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FVWM(1) General Commands Manual FVWM(1)


fvwm - F(?) Virtual Window Manager (version 2.xx) for X11


fvwm [ options ]


Fvwm is a window manager for X11. It is a derivative of twm, redesigned to minimize memory consumption, provide a 3-D look to window frames, and provide a simple virtual desktop. Version 2.xx uses only slightly more memory than 1.xx, mostly due to some global options being able to be window specific now.
Fvwm provides both a large virtual desktop and multiple disjoint desktops which can be used separately or together. The virtual desktop allows you to pretend that your video screen is really quite large, and you can scroll around within the desktop. The multiple disjoint desktops allow you to pretend that you really have several screens to work at, but each screen is completely unrelated to the others.
Fvwm provides keyboard accelerators which allow you to perform most window-manager functions, including moving and resizing windows, and operating the window-manager's menus, using keyboard shortcuts.
Fvwm has also blurred the distinction between configuration commands and built-in commands that most window-managers make. Configuration commands typically set fonts, colors, menu contents, key and mouse function bindings, while built-in commands typically do things like raise and lower windows. Fvwm makes no such distinction, and allows, to the extent that is practical, anything to be changed at any time.
Other noteworthy differences between Fvwm and other X11 window managers are the introduction of the SloppyFocus and per-window focus methods. SloppyFocus is focus-follows-mouse, but focus is not removed from windows when the mouse leaves a window and enters the root window. When sloppy focus is used as the default focus style, it is nice to make windows in which you do not typically type into (xmag, xman, xgraph, xclock, xbiff, etc) click-to-focus, so that your terminal window doesn't lose focus unnecessarily.


Since fvwm is derived from twm code it shares twm's copyrights. Since nearly every line of twm code has been changed, the twm copyright has been removed from most of the individual code files. I do still recognize the influence of twm code in the overall package, so fvwm's copyright is still considered to be the same as twm's.
Please consult the COPYING file that has come with your distribution for details.


Fvwm puts a decorative border around most windows. This border consists of a bar on each side and a small "L" shaped section on each corner. There is an additional top bar called the title bar which is used to display the name of the window. In addition, there are up to 10 title-bar buttons. The top, side, and bottom bars are collectively known as the side-bars. The corner pieces are called the frame.
Unless the standard defaults files are modified, pressing mouse button 1 in the title or side-bars will begin a move operation on the window. Pressing button 1 in the corner frame pieces will begin a resize operation. Pressing button 2 anywhere in the border brings up an extensive list of window operations.
Up to ten title-bar buttons may exist. Their use is completely user definable. The default configuration has a title-bar button on each side of the title-bar. The one on the left is used to bring up a list of window options, regardless of which mouse button is used. The one on the right is used to iconify the window. The number of title-bar buttons used depends on which ones have mouse actions bound to them. See the section on the "Mouse" configuration parameter below.


