HOWTO: IceWM Basic Configuration

Share your own howto's etc. Not for support questions!

Postby Lou » 2006-11-24 13:21

Fluenza wrote: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


Believe you me, that's not a bad setup, eventhough it's not state of the art. But what do you do with it, do you use intensive processing apps, do you keep many windows open, that's what is important, do you use gnome or kde? If you add another dimm of ram, you would be sitting pretty with a light window manager.
I would comment those TTYs and leave just one. Install and learn mutt, google is full of .muttrc examples. Use your favorite editor (non-gui) as your word processor, i use Joe (jpico) and it's super light, OOo is the shits.


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? ;)


He,he, you don't know how many hours i spend googling, and saving articles and trying different window managers. I've learned a lot from screwing up, after a while you know what you're doing :)
But if i get some tips relevant to this subject, i will.
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Postby Fluenza » 2006-11-25 05:28

Lou wrote:
Fluenza wrote: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


Believe you me, that's not a bad setup, eventhough it's not state of the art. But what do you do with it, do you use intensive processing apps, do you keep many windows open, that's what is important, do you use gnome or kde? If you add another dimm of ram, you would be sitting pretty with a light window manager.


Actually, I have both Gnome and KDE installed but I typically use icewm. That's how I got to reading this thread. I have gdesklets installed with icewm to give me a couple of icons on my desktop and a weather desklet that I kind of like, but I'm thinking of getting rid of those.

lou wrote:I would comment those TTYs and leave just one. Install and learn mutt, google is full of .muttrc examples. Use your favorite editor (non-gui) as your word processor, i use Joe (jpico) and it's super light, OOo is the shits.


I have commented out all but two of my consoles. I like to have a second one available in case I need to use the "backdoor" to get around problems. I've also installed and used mutt on an old PowerMac 9500/150 Debian install. I rather liked it, but haven't played too much with it since I got rid of the PowerMac.

lou wrote:He,he, you don't know how many hours i spend googling, and saving articles and trying different window managers. I've learned a lot from screwing up, after a while you know what you're doing :)
But if i get some tips relevant to this subject, i will.


I know exactly what you mean. Mistakes are the best teachers aids. At least for people who are smart enough to learn from mistakes.
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Postby Lou » 2006-11-27 00:54

From google.com/linux

Starting X automatically after logging in, without [gkx]dm:

Add this line to your .bash_profile:

$ jpico .bash_profile

and put it at the end of the file:

ps ax|grep -q "[ ]Which X" || exec xinit >/dev/null 2>&1

It is faster, because it starts xinit right away (you don't have to type 'startx') after logging your user name and password.

Startx calls on xinit anyway, so this way it saves a process.

There are differences though. Startx uses .xsession and .Xresources; xinit uses .xinitrc and .Xdefaults. The files have exactly the same function.
You can even save some more by adding exec before xinit:

The use of exec prevents the shell from running after X starts.

The second tip is adding noatime in the fstab:

"Whenever a file is accessed in Linux, the current time and date are recorded. This is not usually needed, and you can gain a small amount of speed (which won't show up using hdparm -Tt) by disabling this option. This is done by editing your /etc/fstab file, and where on your hard drive line it says defaults, change it to defaults,noatime."

So in my box i put it here:

$ sudo jpico /etc/fstab

/dev/hda1 / ext3 defaults,noatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1

Thanks to GUNNIX :)

Edit: i forgot to mention that i used both suggestions and it worked perfectly.
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Postby Lou » 2006-11-27 15:37

I kept on googling and found this page:

http://tinyurl.com/wurfw

followed the instructions which basically deal with better performance and security. Edited my /etc/fstab acording to the instructions, here is my fstab:

# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/hda1 / ext3 defaults,noatime,errors=remount-ro 1 1
/dev/hda9 /home ext3 defaults,noatime,nodev,nosuid 1 2
/dev/hda8 /tmp ext3 defaults,noatime,nosuid 1 2
/dev/hda5 /usr ext3 defaults 0 2
/dev/hda6 /var ext3 defaults,noatime 1 2
/dev/hda7 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hdb /media/cdrom0 iso9660 ro,user,noauto 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto 0 0

Rebooted and it worked perfectly!
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gdm and icewm-session

Postby brendon » 2007-05-01 08:49

Hi, I recently installed etch, I use gdm as the session manager, and found when I logged into icewm that some of my configuration files (in ~/.icewm) were not working.

