Sawfish not (really) useful as session manager

Bug #57099 reported by Vassilis Pandis
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
sawfish (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

This is on current edgy. I did "sudo apt-get install sawfish" and then hit ctrl+alt+backspace. I chose sawfish as my session in gdm, and correctly entered username/password. I hit enter and it just hangs without loading sawfish (unless sawfish is a window manager that doesn't respond to a variety of random keypresses and left/right mouse clicks).

I'm not sure what files to attach. I took a look at various logs and I couldn't find any relevant errors. I'll be happy to include any information necessary to solve this. Thanks in advance.

(See comment #4 for a diagnosis.)

Changed in sawfish:
assignee: nobody → motu
Revision history for this message
ville palo (vi64pa) wrote :

This is reproducable on my laptop too.

Changed in sawfish:
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed
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era (era) wrote :

Sawfish in its default configuration is in fact rather sparse. The middle mouse button should bring up a menu, though.

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era (era) wrote :

Should the "confirmed" tag be reconsidered, or the description toned down a bit? While I was using Edgy, I was using Sawfish every day (still am) without any problems.

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era (era) wrote :

OK, I think I can shed some light here. Like I suspected, it seems that these people did not get what they expected (a useful session sorta kinda like Gnome) but Sawfish works as designed: you do get a menu on the middle mouse button, but nothing much else.

The proper way to use Sawfish under Gnome is not as a replacement for Gnome, but as a replacement for Metacity, or what have you (Compiz, these days?) and in that function, Sawfish continues to work brilliantly.

The fix here I think would be to remove the Sawfish option from the GDM "sessions" menu, since few people really want to replace Gnome with Sawfish, and those who do probably aren't scared of adding it to the menu by hand.

I'm guessing /usr/share/xsessions/sawfish.desktop is responsible for offering Sawfish as a session-manager option in gdm?

In the meantime, if you do want to use Sawfish as your window manager, configure it under System -> Sessions. This is somewhat tricky, because you basically want to kill metacity from underneath, then start up sawfish somehow while you are running without a window manager, and then save that as your preferrend session. I'm too chicken to attempt to provide foolproof instructions, but if I managed to do it, so can you (-:

description: updated
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era (era) wrote :

This would seem to work on Gutsy for switching to Sawfish as your window manager for Gnome.

Quit any applications you don't want to have running in your session.
Open "System > Preferences > Sessions > Current Session tab"
Find "metacity" in the list of currently running programs, and change the style from "Restart" to "Normal"; click Apply.
Start up a terminal and type in the single command line
  killall metacity ; sawfish &
In the Sessions list of currently running programs, verify that sawfish is listed now and of type "Restart".
Exit terminal (unless you want it too added to your current session).
In the Sessions dialog, switch to the Session Options dialog and click "Save the current session".
Done. You can close the Sessions dialog now.

Revision history for this message
era (era) wrote :

> This would seem to work on Gutsy for switching to Sawfish

Sorry, my bad, that was meant to say Feisty. I'll follow up with instructions for Gutsy in a jiffy, unless they're exactly the same. (At least I think it would be wise to disable Compiz before trying this, so that Metacity is in fact used as your window manager. I don't know how the Gutsy GDM scripts handle the choice between Compiz or no Compiz internally.)

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era (era) wrote :

Alternatively, see -- it would seem that you can simply add a line to your .gnomerc for much the same effect.

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rew (r-e-wolff) wrote :

I've been "addicted" to sawfish since the beginning. It works Brilliantly.

But, indeed as a "session manager" it starts up really, really sparse.
In my case I have a bunch of keyboard shortcuts configured that work (which is the main reason I use sawfish and nothing else). So when I log in under a sawfish-session, I get a blank screen and nothing else. I can then use a keyboard shortcut to get a terminal and start gnome-panel and some other stuff I need.

This is on raring......

That said... I was hoping to be able to put the commands that I normally do manually in some config file to have it automatically happen when I log in. That's what landed me on this bugreport today..... (I've been getting along for 5 years without that, but sometimes enough is enough..... :-) )

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