Fvwm provides multiple virtual desktops for users who wish to use them. The screen is a viewport onto a desktop which may be larger than the screen. Several distinct desktops can be accessed (concept: one desktop for each project, or one desktop for each application, when view applications are distinct). Since each desktop can be larger than the physical screen, divided into m by n pages which are each the size of the physical screen, windows which are larger than the screen or large groups of related windows can easily be viewed.
The (m by n) size (i.e. number of pages) of the virtual desktops can be changed any time, by using the DeskTopSize built-in command. All virtual desktops must be (are) the same size. The total number of distinct desktops need not be specified, but is limited to approximately 4 billion total. All windows on a range of desktops can be viewed in the Pager, a miniature view of the desktops. The pager is an accessory program, called a module, which is not essential for the window manager to operate. Windows may also be listed, along with their geometries, in a window list, accessible as a pop-up menu, or as a separate window, called the FvwmWinList (another module).
"Sticky" windows are windows which transcend the virtual desktop by "Sticking to the screen's glass." They always stay put on the screen. This is convenient for things like clocks and xbiff's, so you only need to run one such gadget and it always stays with you. Icons can also be made to stick to the glass, if desired.
Window geometries are specified relative to the current viewport. That is:
xterm -geometry +0+0
will always show up in the upper-left hand corner of the visible portion of the screen. It is permissible to specify geometries which place windows on the virtual desktop, but off the screen. For example, if the visible screen is 1000 by 1000 pixels, and the desktop size is 3x3, and the current viewport is at the upper left hand corner of the desktop, then invoking:
xterm -geometry +1000+1000
will place the window just off of the lower right hand corner of the screen. It can be found by moving the mouse to the lower right hand corner of the screen and waiting for it to scroll into view.
A geometry specified as something like:
xterm -geometry -5-5
will generally place the window's lower right hand corner 5 pixels from the lower right corner of the visible portion of the screen. Not all applications support window geometries with negative offsets. Some will place the window's upper right hand corner 5 pixels above and to the left of the upper left hand corner of the screen; others may do just plain bizarre things.
There are several ways to cause a window to map onto a desktop or page other than the currently active one. The geometry technique mentioned above (specifying x,y coordinates larger than the physical screen size), however, suffers from the limitation of being interpreted relative to the current viewport: the window will not consistently appear on a specific page, unless you always invoke the application from the same page.
A better way to place windows on a different page or desk from the currently mapped viewport is to use the StartsOnPage style specification (the successor to the older StartsOnDesk style) in the .fvwmrc configuration file. The placement is consistent: it does not depend on your current location on the virtual desktop.
Some applications that understand standard Xt command line arguments and X resources, like xterm and xfontsel, allow the user to specify the start-up desk or page on the command line:
xterm -xrm "*Desk:1"
will start an xterm on desk number 1;
xterm -xrm "*Page:3 2 1"
will start an xterm two pages to the right and one down from the upper left hand page of desk number 3. Not all applications understand the use of these options, however.
You could achieve the same results with the following lines in your
XTerm*Desk: 1
XTerm*Page: 3 2 1


During initialization, fvwm will search for a configuration file which describes key and button bindings, and a few other things. The format of these files will be described later. First, fvwm will search for a file named .fvwmrc in the user's home directory, then in ${sysconfdir} (typically /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fvwm). Failing that, it will look for system.fvwmrc in ${sysconfdir} for system-wide defaults. If that file is not found, fvwm will be basically useless.
Fvwm will set two environment variables which will be inherited by its children. These are $DISPLAY which describes the display on which fvwm is running. $DISPLAY may be unix:0.0 or :0.0, which doesn't work too well when passed through rsh to another machine, so $HOSTDISPLAY will also be set and will use a network-ready description of the display. $HOSTDISPLAY will always use the TCP/IP transport protocol (even for a local connection) so $DISPLAY should be used for local connections, as it may use Unix-domain sockets, which are faster.
Fvwm has three special functions for initialization: StartFunction, which is executed on startups and restarts; InitFunction and RestartFunction, which are executed during Initialization and Restarts (respectively) just after StartFunction. These may be customized in a user's rc file via the AddToFunc facility (described later) to start up modules, xterms, or whatever you'd like to have started by fvwm.
Fvwm also has a special exit function: ExitFunction, executed when exiting or restarting before actually quitting or anything else. It could be used to explicitly kill modules, etc.


Fvwm has a number of compile-time options to reduce memory usage by limiting the use of certain features. If you have trouble using a certain command or feature, check to see if support for it was included at compile time. Optional features are described in the config.h file.


The basic Fvwm configuration uses monochrome bitmap icons, similar to twm. If XPM extensions are compiled in, then color icons similar to ctwm, MS-Windows, or the Macintosh icons can be used. In order to use these options you will need the XPM package, as described in the INSTALL.fvwm file.
If both the SHAPE and XPM options are compiled in you will get shaped color icons, which are very spiffy.


A module is a separate program which runs as a separate Unix process but transmits commands to fvwm to execute. Users can write their own modules to do any weird or bizarre manipulations without bloating or affecting the integrity of fvwm itself.
Modules MUST be spawned by fvwm so that it can set up two pipes for fvwm and the module to communicate with. The pipes will already be open for the module when it starts and the file descriptors for the pipes are provided as command line arguments.
Modules can be spawned during fvwm at any time during the X session by use of the Module built-in command. Modules can exist for the duration of the X session, or can perform a single task and exit. If the module is still active when fvwm is told to quit, then fvwm will close the communication pipes and wait to receive a SIGCHLD from the module, indicating that it has detected the pipe closure and has exited. If modules fail to detect the pipe closure fvwm will exit after approximately 30 seconds anyway. The number of simultaneously executing modules is limited by the operating system's maximum number of simultaneously open files, usually between 60 and 256.
Modules simply transmit text commands to the fvwm built-in command engine. Text commands are formatted just as in the case of a mouse binding in the .fvwmrc setup file. Certain auxiliary information is also transmitted, as in the sample module FvwmButtons. The FvwmButtons module is documented in its own man page.


