FVWM-CRYSTAL(1)                  FVWM-Crystal                  FVWM-CRYSTAL(1)

       fvwm-crystal - an easy to use, eye-candy but also powerful desktop
       environment for GNU/Linux or other Unix-like operating systems.


       FVWM-Crystal aims to be an easy to use, eye-candy but also powerful
       desktop environment based on the F? Virtual Window Manager (FVWM). It
       uses following programs: FVWM as a window manager and "main core",
       icons on the desktop with support for more than 10 different file
       managers and custom commands (with optional Nautilus or ROX-Filer
       support), different terminal emulators inclusive xterm, aterm, mrxvt or
       urxvt, different music and medias players inclusive MPD, XMMS2 or
       MPlayer (there’s built-in support for controlling these programs, and
       several other tools for different functions, like setting a wallpaper
       or making screen shots. Fvwm-Crystal provide some unique features like
       the ability to bring in full screen virtually any application, and to
       flow through the full-screened applications and the desktop. In this
       document you will find a general description of FVWM-Crystal, how to
       begin with it and how to customize it.

   First Start
       FVWM-Crystal checks while your first login if ~/.fvwm-crystal exist and
       if old preferences must be converted to the new Fvwm InfoStore
       variables. In all cases, it should just start.

       FVWM-Crystal will also check your locale and create the XDG localized
       user directories if they don’t exist. Those directories are common to
       most modern OS and are used to store dedicated files. As example
       $HOME/Music, $HOME/Documents and $HOME/Pictures.

   Initial Media Player Setup
       MPlayer is the default media player. A help screen can pop-up and show
       you how to setup the Media directories preferences, which tell
       FVWM-Crystal where your music and movie files are. You can do it now or
       later, but it must be done before to use the play-lists features found
       in the Music menu (or button).

       For that, edit the file ~/.fvwm-crystal/preferences/MediaDirectories:

           audio $HOME/Music
           video $HOME/Video
           cdrom /dev/cdrom0
           dvd /dev/cdrom1

       You can put as many lines you need. Each line have the following

           type path

       where type is one of [audio video cdrom dvd] and path is the full path
       to a directory or a device. Devices are used only for cd and dvd. Note
       that all players doesn’t support all the provided features. Their
       respective menus will be adjusted accordingly.

       As example, you can have:

           audio /home/name/Music
           video /home/name/Video
           audio /mnt/work/Music
           video /mnt/usb/Video
           dvd /dev/cdrom

       When you are done, save the file. You can load the control for your
       preferred player from the preferences menu

           Crystal -> Music -> Player -> Music player

       or from the menu on the first music button.

       In the same menu, you will find Recreate the playlists. This script
       will scan the paths pointed by the MediaDirectories preference file,
       and create the play-lists into $HOME/.fvwm-crystal/Playlists. They will
       be separated into an Audio and a Video part. We can call them the
       Crystal play-lists. Don’t edit those files, all your changes will be
       lost the next time you run Recreate the playlists. Instead, 2 other
       directories will be created: $HOME/Playlists/Audio and
       $HOME/Playlists/Video. They are the User play-lists.

       In the same Music menu, the play-lists operation are grouped. You can
       of course load them into the selected player. Copy playlist will copy
       the selected play-list from the Crystal play-lists to the User
       play-lists. Remove playlist will remove the selected play-lists from
       the User play-lists. Some players provide they own play-lists
       management system, FVWM-Crystal try to support them as well.

       Some supported players must be setup before FVWM-Crystal can use them.
       For that, please refer to their respective documentation. If you have a
       DVB card, please refer also to the linuxtv.org V4L-DVB Wiki at

   Mixer Setup
       FVWM-Crystal default mixer is AlsaMixer (via amixer). It must have dB
       support for most, if not all, sound cards, which is a must. It is no
       default setup because the ALSA control names vary from card to card. To
       setup the mixer, just go into the preferences of the Music menu or via
       a right click on the second music button.

       The amixer control was fully rewritten, and it use the native steps of
       the ALSA driver for the card in use.

       For the other mixers, the dB scale is approximated.

