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GNOME and Sawfish in Redhat 8.0

Posted on 2003-03-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Does anyone know how to change GNOME's window manager in Redhat 8.0?  I would like to use sawfish, which GNOME in Redhat 8.0 does not use as default.  I have downloaded the Sawfish rpm package and installed it, and I can start an X session directly into Sawfish, but I can't seem to figure out how to make GNOME use Sawfish as its window manager. My Redhat 7.3 machines have a "window-manager" switching program, but I can't find its 8.0 equivilent.
One thing I tried that did not work was starting a Sawfish X session and then issuing the "gnome-session" command from a terminal in the Sawfish session, with the hopes of them being able to save the session settings.  It gave an error saying that there was already a window manager open.
Any ideas??
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Question by:cdollar
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:dorward
ID: 8068509
I'm not certain, but I think this should do the trick:

Run "gconf-editor"
In the tree to the left go to: "/desktop/gnome/applications/window_manager"
In the window to the top double click on "default"
Enter the path to the window manager you want.
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Author Comment

by:cdollar
ID: 8068692
I can change the values for the key successfully (even as root) but when I log back in it changes the value back to /usr/bin/metacity.
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Author Comment

by:cdollar
ID: 8069361
I can change the values for the key successfully (even as root) but when I log back in it changes the value back to /usr/bin/metacity.
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LVL 17

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by:dorward
ID: 8070117
I'm guessing that it is saving the result when you exit gnome. Try changing your desktop to something else (or just using a plain WM - maybe even don't bother with a WM and just use gconf-editor) and then making the change. Then log out, set your WM as gnome again and log and back in.

NB: This is done on a per user basis, running as root will just set it up for root.
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by:Gns
ID: 8070675
What is wrong with using "The Hat"->Settings->Control Panel->Extra Programs->Sessions"? You should be able to remove metacity from "this session", and add sawfish (with prio 20) in the "Start command" tab, logging out and saving the session, then logging in...?
I haven't tested this heavily, but it should Just Work:-).

The strings in the above might be different, I wouldn't know the exact english labels etc since I'm in a swedish locale.

-- Glenn
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Author Comment

by:cdollar
ID: 8072073
I tried the changes to gconf with another window manager, but it still didn't like the settings.  And under "sessions" when I would remove metacity from the session it would lose the gnome menu and all windows.

But I think I have it figured out.  

From what I can tell, Gnome doesn't want to run without an active window manager, so killing metacity only results in metacity restarting once Gnome realizes that it doesn't have a window manager. To get arount this, I used the gnome-system-monitor to find metacity's process id, went to a terminal and issued the command 'kill 0000; /usr/bin/sawfish &' (where 0000 is the pid number).  This killed metacity and immediately started sawfish before metacity could be restarted by Gnome.  Then I issued 'gnome-session-save' to save the settings with sawfish.  When I closed the terminal window that I had issued all the commands from, it also killed sawfish, and I was fordced to do a reboot.  But this time the settings saved, and I now have sawfish working correctly.

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Gns earned 225 total points
ID: 8073061
Hm, I just verified a slight variation on that. gnome-session-properties, remove metacity, start /usr/bin/sawfish from a terminal (it shows up in the current session), then gnome-session-save...
Talk about cumbersome.
Of course one should be able to just edit the xml file and <Ctrl>-<Alt>-<Backspace>, but that feels even more backwards.

-- Glenn
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Author Comment

by:cdollar
ID: 8073166
Yes, that seems to do the job too.  There has to be a better way, though.  
For instance, when I made it back in my office and got to a "fast" computer, it took me multiple tries before I could get sawfish to start before Gnome tried to start metacity again.  I did get it to work, but it took killing the process 3 times before it worked.  I know there has to be a better way... or mabye Redhat left the window-manager changer out for some reason I don't know about.

Thanks to everyone that gave suggestions... I never could have come to this solution without them.
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Expert Comment

by:Gns
ID: 8073194
If you set metacity to "Normal" first (and "apply" it) it shouldn't keep on restarting it.
Might be worth a try.

-- Glenn
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Author Comment

by:cdollar
ID: 8073227
Yes, that seems to do the job too.  There has to be a better way, though.  
For instance, when I made it back in my office and got to a "fast" computer, it took me multiple tries before I could get sawfish to start before Gnome tried to start metacity again.  I did get it to work, but it took killing the process 3 times before it worked.  I know there has to be a better way... or mabye Redhat left the window-manager changer out for some reason I don't know about.

Thanks to everyone that gave suggestions... I never could have come to this solution without them.
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Expert Comment

by:lantolin
ID: 8401703
Why so complicated?

Make sure you have installed sawfish-2.0-4.rpm from RedHat,
and then add this line in $HOME/.bash_profile

export WINDOW_MANAGER="sawfish";

Log off, log in and: Hop!, like a charm  :)

The line can be in any of your init scripts, as long as this
is executed before a WM is chosen. Same applies if you want
to make it system-wide available.


     /Lantolin


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Expert Comment

by:CleanupPing
ID: 9089966
cdollar:
This old question needs to be finalized -- accept an answer, split points, or get a refund.  For information on your options, please click here-> http:/help/closing.jsp#1 
EXPERTS:
Post your closing recommendations!  No comment means you don't care.
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