Fvwm attempts to be ICCCM 1.1 compliant. In addition, ICCCM states that it should be possible for applications to receive ANY keystroke, which is not consistent with the keyboard shortcut approach used in fvwm and most other window managers. In particular you cannot have the same keyboard shortcuts working with your fvwm2 and another fvwm2 running within Xnest (a nested X server). The same problem exists with mouse bindings.
The ICCCM states that windows possessing the property
    Client accepts input or input focus: False
should not be given the keyboard input focus by the window manager. These windows can take the input focus by themselves, however. A number of applications set this property, and yet expect the window-manager to give them the keyboard focus anyway, so fvwm provides a window-style, "Lenience", which will allow fvwm to overlook this ICCCM rule.


M4 pre-processing is handled by a module in fvwm-2.0. To get more details, try man FvwmM4. In short, if you want fvwm to parse your files with m4, then replace the word "Read" with "FvwmM4" in your .fvwmrc file (if it appears at all), and start fvwm with the command
fvwm -cmd "FvwmM4 .fvwmrc"


Cpp is the C-language pre-processor. fvwm-2.0 offers cpp processing which mirrors the m4 pre-processing. To find out about it, re-read the M4 section above, but replace "m4" with "cpp".


Windows can be automatically raised when it receives focus, or some number of milliseconds after it receives focus, by using the auto-raise module, FvwmAuto.


These are the command line options that are recognized by fvwm:
The screen is blacked out during window recaptures and startup. This option is provided for backwards compatibility only.
-cmd config_command
Causes fvwm to use config_command instead of "Read .fvwmrc" as its initialization command. (Note that up to 10 -f and -cmd parameters can be given, and they are executed in the order specified.)
-d displayname
Manage the display called "displayname" instead of the name obtained from the environment variable $DISPLAY.
Puts X transactions in synchronous mode, which dramatically slows things down, but guarantees that fvwm's internal error messages are correct. Also causes fvwm to output debug messages while running.
-f config_file
Causes fvwm to Read config_file instead of ".fvwmrc" as its initialization file. This is equivalent to -cmd "Read config_file".
A short usage description is printed.
On a multi-screen display, run fvwm only on the screen named in the $DISPLAY environment variable or provided through the -d option. Normally, fvwm will attempt to start up on all screens of a multi-screen display.
Print the version of fvwm to stderr.


The configuration file is used to describe mouse and button bindings, colors, the virtual display size, and related items. The initialization configuration file is typically called ".fvwmrc". By using the "Read" built-in, it is easy to read in new configuration files as you go.
Lines beginning with '#' will be ignored by fvwm. Lines starting with '*' are expected to contain module configuration commands (rather than configuration commands for fvwm itself).
Fvwm makes no distinction between configuration commands and built-in commands, so anything mentioned in the built-in commands section can be placed on a line by itself for fvwm to execute as it reads the configuration file, or it can be placed as an executable command in a menu or bound to a mouse button or a keyboard key. It is left as an exercise for the user to decide which function make sense for initialization and which ones make sense for run-time.


