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FVWM (F Virtual Window Manager) is a stacking window manager for X11. It is designed to minimize memory consumption, provide a 3D look to window frames, and to provide a virtual desktop. It is also possible to extend FVWM using C, M4 and Perl preprocessing or scripts, in the case of Perl.


USE flags

USE flags for x11-wm/fvwm An extremely powerful ICCCM-compliant multiple virtual desktop window manager

bidi Enable bidirectional language support
debug Enable extra debug codepaths, like asserts and extra output. If you want to get meaningful backtraces see https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Project:Quality_Assurance/Backtraces
doc Add extra documentation (API, Javadoc, etc). It is recommended to enable per package instead of globally
lock Enable screen locking
netpbm Enable NetPBM support (used by FvwmScript-ScreenDump)
nls Add Native Language Support (using gettext - GNU locale utilities)
perl Add optional support/bindings for the Perl language
png Add support for libpng (PNG images)
readline Enable support for libreadline, a GNU line-editing library that almost everyone wants
stroke Mouse Gesture support
svg Add support for SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
tk Add support for Tk GUI toolkit
truetype Add support for FreeType and/or FreeType2 fonts
vanilla Do not add extra patches which change default behaviour; DO NOT USE THIS ON A GLOBAL SCALE as the severity of the meaning changes drastically
xinerama Add support for querying multi-monitor screen geometry through the Xinerama API

* To be able to run Perl scripts in FVWM, enable the perl and gtk2-perl USE flags.


After flags have been set issue an emerge command to install FVWM:

root #emerge --ask x11-wm/fvwm


FVWM's main configuration file is ~/.fvwm/config.


To start FVWM use a display manager or the startx command.

When using startx with elogind support, setup elogind and create the following file:

FILE ~/.xinitrc
exec dbus-launch --sh-syntax --exit-with-session fvwm

See also

  • FVWM-Crystal — an easy to use, powerful and pretty desktop environment.

External resources