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Fvwm home page:

Fvwm is an extremely powerful ICCCM-compliant multiple virtual desktop window manager for the X Window system. Development is active, and support is excellent (see the website for details).


As Fvwm provides only a WM you need external programs to achieve a behavior like in GNOME/KDE.

Fvwm users usually start Fvwm from ~/.xinit, nodm is useful as a DM.

For keyboard layout switching you can use /etc/default/keyboard config file, the xkbcomp technique or one of the following programs: kbdd, scim, ibus, xxkb. See Keyboard for further information.

As an application for the tray one can use: trayer, stalonetray.

Debian menu

Install the menu package to get access to the Debian menu and add this line to your ~/.fvwm/config:

  Read /etc/X11/fvwm/menudefs.hook

The above file is updated each time any package installs its menu files into /usr/share/menu/*.

You can add your own menus by storing your menu files in the ~/.menu/ directory. Just compile them:

  $ update-menus --nodefaultdirs --menufilesdir ~/.menu

and include the following line in your ~/.fvwm/config:

  Read $[HOME]/.fvwm/menudefs.hook