Fvwm supports a set of built-in functions which can be bound to keyboard or mouse buttons. If fvwm expects to find a built-in function in a command, but fails, it will check to see if the specified command should have been "Function (rest of command)" or "Module (rest of command)". This allows complex functions or modules to be invoked in a manner which is fairly transparent to the configuration file.
Example: the .fvwmrc file contains the line "HelpMe". Fvwm will look for a built-in command called "HelpMe", and will fail. Next it will look for a user-defined complex function called "HelpMe". If no such user defined function exists, Fvwm will try to execute a module called "HelpMe".
In previous versions of fvwm, quoting was critical and irrational in the .fvwmrc file. As of fvwm-2, most of this has been cleared up. Quotes are required only when needed to make fvwm consider two or more words to be a single argument. Unnecessary quoting is allowed. If you want a quote character in your text, you must escape it by using the backslash character. For example, if you have a pop-up menu called Window-Ops, then you don't need quotes: Popup Window-Ops, but if you replace the dash with a space, then you need quotes: Popup "Window Ops".
AddButtonStyle button [ state ] [ style ] [-- [!]flag ...]
Adds a button style to button. button can be a button number, or one of "All," "Left," or "Right." state can be "ActiveUp," "ActiveDown" or "Inactive." If state is omitted, then the style is added to every state. If the button style and flags are enclosed in parentheses, then multiple state definitions can be placed on a single line. Flags for additional button styles cannot be changed after definition.
Buttons are drawn in the order of definition, beginning with the most recent ButtonStyle, followed by those added with AddButtonStyle. To clear the button style stack, change style flags, or for descriptions of available styles and flags, see the ButtonStyle command. Examples:
ButtonStyle 1 Pixmap led.xpm -- Top Left
ButtonStyle 1 ActiveDown HGradient 8 grey \
ButtonStyle All --  UseTitleStyle
AddButtonStyle 1 ActiveUp (Pixmap a.xpm)  \
  ActiveDown (Pixmap b.xpm -- Top)
AddButtonStyle 1 Vector 4 50x30@1 70x70@0 \
  30x70@0 50x30@1
Initially for this example all button states are set to a pixmap. The second line replaces the ActiveDown state with a gradient (it overrides the pixmap assigned to it in the line before, which assigned the same style to every state). Then, the UseTitleStyle flag is set for all buttons, which causes fvwm to draw any styles set with TitleStyle before drawing the buttons. Finally, AddButtonStyle is used to place additional pixmaps for both ActiveUp and ActiveDown states and a Vector button style is drawn on top of all state.
AddTitleStyle [ state ] [ style ] [ -- [!]flag ... ]
Adds a title style to the title bar. state should be one of "ActiveUp," "ActiveDown," or "Inactive." If state is omitted, then the style is added to every state. If the style and flags are enclosed in parentheses, then multiple state definitions can be placed on a single line. This command is quite similar to the AddButtonStyle command (see above).
Title bars are drawn in the order of definition, beginning with the most recent TitleStyle, followed by those added with AddTitleStyle. To clear the title style stack, change style flags, or for the descriptions of available styles and flags, see the TitleStyle and ButtonStyle commands.
AddToDecor decor
Add or divert commands to the decor named decor. A decor is a name given to the set of commands which affect button styles, title-bar styles, border styles, hilight colors, and window fonts. If decor does not exist it is created; otherwise the existing decor is modified.
Created decors start out exactly like the default fvwm decor without any style definitions. A given decor may be applied to a set of windows with the UseDecor option of the Style command. Modifying an existing decor will affect windows which are currently assigned to it.
AddToDecor is similar in usage to the AddToMenu and AddToFunc commands, except that menus and functions are replaced by ButtonStyle, AddButtonStyle, TitleStyle, AddTitleStyle, BorderStyle, HilightColor and WindowFont commands. Decors created with AddToDecor can be manipulated with ChangeDecor, DestroyDecor, UpdateDecor, and the UseDecor Style option.
The following example creates a decor and style, both named "flatness." Despite having the same name, they are distinct entities:
AddToDecor flatness
 + ButtonStyle All ActiveUp (-- flat) \
   Inactive (-- flat)
 + TitleStyle -- flat
 + BorderStyle -- HiddenHandles NoInset
 + HilightColor white navy
Style "flatness" UseDecor flatness, \
  Color white/grey40,HandleWidth 4
