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Old 01-03-2013, 09:22 AM   #1
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Window Maker on Ubuntu with dual displays

This is my first posting in LinuxQuestions.

I started using Linux in the early 90s. I remember installing Slackware from oh so many floppies. When the first CD edition of Slackware came out (1994-1995?) it was such a relief.

Sometime in the late 90s I became adventurous and bought an ABIT BP6 mobo. It had dual CPU support and unbekownest to Intel it had the ability to unlock the overclocking power of the Celeron chip. When set up, my Linux box boasted a 20 MB hard drive, 786 MB of RAM, and dual Celeries churning out a whopping 366 MHZ, each. My window manager of choice was Window Maker. It was, light, very fast, and beautiful.

My job required me to perform a lot of Monte Carlo simulations at home so I had to put together a Windows box, relegating the Celeron box to the background for such mundane jobs as e-mail, IRC, etc. The Celeron box eventually died a natural death, refusing to boot at all.

Years later, having retired from my job, my love for Linux was re-kindled. I installed Ubuntu 12.10 on my quad-core Intel machine, dual booting with Win7. Ubuntu 12.10, being what it is, I downgraded to 12.04 and loaded it with all desktop environments and window managers available (various shades of Gnome, KDE to be uninstalled shortly, mwm, fvwm, fvwm2, fvwm-themes, alpha stage CDE, AfterStep,fluxbox, IRIX look-alike MAXX, etc.) and finally Window Maker. (I remember installing 0.92 but it somehow got upgraded to 0.95.3).

I was quite determined to use Window Maker as my default window manager but there was a problem. When Window Maker started I had mirrored screens on my dual monitors and the Dock did not accept new application icons, displaying only the three default icons. The solution was arandr: Downloaded and installed, arandr quickly arranged the displays but when Window Maker was re-started the displays reverted to the mirrored state.

I've Googled for days to no avail. The solution, again, was arandr itself. It could save the display settings in an sh file in ~/.screenlayout. But how to pass the execute sh file command to Window Maker? So, I put the command in ~/GNUStep/Library/WindowMaker/autostart file and Voila! Window Maker came alive almost exactly as I wanted it to be, Almost, because the Dock was still on the right edge of the primary monitor while I wanted it to be on the right edge of the secondary monitor. Right click on the desktop, Session, then Restart Window Maker solves this problem but, contrary to what I want, it has to be performed manually. Apparently, the "Restart Window Maker" command is an internal command and it seems it cannot be passed to Window Maker from outside. Oh well, I am still happy with my Window Maker even though I have to do the right click thing after it starts.

So, any help with the right click problem will be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by orhank; 01-06-2013 at 11:10 AM.
Old 01-06-2013, 01:27 AM   #2
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One possible solution would be to use a .xsession file instead of logging into windowmaker directly. Your .xsession file could contain just your arandr command followed by "wmaker" to launch window maker.
Old 01-06-2013, 11:06 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for your reply but unfortunately it didn't work.
Old 01-07-2013, 12:40 AM   #4
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Well, that's odd. Sorry, then, I'm out of ideas...
Old 01-08-2013, 03:34 AM   #5
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orhank -- what exactly did not work? Did you create a new desktop entry in /usr/share/xsessions?

I am running fvwm in this way and it works very well.
Old 01-08-2013, 08:54 AM   #6
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Have you tried using xrandr directly?
You have not given details of the capabilities of your displays and what outputs they appear on, but this is the command I use on my netbook for enabling an external monitor when in Windowmaker.
xrandr --output LVDS1 --auto --output VGA1 --auto --left-of LVDS1
This leaves the dock on the netbook screen but opens up a clear area for the VGA screen. (I still have to move the clip icon manually.)


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