It seems that if icewm is started as 'icewm' instead of 'icewm-session', then some configuration files won't work (eg ~/.icewm/startup, and ~/.icewm/prefoverride).
The default etch installation seemed to start icewm instead of icewm-session.
To change this, I changed ~/.dmrc from this:

[Desktop]
Session=X-Debian-WindowManagers-icewm

to this:

[Desktop]
#Session=X-Debian-WindowManagers-icewm
Session=icewm-session

Now my startup and prefoverride files work again.
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Postby Lou » 2007-05-01 15:20

Hmm, it seems to me your way is complicated why don't you KISS it and save some headaches?

uninstall gdm, and use startx, edit/create your .xinitrc put icewm at the bottom or use update-alternatives --config x-window-manager
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Postby DeanLinkous » 2007-05-01 15:51

Yea, I think a lot of *weight* of desktops come from all this automagic frills that you can do yourself just as easy and with less resources used. Often the automagic stuff is the root of something not working just right too. The more I use the automagic the more I appreciate the *old-school* manual methods.
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ice

Postby llivv » 2007-05-01 18:00

This HOWTO goes in my bookmark hall of fame :P I have even thought up a new project (after I finish this one) lwm or maybe twm as I've read in another post is included with xorg. ( I did not know that) :roll:
As I'm fairly certain either one of the projects I mentioned is going to be a bit of work and not something I could accomplish presently without way too much aggravation, I will be applying tips and tricks from this thread to my overall understanding of icewm, WM/DE and Debian respectively.
In memory of Ian Ashley Murdock (1973 - 2015) founder of the Debian project.
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Postby Lou » 2007-07-06 14:48

Recently, i read in the icewm mailing list how to change the default Alt+F4 to close apps. Just go to your

.icewm/prefoverride (it will be empty)

and add this line, choosing the key you want, i chose this:

KeyWinClose="F1"

save/exit your editor and restart icewm:

Ctrl + Alt + r

listo!

thanks to Thomas

Edit: make sure the key you choose does not interfere with others in the different apps you use. I just realized that F1 interferes with my editor jpico :), so i changed it to F3.
Last edited by Lou on 2007-07-06 16:35, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby 987687 » 2007-07-06 15:04

I have been using IceWM on my 266MHz laptop with 192MB ram for years and its awesome. I really need a new laptop though...
Desktop - 3.2GHz core2 quad
Laptop - 2.4GHz core2 duo ancient macbook
Bring back the penguin!! http://tinyurl.com/d57jwv
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Postby Lou » 2007-07-06 15:16

987687 wrote:I have been using IceWM on my 266MHz laptop with 192MB ram for years and its awesome. I really need a new laptop though...


I'm a window manager whore, not so much lately, i've reduced them to two: icewm and ratpoison.

But lately, i see myself using icewm all the time now that i've configured it to act like ratpoison. I like it with no titlebar (waste of space) i can close, minimize, etc with the keyboard, and the taskbar on auto-hide at the bottom, it leaves me with more real estate.
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Update on my .icewm/keys

Postby Lou » 2007-07-22 16:54

This my new .icewm/keys, i'm trying to keep my hands on the keyboard and using the mouse less:

key "Ctrl+Alt+c" aterm
key "Ctrl+Alt+e" xfe
key "Ctrl+Alt+x" xchat
key "Ctrl+Alt+z" xzgv
key "Ctrl+Alt+o" opera
key "Ctrl+Alt+f" iceweasel
key "Ctrl+Alt+m" sylpheed-claws-gtk2
key "Ctrl+Alt+Print" aterm -e scrot -c -d 10
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Postby Arnie » 2007-07-22 20:42

Glad to see you're still roaming around here... :lol:
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Postby Lou » 2007-07-23 22:28

Thanks, i've been busy!
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Postby llivv » 2007-07-25 05:56

rebooted tonight and compared memory usage for the "Etch XFCE" and "Lenny icewm"
installs on this machine. Right after login (no other apps opened yet) top reports
Etch XFCE using 286MB
and Lenny icewm using 129MB

edit:
I wanted to double check my numbers, here is what I got for Etch XFCE:
Alt + F1 out of gdm to the commandline 142MB
Login to XFCE 183MB
open iceweasle to the forum 234MB

This is what I got from Lenny icewm:
commandline login 46MB
sartx into icewm 126MB
open iceweasle to the forum 170MB
Last edited by llivv on 2007-07-27 00:21, edited 1 time in total.
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