Style "xterm" UseStyle flatness
An existing window's decor may be reassigned with ChangeDecor, or a Style command followed by a Recapture. The decorations of all windows or of a specific decor can be updated with UpdateDecor (useful after decorations are modified; changing Style options requires a Recapture instead). A decor can be destroyed with DestroyDecor.
AddToFunc [ name [ trigger action] ]
Begins or add to a function definition. Here's an example:
AddToFunc Move-or-Raise "I" Raise
 + "M" Move
 + "D" Lower
The function name is Move-or-Raise, and could be invoked from a menu or a mouse binding or key binding:
Mouse 1 TS A Move-or-Raise
The quoted portion of the function tells what kind of action will trigger the command which follows it. "I" stands for Immediate, and is executed as soon as the function is invoked. "M" stands for Motion, i.e. if the user starts moving the mouse. "C" stands for Click, i.e., if the user presses and releases the mouse in a short period of time (ClickTime milliseconds). "D" stands for double-click. The action "I" will cause an action to be performed on the button-press, if the function is invoked with prior knowledge of which window to act on.
The special symbols $d, $w and $0 through $9 are available in the ComplexFunctions or Macros, or whatever you want to call them. Within a macro, $w is expanded to the window-id (expressed in hex, i.e. 0x10023c) of the window for which the macro was called and $d is expanded to the current desk number. $0 through $9 are the arguments to the macro, so if you call
Key F10 R A Function MailFunction \
  xmh "-font fixed"
and MailFunction is
AddToFunc MailFunction
 + "I" Next ($0) Iconify -1
 + "I" Next ($0) focus
 + "I" None ($0) Exec exec $0 $1
Then the last line of the function becomes
 + "I" None (xmh) Exec exec xmh -font fixed
The expansion is performed as the function is executed, so you can use the same function with all sorts of different arguments. I could use
Key F11 R A Function MailFunction \
  zmail "-bg pink"
in the same .fvwmrc, if I wanted. An example of using $w is:
AddToFunc PrintFunction
 + "I" Raise
 + "I" Exec xdpr -id $w
Note that $$ is expanded to $.
AddToMenu menu-name [ menu-label action ]
Begins or adds to a menu definition. Typically a menu definition looks like this:
AddToMenu Utilities "Utilities" Title
 + "Xterm"         Exec  exec xterm -e tcsh
 + "Rxvt"          Exec  exec rxvt
 + "Remote Logins" Popup Remote-Logins
 + "Top"           Exec  exec rxvt -T Top -n \
                   Top -e top
 + "Calculator"    Exec  exec xcalc
 + "Xman"          Exec  exec xman
 + "Xmag"          Exec  exec xmag
 + "emacs"         Exec  exec xemacs
 + "Mail"          MailFunction \
                   xmh "-font fixed"
 + ""              Nop
 + "Modules"       Popup Module-Popup
 + ""              Nop
 + "Exit Fvwm"     Popup Quit-Verify
The menu could be invoked via
Mouse 1 R A Menu Utilities Nop
Mouse 1 R A Popup Utilities
There is no end-of-menu symbol. Menus do not have to be defined in a contiguous region of the .fvwmrc file. The quoted portion in the above examples is the menu-label, which will appear in the menu when the user pops it up. The remaining portion is a built-in command which should be executed if the user selects that menu item. An empty menu-label ("") and the Nop function can be used to insert a separator into the menu.
Titles can be used within the menu. If you add the option "top" behind the keyword "Title", the title will be added to the top of the menu. If there was a title already, it is overwritten.
AddToMenu Utilities "Tools" Title top
All text up to the first TAB in the menu label is aligned to the left side of the menu, all text right of the first TAB is aligned to the right side. All other TABs are replaced by spaces.
If the menu-label contains an ampersand ('&'), the next character is taken as a hotkey for the menu item. Hotkeys are underlined in the label. To get a literal '&', insert '&&'.
If the menu-label contains a sub-string which is set off by stars, then the text between the stars is expected to be the name of an xpm-icon or bitmap-file to insert in the menu. To get a literal '*', insert '**'.For example
 + "Calculator*xcalc.xpm*" Exec exec xcalc
inserts a menu item labeled "calculator" with a picture of a calculator above it. The following:
 + "*xcalc.xpm*"           Exec exec xcalc
Omits the "Calculator" label, but leaves the picture.
If the menu-label contains a sub-string which is set off by percent signs, then the text between the percent signs is expected to be the name of an xpm-icon or bitmap-file to insert to the left of the menu label. To get a literal '%', insert '%%'. For example
 + "Calculator%xcalc.xpm%" Exec exec xcalc