   Desktop Organisation
       19 different desktop layouts, named recipes, are available.

       Some are very simple and provide very few decorations. Others provide
       many buttons and decorations. A few of them mimic existing OS, like
       Nebulae which loosely mimic Windows, or Amiga which mimic the Amiga OS.

       You can change them via Fvwm-Crystal system menu:

           Preferences -> Recipes -> System

       The other preferences apply to all recipes and are independent from
       each others. By example, you can choose to have desktop icons showing
       the XDG user directories and the mounted partitions, and to not show
       applications icons.

       It is 2 menus, the system menu available with Alt + Win_R (Meta +
       Windows Right) and the application menu available with Alt + Menu (Meta
       + a "menu" key). A menu can also be available by holding a Left click
       on the root window (the desktop) if selected in System â Preferences â
       Desktop menu (On by default). The content of that menu depend on the
       recipe in use.

       With FVWM > 2.6.5, a supplementary XDG application menu is available
       with *Alt + A" if selected in the preferences menu.

       Decorations common to all recipes
           Not all recipes use all followings decorations called buttons, but
           they can be used in any recipe, inclusive your own ones.

           The "Crystal" Button
               or "FvwmButtons-MainMenu" is the little button with a diamond.

               There are some mouse bindings available:

               ·   left clicking open the system menu

               ·   middle clicking open the wallpaper menu

               ·   right clicking on some recipes open the applications menu

               The Amiga recipe is different:

               ·   left clicking shift the top bar to a menu bar and back

               ·   middle clicking open the wallpaper menu

               ·   right clicking open the system menu

               When the button is located at the top left corner:

               ·   mouse wheeling will change the screen resolution

           The Media Buttons
               They are 4 grouped media buttons - FvwmButtons-Music -
               providing controls and menus for the supported media players
               and mixers. For a description of their bindings, consult man
               MouseBindings and man KeyboardBindings, or the html

               The same functionalities are provided by the Music menu, which
               is located in the System menu.

               The supported media players are alsaplayer, audacious, cdcd,
               cmus, mocp, mpd, mplayer, mplayer2, quodlibet and xmms2.

               The supported audio mixers are alsamixer and aumix, plus the
               mixers of the players.  QJackCTL is also supported.

               ·   left clicking on the first media button will open a menu.

               In it, Music player is where you choose the player and can
               start it.  Recreate the playlists will scan your music and
               video files and create the play-lists for you. For that, it
               will use the preferences file you edited in the section "First
               Start". It is also a mixer preferences menu where you can
               choose the mixer and the sound card.

               Each player have its own features set, and the Music menu and
               functions will change accordingly.

               As example, with cdcd you have a cd player and you will be able
               to control it, when with mplayer, you have an universal media
               player, and FVWM-Crystal will even recognize if you have a DVB
               card and use it. Basic stream capture is enabled and use the
               standard C MPlayer key binding. See man mplayer. This will
               create a stream dump in $HOME. That file will be usable only
               with MPEG sources, and it can be edited with applications like

           The Application Panel
               It is an auto generated panel which provide one button for each
               FreeDesktop menu main category. The icon of each button is the
               icon of the preferred application of that category. The mouse
               bindings available are:

               ·   left clicking open the application menu of the category

               ·   middle clicking on some recipes launch the second preferred

               ·   right clicking launch the preferred application

               These menus have full support for the additional FreeDesktop
               categories, which mean much less modifications will be needed
               in comparison with many other desktops. And last but not least,
               your modifications will never been lost. It is why at the first
               place I begun with Crystal and I will keep it that way. See man
               ApplicationDatabase for how to customize the application menu
               (the examples are at the end).

               More: the files in the applications database are scripts. You
               can put anything you want into them. You will find them into
               $prefix/share/fvwm-crystal/fvwm/Applications and
               $HOME/.fvwm-crystal/Applications, and can copy them from this
               first location to the second one. The files in the second path
               will take the precedence. The same apply for the icons

               The same database is used to generate the application menu
               available with the system menu on some recipes, and with the
               Alt+Menu key binding.

