gimp and workspaces; i don't use the gimp and can live with the default workspace.
So i'm using it as i write this.
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Postby Fluenza » 2006-11-24 01:55

I'm just using a 500MHz Celeron with 256MB of RAM and a crappy old ATI Mach 64 video card. I've cobbled together a bunch of old ATA hard drives for local storage, and keep everything else on NFS shares. I'm hardly using "state of the art" here. :P

I think I will comment a few of them out. Do you have any other performance improving tips that you could share? Perhaps you could do a new thread on squeezing every last drop of juice from the old tower? ;)
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