Using An Alternate Window Manager With GDMRecently I found myself needing to run a less resource intensive window manager on a linux host. The host ran Fedora 9, used GDM, and had Gnome as the only desktop environment installed. Gnome, however, was way too much of a memory hog considering the main purpose of the server. I decided that FVWM way the way to go, but how would I make it work?
I didn't want to hack this in. I wanted to make FVWM appear as a valid choice in the GDM chooser. To do this, I had to find where these choices exist. After a bit of searching, I found that they were hiding in /usr/share/xsessions. So, I copied gnome.desktop to fvwm.desktop and modified it:
[Desktop Entry] Encoding=UTF-8 Name=FVWM Comment=This session logs you into FVWM Exec=/usr/local/bin/fvwm2 TryExec=/usr/local/bin/fvwm2 # no icon yet, only the top three are currently used Icon= Type=ApplicationI had a little hiccup here. I first tried to make the Exec lines point to "fvwm2" without the full path. Since /usr/local/bin is in _my_ path, I assumed that this would work. I was wrong. Since it isn't in root's path, GDM can't validate the binary and thus doesn't show the option in the window manager chooser. So I went back and fully qualified the binary.
That's pretty much all it takes. You have to restart X, which I did the hard (easy?) way by hitting CTRL+ALT+BKSP. Now to make FVWM as usable as Gnome. Fun...