               The application database provided by FVWM_Crystal contain a
               large set of menu entries and application icons. You can
               generate extra database menu entries and icons from the
               preferences menu:

               Diamond -> Preferences -> Generate application menu+

           This will populate $HOME/.fvwm-crystal/Applications and

           + The 2 first time you run this script, it will copy 2 preferences
           files and show help messages.

           + Those files are $HOME/.fvwm-crystal/preferences/IconDirs and
           $HOME/.fvwm-crystal/preferences/DesktopDirs. They must contain the
           full path to where the icon and desktop files provided by the
           applications are stored, typically something like /usr/share/icons
           and /usr/share/pixmaps for the icons, and /usr/share/applications
           and /usr/share/applications/kde4 for the desktop files. The 2
           preference files are self explained.

           The Clock
               As its name describe it, a clock.

           The Pager
               It is a miniature illustration of the virtual desktop pages
               with mini windows. By clicking on each of the segments you can
               change the page.

               For a description of the bindings, see "man MouseBindings". *
               Some recipes provide only a small button. Clicking on it will
               show or hide the pager.

               The number of desktop pages can be changed on the fly from the
               preferences menu, option Desktop geometry. If necessary,
               windows will be moved on the last available desktop page.

           Notification area
               Both stalonetray and trayer are supported. For best support
               will all recipes, use stalonetray.

           Icon Manager
               A recipe can provide several icon managers, or only one, or not
               at all. They can show the icons from the running applications
               on the whole desktop or on the current desktop page. They can
               be grouped by applications type like terminals or other
               application types. The application name can be shown in the
               icon manager or as a tool-tip when the mouse is over the icon.
               And different actions are bound to these icons.

               Some recipes provide an icon manager for the iconic
               applications. With these recipes, no application icons will be
               on the desktop, independently of what choice was made in the

           Desktop Icons
               It is 2 types of icons: application icons and desktop icons.

               Desktop icons are typically used to launch a file browser at a
               given path. You can choose in Preferences â Desktop manager how
               FVWM-Crystal will manage them:

               ·    None will remove the desktop icons

               ·    FVWM-Crystal will let FVWM-Crystal manage these icons

               ·    ROX_Filer will manage these icons

               ·    Nautilus will manage these icons.

               You can change on the fly between None and FVWM-Crystal. The
               other changes need to logout and restart Xorg and FVWM-Crystal.
               At that time of writing, the FVWM-Crystal-3.4.0 desktop icon
               managing is mature enough to considerer that ROX-Filer and
               Nautilus are provided only as a commodity or for backward
               compatibility or convenience. (See man CrystalRoxHOWTO for

               When FVWM-Crystal is selected, it will show all its icons by
               default. Right clicking on the Home icon will open the Desktop
               icons preference menu. the Home icon is mandatory, both the XDG
               user directories icons, the partitions icons are optionals and
               the User managed directories are optionals.

               In the same menu, you can select the actions for the left and
               middle clicks. Several file managers have built-in support:
               Thunar, Worker (a very good Directory Opus clone), Midnight
               Commander (mc in short), ROX-Filer, Nautilus, Krusader, Xfm,
               4Pane, Ranger (a Vim like file manager), PCMan FM, gentoo
               (another dopus clone), Konqueror, emelFM2 (which, like mc,
               support extfs), Dolphin and SpaceFM.

               A custom command can also be set where both console commands
               and X commands can be used. A self documented form will be
               launched, which let you update and save the configuration.

               If pmount-gui is installed, the contextual menu of the Home
               icon will show 2 options for mounting and unmounting the
               removable devices. The contextual menu of the partition’s icons
               will show the mount points of the patitions and an item for
               umounting the partitions. This options will use pumount if the
               partition is mounted in /media, umount otherwise. You will also
               get menu items to mount the unmounted partitions, if they are
               present in /etc/fstab with the option user(s).

           Application Icons
               They are the icons of the iconic applications. This will work
               only with the recipe that doesn’t provide an icon manager for

       Preferences â Type of icons

           you can choose between:
           * +None+
           * +Thumbnails+
           * +Amiga+
           * +Mwm+

           +Amiga+ and +Mwm+ will show the application icons. Simple clicking on the +Amiga+ style icons will restore the application window. Double clicking on the +Mwm+ style icons will do the same.

