SliTaz GNU/Linux official and community documentation wiki.
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Window Managers


More details in Desktop

Enlightenment (e17)

Enlightenment is a complete desktop environment, fully configurable with the mouse and offering many themes. The version supplied by the SliTaz project is known as e17 and is still in development, this version is considered stable enough to be incorporated into the distribution. Enlightenment was designed to be deployed on systems with limited resources, as well as more powerful systems. It allows for wallpapers, menus, animated and interactive gadgets and knows how to manage virtual desktops. To install e17:

 # tazpkg get-install enlightenment 

Logout your current X session, type F1 at Slim login and choose e17 to start Enlightenment.

Enlightenment is compliant to the Freedesktop standards. Applications are sorted by category and icons automatically appear if a desktop file is supplied. The (.desktop) system files are contained in the /usr/share/applications directory or hidden home ~/.local/share/applications directory. These files have a simple syntax and are editable from the panel or with a simple text editor. The file menus displaying categories in the Enlightenment menu are found in the slitaz-menus package:

 # tazpkg get-install slitaz-menus 

An icon on the desktop

To have an icon on the desktop launching applications, you can create by hand a .desktop file 1) in your local directory ~/Desktop. Desktop files placed in this directory are automatically recognized by Enlightenment. A single .desktop file can contain eight lines with respectively: the name (Name), generic name, comment, the command to execute (Exec), icon, type and Freedesktop categories. Example of a .desktop file for Xterm icon:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Run commands in a shell
Exec=xterm -bg black -fg white -cr orange -sb -bd violet -rightbar

Additional themes can be found on:

JWM - Joe's Window Manager

Joe's window manager, written in C is quick, simple, clean, stable and efficient. JWM proposes a taskbar, a menu of icons and a pager for the management of virtual desktops. The taskbar can also act as a dock. In addition it is easily configurable with a single text file that can change the menu, fonts and their sizes, and different colors. To install jwm on SliTaz:

 # tazpkg get-install jwm 

Logout your current X session, type F1 at Slim login and choose jwm to start JWM. To make JWM your default Window Manager, just type: tazx jwm.

Use and configure JWM

The application of Joe's Window Manager is very fast. To view the menu just click somewhere on the desktop. You can resize a window through the edges or corners, minimize or pass a virtual desktop to another via a pager. You also have configurable keyboard shortcuts for faster access to the applications that you often use. On SliTaz the system configuration file is /etc/jwm/system.jwmrc. Apart from this file, each user can use its own configuration file hidden in ~/.jwmrc. This is a text file using XML syntax, it can edited with a simple text editor - lines beginning with: <!-- are comments that let you understand what each tag does.

To facilitate the customization of the desktop, SliTaz automatically copies at the launch of the first (graphical) session, a system configuration file to the root directory of the user. You can directly modify this file and test without risk. To edit with your favorite text editor:

$ geany $HOME/.jwmrc & 

To retrieve an original configuration file, you can copy the system configuration file and rename it .jwmrc in your home directory:

 $ cp /etc/jwm/system.jwmrc $HOME/.jwmrc 

The tag RootMenu corresponds to the menu displayed by clicking on one of the (three) buttons on the mouse. To add a category, you must use the tag: Menu - this contains entries for various programs. Any entry in the JWM menu can fit on one line. Example using the GQview image management application:

 <Program icon="gqview.png" label="GQview">gqview</Program> 

There are still many opportunities to configure RootMenu according to the mouse buttons; the choice of method to move windows, create groups, etc. The Manual is available online at the official website of the project. To view a list of command-line options, just type jwm -h in a terminal.

Create your own JWM style

Creating your own graphical style with JWM is relatively quick and easy, the tags are clear and the attributes possible are given in the comments. When preparing your work, you can see your amendments by restarting the window manager from the menu or via the jwm -restart command. In the configuration file, style tags start after the <!– Visual Styles –> comment. To begin, here is a short list of the main style tags with a short description:

  • Background manages the wallpaper. This tag supports the solid, gradient, image or tile attributes, to respectively: use a solid color, create a gradient, display a resized image or tile an image.
  • BorderStyle controls the windows border.
  • TrayStyle controls a taskbar. The taskbar may, among other things, be automatically hidden or only fill a part of the screen with the width attribute.
  • TrayListStyle controls the style of the list of open windows on the current desktop.
  • PagerStyle controls the pager displaying different virtual desktops (4 by default).
  • MenuStyle defines the menu style.
  • The icons are defined by the IconPath tag, you can use your own personal icons by specifing the full path to the directory that contains them. Note that you can specify more than one path, if you want, you can use your own icons and those contained in the /usr/share/pixmaps and /usr/share/icons system directories. SliTaz uses the Tango theme icons: for the menu, these are 16×16 and are stored in /usr/share/icons/Tango. You can add, edit, delete these… If you want to install new icons in your user space, we advise you to use ~/Picture/Icons (set as default) or a hidden directory ~/.Icons.

The colors can be defined by their name or RGB number such as #3A4956. To use colors in their gradient mode, you must specify the two colors separated by a colon, example #6C0023:#3E1220. You can change fonts and their sizes by using the Font tag. There are still some other small things that you can change to customize your desktop: such as the name of a menu item and its icon. Before restarting JWM with your new configuration file, you can check its syntax by using the command: jwm -p. To explore further, the official handbook describes all the tags, options and valid attributes. You can view it online at the JWM website.

JWM website

  • - The official website of Joe's Window Manager, providing news and a comprehensive manual.
  • #jwm on - The JWM IRC discussion channel on Freenode server.



Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment. It replaces the default OpenBox and PCManFM, and is also based on GTK+.

To install Xfce, select the 'xfce4' meta-package from the Package Manager. This will install all the related packages.

To use Xfce, ensure you have the correct command for Xfce in the Slim (log-in manager) configuration. Do this by appending xfce4 to the sessions line of the /etc/slim.conf file - note that you will need root permissions to modify the file:

sessions            openbox,e17,jwm,xfce4, 

You can then select Xfce by pressing F1 at the log-in screen, as you enter your user-name and password.

Extras are available at Xfce Goodies, including plug-ins, artwork and bindings.

To remove Xfce, use the following command as root user:

for PKG in xfce4 xfce4-session xfce4-panel xfwm4 libxfcegui4 xfce-utils libxfce4util thunar thunar-volman xfconf ; \ 
do yes y | tazpkg remove $PKG ; done

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en/handbook/wm.txt · Last modified: 2020/09/23 11:57 by hgt