by pbharris
Created October 25, 2002

(Transferred from the wiki by Peter)

FVWM has been around for quite a long time - At least since 1994 which is anloy a couple of years younger than Linux. The FVWM stands for F___ Virtual Window Manager, I have heard many theories on what F stands for, fantastic, feeble, fscking and my favorite - feline. It is also refered to as fvwm2 and some sites I have seen call it fvwm95.

You should have some othe development packages on you system, these would be: gcc make the development package for Xfree 86 (XFree86-devel). I think thats about it...

These instructions should also work for BSD, Solaris or HP-UX.

Installing and getting up and running is quite easy. Installing from source is what I like to do, although most distributions still have fvwm as an installation option. The source code can be obtained the fvwm down load site. Down load it and uncompress it.
tar -jxf fvwm-2.4.12.tar.bz2
for the bziped version and
tar -zxf fvwm-2.4.12.tar.gz
for the gziped version. The next thing to do is configure it. cd into the new directory fvwm-2.4.12 and type
This will create a make file and get everything set up. If you would like more options type ./configure --help to set up more options or pass in library locations, to keep this simple I will leave the various options to the reader, doing this should not be needed.

Next do a make and then a make install. Now if you used the defaults and are using linux then fvwm should be installed in various directories in /usr/local/ ,

Next we need to modify the login file for X windows, namely ~/.xinitrc or maybe ~/.Xclient-default depending on you distribution, only one line is needed
exec fvwm2
Restart X windows if you are running X windows, if you are running gdm or kdm make sure you select the default window mananager and not kde or gnome.
When X starts and fvwm comes up you may think you just wasted a good 20 minutes - there is very little there. Clicking any mouse button brings up a menu

  1. xterm
  2. setup form
  3. setup 95 script
  4. issue fvwm command
  5. restart fvwm
  6. exit

Selecting setup 95 script will walk you through several options and get a fairly decent set up, but fvwm may still look bland so upi may like to install fvwm-themes.

Setting up fvwm themes is just as easy as setting up fvwm. Grab off the tar ball fvwm-themes-base-0.6.1.tar.gz from the fvwm themes web site at:
Uncompress the package
tar -zxf fvwm-themes-base-0.6.1.tar.gz
Run ./configure and then make install. From here edit the file ~/.xinitrc or maybe ~/.Xclient-default and instead of fvwm2 insert exec fvwm-themes-start and have that be the only line or comment out the other lines by having a # in the begining of all other lines. Restart X windows and you will be presented with a pretty nice theme and the a good selection of other themes.