           Full Screen Navigation

       For what I know, FVWM-Crystal is the only GNU/Linux desktop that
       provide that feature.

       In short, Full Screen Navigation is the ability to bring in full screen
       virtually any application, and to navigate between these full-screened
       applications, as well than between them and the desktop.

       It can be many useful use cases for it. As example, if you have several
       browser windows open and want to zap quickly. Or with a file manager
       like mc which is limited to 2 panels. It is one limitation: the full
       screened windows must be on the same desktop page. This limitation is a
       force at the same time, because you can zap the desktop pages too, and
       you can have full-screened and "normal" windows in any desktop page at
       the same time.

       Try it. Launch a few applications on the current desktop pages ans put
       them in full screen with Alt + KP_*. When this is done, use Alt + Shift
       + KP_* to zap between the full screened windows and the desktop. With
       Alt + F<n>, you can zap the desktop pages.

       In fact, this functionality is not new. It was already available with
       the first Amiga computer in 1985, when Windows was not born and the Mac
       was boring in black and white. It was called the window stack. With the
       Amiga recipe, simple clicking on the button at the top right corner
       provide that function too.

       Most preferences are applied on the fly. To change from or to the
       ROX-Filer or Nautilus desktop manager need a restart.

       Select recipe
           Select a recipe.

       Desktop geometry
           Select the number of desktop pages from 1 to 9.

       Characters fonts
           Launch FVWM-Crystal font selector dialog.  Panel font is used by
           the buttons, Tittle font by the window title bars, and Menu font by
           menus. FVWM-Crystal support xft fonts and this dialog let you
           visualize the fonts, save and apply the fonts, as well than edit,
           save and restore the example string. Restore will restore the
           example string to its original value. To restore it to its saved
           value, you have to quit and launch again the font selector.

       Handle width
           Set the handle width between 1 to 7 pixels. Handles are used to
           resize the windows with the mouse. See also *man KeyboardBindings".

           Start and stop translucency. Off by default, this setting will not
           survive a restart. When On, you can use the mouse wheel on the
           window title bars to set their translucency.

       Bling bling
           Start and stop the bling bling. It is an effect that will shift the
           translucency with the focus. This setting is Off by default and
           will not survive a restart. Translucency can have a negative impact
           with some softwares like MPlayer. In the worst case, shift to a
           primary console with Ctrl + Alt + F<n>, login, run killall mplayer
           or killall -9 mplayer, and get back to FVWM-Crystal with Alt + F7.

       Default terminal
           Set the terminal available with Right click on the root window.
           Possible choices: GNOME-Terminal, Multi-GNOME-Terminal,
           XFCE4-Terminal, Terminator, MRxvt, URxvt+, ATerm, ETerm and XTerm.

       Fvwm console terminal
           Set FVWM console terminal, Alt + ; will show/hide it, and it will
           be present on all desktop pages. It will only send commands to
           FVWM. Very useful to try any FVWM command.

       QuakeConsole termianl
           Set terminal for the QuakeConsole.  Alt + ' (grave) will show/hide
           it, and it will be present on all desktop pages. You can use it for
           whatever console you want, by example htop. Supported by these 2
           last terminal are MRxvt, URxvt, ATerm and XTerm.

       Desktop manager
           Select the manager for the desktop icons. See above.

       Icon type
           Select the icon type for iconic applications. See above.

       Desktop menu
           Set On or Off the menu available with left clicking. With
           FVWM>2.6.5, you can also set On or Off the XDG menu Alt + A

       Notification area manager
           Select stalonetray or trayer, and let you choose the size of the
           area between 0 to 20 icons.

       Focus policy
           Select the focus policy between

           ·    Amiga - click to focus without raise

           ·    FVWM-Crystal -enter to focus without raise

           ·    FVWM-Crystal with raise - enter to focus with raise

           ·    MS Windows - click to focus with raise.

