May 26, 2017

Window Managers Explained - page 4


  • September 16, 1999
  • By Steve Singer
Changing your Window Manager

Once your X-Server starts, it runs the commands in the XClients script to start the window manager. Other programs that should run on startup can also be placed in the Xclients script.

To change your window manager you can edit the Xclients script. The system-wide version of the Xclients script is /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xinit/Xclients. Unless you want your changes to affect the default settings for all users on your system, it is a good idea to leave this file alone. The file $HOME/.Xclients (where $HOME is your home directory) can contain a user-specific version of the Xclients file. Each user on the system is able to choose a personal window manager by customizing the Xclients file. This file is a shell script, and can be changed with any text editor. Using the system default version as a starting point is a good idea. Often you can change the default window manager by editing one line in the file, and some Linux distributions will allow you to change your window manager through a GUI interface. Each window manager has its own configuration file, or configuration directory tree. See the documentation for your window manager to learn more about customizing your environment.

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