inserts a menu item labeled "calculator" with a picture of a calculator to the left. The following:
 + "%xcalc.xpm%"           Exec exec xcalc
Omits the "Calculator" label, but leaves the picture. The pictures used with this feature should be small (perhaps 16x16).
If the menu-name (not the label) contains a sub-string which is set off by at signs ("@"), then the text between them is expected to be the name of an xpm or bitmap file to draw along the left side of the menu (a "side pixmap"). You will probably want to use the SidePic option of the MenuStyle command instead. To get a literal '@', insert '@@'. For example
AddToMenu "StartMenu@linux-menu.xpm@"
creates a menu with a picture in its bottom left corner.
If the menu-name contains also a sub-string set of by '^'s, then the text between '^'s is expected to be the name a of X11 color and the column containing the side picture will be colorized with that color. You can set this color for a menu style using the SideColor option of the MenuStyle command. To get a literal '^', insert
AddToMenu "StartMenu@linux-menu.xpm@^blue^"
creates a menu with a picture in its bottom left corner and colorizes with blue the region of the menu containing the picture.
In all the above cases, the name of the resulting menu is name specified, stripped of the substrings between the various delimiters.
AnimatedMove x y [ Warp ]
Move a window in an animated way. Similar to Move command, below. Options are the same, except they are required, since it doesn't make sense to have a user move the window interactively and animatedly. If the optional argument Warp is specified the pointer is warped with the window.
As might be expected, this makes the terminal beep.
BorderStyle [ state ] [ style ] [ -- [!]flag ... ]
Defines a border style for windows. state can be either "Active" or "Inactive." If state is omitted, then the style is set for both states. If the style and flags are enclosed in parentheses, then multiple state definitions can be specified per line.
style is a subset of the available ButtonStyles, and can only be TiledPixmap (uniform pixmaps which match the bevel colors work best this way). If an "!" is prefixed to any flag, flag behavior is negated. If style is not specified, then one can change flags without resetting the style.
The "HiddenHandles" flag hides the corner handle dividing lines on windows with handles (this option has no effect for NoHandle windows). By default, HiddenHandles is disabled.
The "NoInset" flag supplements HiddenHandles. If given, the inner bevel around the window frame is not drawn. If HiddenHandles is not specified, this flag has no effect.
To decorate the active and inactive window borders with a textured pixmap, one might specify:
BorderStyle Active TiledPixmap marble.xpm
BorderStyle Inactive TiledPixmap granite.xpm
BorderStyle Active -- HiddenHandles NoInset
To clear the style for both states:
BorderStyle Simple
To clear for a single state:
BorderStyle Active Simple
To unset a flag for a given state:
BorderStyle Inactive -- !NoInset
Title-bar buttons can inherit the border style with the UseBorderStyle flag (see ButtonStyle).
ButtonStyle button [ state ] [ style ] [ -- [!]flag ... ]
Sets the button style for a title-bar button. button is the title-bar button number between 0 and 9, or one of "All," "Left," "Right," or "Reset." Button numbering is described in the Mouse section (see below). If the style and flags are enclosed in parentheses, then multiple state definitions can be specified per line.
state refers to which button state should be set. Button states are defined as follows: "ActiveUp" and "ActiveDown" refer to the unpressed and pressed states for buttons on active windows; while the "Inactive" state denotes buttons on inactive windows.
If state is ActiveUp, ActiveDown, or Inactive, that particular button state is set. If state is omitted, every state is set. Specifying a style destroys the current style (use AddButtonStyle to avoid this).
If style is omitted, then state-dependent flags can be set for the primary button style without destroying the current style. Examples (each line should be considered independent):
ButtonStyle Left -- flat
ButtonStyle All ActiveUp (-- flat) \
  Inactive (-- flat)
The first line sets every state of the left buttons to flat, while the second sets only the ActiveUp and Inactive states of every button to flat (only flags are changed; the buttons' individual styles are not changed).
If you want to reset all buttons to their defaults:
ButtonStyle Reset
To reset the ActiveUp button state of button 1 to the default:
ButtonStyle 1 ActiveUp Default
To reset all button states of button 1 to the default of button number 2:
ButtonStyle 1 Default 2