       With the without raise policies, a click on a title bar will raise the

       Privileged terminals
           With URxvt and ETerm, set the FPOverrideGrabFocus style. Such
           terminals will never loose the focus.

       Generate application menu
           Generate the databse entries and icons for the applications menu.

       Silent operations
           Add "2>/dev/null" at the end of most commands launched by

       Preferences editor
           Launch the Preferences editor which let you set several preference
           files and variables:

           ·    Startup - launch applications at startup

           ·    ShowDirectories - custom directories shown by FVWM_Crystal
               Desktop Manager

           ·    Browser - The default browser (BROWSER environmental variable)

           ·    Editor - The default editor (EDITOR environmental variable)

           ·    DesktopDirs - The paths for the application type desktop files

           ·    IconsDirs - The paths for the application icons

           ·    MediaDirectories - The paths for your media files

           ·    FullscreenApps - Set the applications you want in full screen
               by default

       Key binding modifiers editor
           Let you set which key are used as modifiers with the key bindings.
           This is useful if the key bindings of FVWM-Crystal collide with the
           key bindings of your prefered application (ardour, emas,
           whatever...). In most cases, to change Mod1 Meta is sufficient. I
           use 4 for the left windows key for it.

   Structure of Fvwm-Crystal
       FVWM-Crystal is split into system-wide files, a system-wide
       configuration, and an user-wide configuration.

       The system part is located in /usr/local/share/fvwm-crystal/fvwm
       (default) or /usr/share/fvwm-crystal/fvwm (distribution related). We
       can call it <system>

       The system configuration part is located in /etc/X11/fvwm/fvwm-crystal.
       Call it <config>

       The user part is located in ~/.fvwm-crystal. <user>

       You can copy any file from the system part (without the /fvwm/) to the
       2 other parts. For each file, files in the user part will be used first
       if they exist. If they don’t exist, FVWM-Crystal will use the files in
       the system configuration part (empty be default), and if they don’t
       exist, it will use the files in the system part. This is true for all
       files loaded with the Include command, which is the case for allmost
       all FVWM-Crystal files.

   Location of some Files and their Function
       <system>/config will be the first file loaded by FVWM. It initialize
       some variables and load the whole FVWM-Crystal configuration, inclusive
       the recipe in use.

       <system>/components/Standard is the second file loaded by FVWM. It
       contain the functions used to load the other files with respect to
       their priorities part order. After, it load other files with functions
       used in many places.

       The other files in <system> are grouped in directories. Each directory
       correspond to a group of functions. For example, <system>/preferences
       are for the default preferences, <system>/apps are functions to control
       some main features of FVWM-Crstal like the Desktop Icons, the Screen
       Saver, or the Fvwm Console.

       As a rule, make small modification at a time. And RTFM. FVWM is not so
       difficult, but it is very complex. This complexity make things harder.
       So, try to keep focused on one thing at a time.

       FVWM documentation is huge, The best place to read it is on the FVWM
       website where you will find an html version, which ease the navigation.
       Use the stable 2.6 branch, the unstable 2.7 is outdated and will not
       work well with FVWM-Crystal.

   Autostart of Applications
       Copy <system>/preferences/Startup to <user>/preferences/Startup and put
       your commands here.

   Custom FVWM Commands
       Create the file <user>/userconfig and put your FVWM commands here. It
       will be the last loaded file.

       This man page was written by Dominique Michel
       <dominique_libre@users.sourceforge.net> © 2013-2015. I am sorry for my
       bad English, and if you don’t like it or can improve it, please
       considere to contribute.

       FVWM-Crystal and all the scripts and other files coming with the
       distribution are subject to the GNU General Public License (GPL).
       Please refer to the COPYING file that came with FVWM-Crystal for

       Bug reports can be sent to the fvwm-crystal-users mailing list at

       KeyboardBindings(1), MouseBindings(1), FVWMCrystalFAQ(1), TIPS(1),
       CrystalRoxHOWTO(1), ApplicationDatabase(1)

fvwm-crystal 3.4.0                12/31/2015                   FVWM-CRYSTAL(1)