FVWM-Crystal: Please let go of my eyeballs

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge Openbox fan. I’m a minimalist and a speed freak and a pragmatist, and I’m willing to go through a few hoops if it saves time or wins me back some speed later in the game.

But I have a side that likes a little splash. And splash in Openbox takes a little legwork. It can certainly be done — and when it’s done, it’s done well. But getting it done is the trick.

Then there’s something like FVWM-Crystal, which took almost no effort to get into place and then it immediately grabs me by the eyeballs and presses me up against the screen, hopelessly in love. See if it does the same for you.

Ain’t that a dandy? That’s version 3.0.4, with the CrystalZono window decorations. (Probably bad wallpaper for a demo screenshot. :roll: ) Transparent menubars, a transparent system tray, panel and workspace managers, transparent terminal windows and a see-through floating conky to boot.

And the best part is, if you look close in the picture, you can see a total memory profile of about 142Mb. That’s with mpd and gmpc running, two or three terminal windows, a hefty Iceweasel session and scrot doing the dirty work. Not much more than what I rack up with Openbox on a similar workload.

Getting things set up is still a bit of a trick, but it’s not too difficult. I even managed to symlink my wallpaper stockpile across my home network, and swap background from the system menu.

I used the somewhat-sketchy howto for setting it up here. I’m still tinkering with this, but I think it might take over on my music laptop, since it comes with mpd integration and a clean feel. I’m interested to see how it looks on a 8Mb ATi video card. I like my Openbox desktop on that machine, but this will do the same job on a similar memory profile, and is a lot prettier to look at.

More news at 11.

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8 Responses to “FVWM-Crystal: Please let go of my eyeballs”


  1. 1 xabbott 2006/12/31 at 6:16 PM

    It’s not real transparency right?

  2. 2 kmandla 2006/12/31 at 8:42 PM

    I’m not sure what you mean. The menubars, taskbars, system tray and application menus are see-through, and are tintable through the setup files. There are several different setups and styles, and the predominance are designed to be transparent in some form.

    This is a lot different than straight FVWM, which always struck me as stodgy, and not worth the time to prettify. This is quite beautiful.

  3. 3 Zigzo Blogz 2007/02/19 at 3:35 PM

    You are right, this thing is beautiful.

    I just installed it on Ubuntu and it looks Awesome, its fast as a mudda and i think the icon bar is very intuitive.

    It might take me a little getting used to but its clear that this is a very productive workspace. Right click the desktop and BAM terminal… and as you know, the terminal is where all the hot chicks hang out.

    Thanks for the post man, after reading this i decided to install it and after an apt-get install fvwm-crystal its working flawlessly.

  4. 4 Gutemberg 2009/02/10 at 3:57 AM

    It looks very nice!!!

    I’am using fvwm-crystall for about 2 weeks and everything looks pretty nice.
    How did you configure the transparent terminal?

    thanks!! :)

  5. 6 albertfuller 2011/02/08 at 2:18 AM

    I got my box in 2005 and I used KDE then went to Gnome. It’s now 2011 and my AMD athlon dual core 4200+ is really quite old and is a little slow (after prelinking etc.). When I start Gnome, my cpu is at 60%-70%. So I moved to fvwm-crystal. Now when I start fvwm-crystal my cpu is at 3%-5% and things are really very crisp.

    I was planning on buying a new box because I thought my current box was “too old.” But having switched over to fvwm-crystal I am once again happy with the performance of my computer … now at 5 years later.

    The flexability of Linux really helps when new become old and old is still very satisfactory.


  1. 1 Windowmaker takes the back seat … again « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2009/03/03 at 8:31 AM
  2. 2 Three middleweights « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2010/12/07 at 11:43 PM

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