Fluxbox startup techniques and transparent Eterm on desktop

15.08.2005 at 17:27

Today i am writing about my favorite window manager fluxbox. I personally like to have some information about the system displayed on the desktop, therefore i am using torsmo. However torsmo doesn't really work well together with root-tail and so i began to search for another way to easily display some information from a script or file on the screen.

After a while i came up with a transparent Eterm on the desktop. So here is my ~/.fluxbox/fluxbox-startup

# we don't have to execute fluxbox
# because it is already running,
# this scirpt will be called from
# ~/.fluxbox/apps
fbsetbg ~/.fluxbox/wallpaper
torsmo &
# add a transparent eterm to the desktop
~/.fluxbox/startup/eterm-syslogd &



# eterm startup script for use on a desktop.

Eterm \
    --trans true \
    --background-color white \
    --foreground-color black \
    --pointer-color white \
    --no-cursor \
    --scrollbar false \
    --xterm-select \
    --buttonbar false \
    --font -artwiz-snap.de-normal-r-normal--10-100-75-75-p-90-iso8859-1 \
    --borderless true \
    --geometry 110x10+10+620 \
    --no-input \
    --name etermondesktop \
    --exec sudo tail -f /var/log/messages

fluxbox-startup is called via ~/.fluxbox/apps as shown below

[startup] { ~/.fluxbox/fluxbox-startup }
[app] (etermondesktop)
  [Sticky]      {yes}
  [Layer]       {12}
  [Hidden]      {yes}

This has the advantage that the file is only called when fluxbox starts up other WMs don't care about it and fluxbox style files can still use rootCommand: (for example to set a wallpaper) which wouldn't be possible if rootCommand was set in ~/.fluxbox/init.

The next few lines set specific settings for our app called etermondesktop. Because Sticky is set our Eterm will be displayed on every workspace, Hidden prevents it from being visible in the toolbar and Layer places it below all other windows.

By passing the --name etermondesktop option to Eterm our settings will apply to it.

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