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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
rplay Enable rplay support
stroke Mouse Gesture support
svg Add support for SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
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.
  • The vanilla USE flag is recommended to write to the fvwm-workers mailing list, see bug #411811, comment 14


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 ConsoleKit support, setup ConsoleKit and create the following file:

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

See also

  • FVWM-Crystal — an easy to use, powerful and pretty desktop environment for Linux or other Unix-like operating systems.

External resources