Macintosh-like Virtual Window Manager (MLVWM) configuration files
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mlvwmrc

by Morgan Aldridge morgant@makkintosshu.com

OVERVIEW

This a set of configuration files for Takashi HASEGAWA's Macintosh-like Virtual Window Manager (MLVWM) with the following goals:

  • More accurate emulation of System 7 and MacOS 8 User Interfaces
  • A complete configuration out-of-the-box
  • Well structured configuration files

MLVWM includes a very rudimentary set of rc (run command) files and requires a fair amount of customization to better emulate Macintosh operating systems' UI. Additionally, since it is generally no more than a hobbyist window manager, no appropriate structure for the rc files (esp. for individual applications), icons (i.e. pixmaps), etc. Last, but not least, I wanted to reduce the amount of configuration needed every time I configure MLVWM on a new workstation.

PREREQUISITES

  • mlvwm
  • xpm
  • locale
  • make
  • unzip
  • curl
  • ImageMagick
  • xdotool (for mlvwm-restart)
  • gxmessage
  • maim & slop (for mlvwm-screenshot)

USAGE

Run make && make install to install .mlvwm/, .mlvwmrc, and bin/mlvwm-* in your home directory, including downloading and/or converting appropriate icons.

TESTING

It's a good idea to test your mlvwm configuration prior to attempting to use it as your default window manager for the first time or after making any changes. The easiest way to do this is using Xephyr. I do the following:

Xephyr :32 -screen 1024x768 &
DISPLAY=:32 mlvwm -debug

The above will run mlvwm in a window, so you can test within your existing environment and easily troubleshoot or kill it if something goes wrong.

SUGGESTED ADDITIONAL CONFIGURATION

GTK+ 3

Some of the included configurations are for GTK+ 3 applications which use client-side decorations (CSD), resulting in window controls being included in the "header bar". These window controls already exist in the mlvwm window title bars, so are redundant and look out of place. They can be disabled by editing ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini to set gtk-decoration-layout to a blank string (or customize as you see fit), for example:

\[Settings\]
gtk-decoration-layout=""

iDesk

Companion iDesk configuration files are available via the mlvwmrc-ideskrc project.

APPLICATIONS

Configurations for the following X11 applications are included:

MENU EXTRAS

Configurations for the following X11 applications are included for use in the menu bar:

Configurations for additional applications and utilities are also available from the following separate projects:

MLVWM-SPECIFIC SCRIPTS

A few mlvwm-specific scripts are included and installed in ~/bin/. You should ensure that this directory is in your user's PATH environment variable.

mlvwm-message

mlvwm-message is a wrapper around gxmessage and xmessage (both of which accept the same options), so that other mlvwm-specific scripts can use the former, if available, or fall back to the latter.

Usage:

mlvwm-message [ -buttons label1[:value1],label2[:value2], ... ] [ options ] message ...

Example:

mlvwm-message -title "Yo" -buttons "Goodbye:1,Hello:2" -default "Hello" "Hello, world!"

mlvwm-alert

mlvwm-alert is a wrapper around mlvwm-message which displays an alert-style dialog with the provided title, message, and with a single "OK" button to dismiss it.

Usage:

mlvwm-alert title message

Example:

mlvwm-alert "WARNING!" "This message will self destruct..."

mlvwm-confirm

mlvwm-confirm is a wrapper around mlvwm-message which displays a confirmation-style dialog with the provided title, message, and with two buttons to dismiss it: "OK" to confirm (exit status 0) and "Cancel" to deny (exit status 1).

Usage:

mlvwm-confirm title message

Example:

mlvwm-confirm "Shut Down" "Are you sure you want to shut down your computer now?"

mlvwm-powerdown

mlvwm-powerdown is a wrapper around OS-specific commands to suspend/sleep, reboot/restart, or shut/power down the computer. It accepts a single option, either -s for suspend/sleep, -r for reboot/restart, or -p for power/shut down. For the -r & -p options, it utilizes mlvwm-confirm to prompt for confirmation before restarting or shutting down the computer.

This is primarily used to implement "Sleep", "Restart", and "Shutdown" menu items in the default "Special" menu.

Usage:

mlvwm-powerdown [ -s | -r | -p ]

Example:

mlvwm-powerdown -p

mlvwm-restart

mlvwm-restart, unlike mlvwm-powerdown, is unrelated to the power state of the computer and is instead used to relaunch mlvwm, reloading configurations. It requires xdotool to trigger a special keyboard shortcut which is specified in the default configuration.

Usage:

mlvwm-restart

mlvwm-screenshot

mlvwm-screenshot is a wrapper around maim which saves a date & time stamped PNG screenshot of the screen in the user's ~/Pictures/ directory. Optionally, by specifying the -s option, it will allow the user to select an area of the screen to be captured instead of the entire screen.

This is primarily used to implement the screenshots via keyboard shortcuts in the default configuration.

Usage:

mlvwm-screenshot [ -s ]

Example:

mlvwm-screenshot -s

DATA STRUCTURE

MLVWM loads its configuration from ~/.mlvwmrc, but to break configuration up into more logical and manageable chunks within a ~/.mlvwm/ directory. That directory contains its own .mlvwmrc file which ~/.mlvwmrc gets symlinked to, and it takes advantage of the Read command (see mlvwm/CONFIGURATION) to import the remaining configuration files.

The current structure is:

~/
  .mlvwmrc -> .mlvwm/.mlvwmrc
  .mlvwm/
    .mlvwmrc
    .initrc
    .restartrc
    MenuBar
    VirtualDesktops
    theme/
      System7
      MacOS8
      MacOS9
    MenuExtras/
      xload
      …
    apps/
      .AppManifest
      Xterm
      Xcalc
      …
    pixmap/
      *.xpm
  bin/
    mlvwm-alert
    mlvwm-confirm
    mlvwm-message
    mlvwm-powerdown
    mlvwm-restart
    mlvwm-screenshot

.mlvwmrc

The main rc file. It contains some important configuration settings & commands, esp. IconPath, but primarily loads other rc & configuration files. The active theme can be changed by editing the Read .mlvwm/theme/System7 line to one of the other theme files.

.initrc

Contains an InitFunction block which can be modified to run commands upon initialization of MLVWM.

.restartrc

Contains a RestartFunction block which can be modified to run commands upon init or reload of MLVWM.

VirtualDesktops

Contains configuration settings for virtual desktops, incl. the number of virtual desktops (default is 1.)

MenuBar

Contains the default menu bar configuration, including loading Menu Extras. If you want to enable/disable specific MenuExtras, this is currently the place to do it.

Important: the Apple menu is actually defined in the theme files as some theme-specific settings need to be applied during creation, incl. icons. For this reason, the theme files must be loaded before the default menu bar in .mlvwmrc.

.AppManifest

Includes a Read command for each application-specific file in the apps directory. This is primarily to limit the complexity of the main .mlvwmrc file.

CONTRIBUTING

I very much welcome requests, feedback, and improvements. Please see CONTRIBUTING for details as to how to contribute, as well as the style guide for mlvwmrc configuration files.

SPECIAL THANKS

Many thanks to Takashi Hasegawa for creating MLVWM and Steffen Beyer for providing Apple/Mac icons in .xpm format.

LICENSE

TBD

Xosview icon by Oxygen Team.