For any given button, multiple state definitions can be given on one line by enclosing the style and flags in parentheses. If only one definition per line is given the parentheses can be omitted.
flags affect the specified state. If an "!" is prefixed to any flag, its behavior is negated. The available state-dependent flags for all styles are described here (the next ButtonStyle entry deals with state-independent flags).
"Raised" causes a raised relief pattern to be drawn.
"Sunk" causes a sunken relief pattern to be drawn.
"Flat" inhibits the relief pattern from being drawn.
"UseTitleStyle" causes the given button state to render the current title style before rendering the button's own styles. The Raised, Flat, and Sunk TitleStyle flags are ignored since they are redundant in this context.
"UseBorderStyle" causes the button to inherit the decorated BorderStyle options.
Raised, Sunk, and Flat are mutually exclusive, and can be specified for the initial ButtonStyle only. UseTitleStyle and UseBorderStyle are also mutually exclusive (both can be off however). The default is Raised with both UseBorderStyle and UseTitleStyle left unset.
There is an important note for the ActiveDown state. When a button is pressed, the relief is inverted. Because of this, to obtain a sunken ActiveDown state you must specify the opposite of the desired relief (i.e. to obtain a pressed-in look which is raised, specify Sunk for ActiveDown). This behavior is consistent, but may seem confusing at first.
Button styles are classified as non-destructive, partially destructive, or fully destructive. Non-destructive styles do not affect the image. Partially destructive styles can obscure some or all parts of the underlying image (i.e. Pixmap). Fully destructive styles obscure the entire underlying image (i.e. Solid or one of the gradient styles). Thus, if stacking styles with AddButtonStyle (or AddTitleStyle for title bars), use care in sequencing styles to minimize redraw.
The available styles and their arguments now follow (depending on compilation options, some button styles may be unavailable).
The "Simple" style does nothing. There are no arguments, and this style is an example of a non-destructive button style.
The "Default" style conditionally accepts one argument: a number which specifies the default button number to load. If the style command given is ButtonStyle or AddButtonStyle, the argument is optional (if given, will override the current button). If a command other than ButtonStyle or AddButtonStyle is used, the number must be specified.
The "Solid" style fills the button with a solid color. The relief border color is not affected. The color should be specified as a single argument. This style is fully destructive.
The "Vector" style draws a line pattern. Since this is a standard button style, the keyword "Vector" is optional. The specification is a little cumbersome:
ButtonStyle 2 Vector 4 50x30@1 70x70@0 \
  30x70@0 50x30@1
then the button 2 decoration will use a 4-point pattern consisting of a line from (x=50,y=30) to (70,70) in the shadow color (@0), and then to (30,70) in the shadow color, and finally to (50,30) in the highlight color (@1). Is that too confusing? See the sample .fvwmrc for a few examples. This style is partially destructive.
The "VGradient" and "HGradient" styles denote gradient styles. The H and V prefixes denote both horizontal and vertical directions.
This style has two forms:

The first form specifies a linear gradient. Arguments: total number of colors to allocate (between 2 and 128), the initial color, and the final color.
The second form specifies a nonlinear gradient. Arguments: total number of colors to allocate (between 2 and 128), then the number of segments. For each segment, specify the starting color, percentage to increment, then ending color. Each subsequent segment begins with the color of the last segment. All of the percentages must add up to 100.
TitleStyle VGradient 16 3 Red 20 Blue 30 \
  Black 50 Grey
The gradient styles are fully destructive.
The "Pixmap" style displays a pixmap. A pixmap should be specified as an argument. For example, the following would give button 2 the same pixmap for both states, and button 4 different pixmaps for the up, down and inactive states.
ButtonStyle 2 Pixmap my_pixmap.xpm
ButtonStyle 4 ActiveUp (Pixmap up.xpm) \
  ActiveDown (Pixmap down.xpm)
ButtonStyle 4 Inactive Pixmap inactive.xpm
The pixmap specification can be given as an absolute or relative pathname (see PixmapPath). If the pixmap cannot be found, the button style reverts to Simple. Flags specific to the Pixmap style are "Left," "Right," "Top," and "Bottom." These can be used to justify the pixmap (default is centered for both directions). Pixmap transparency is used for the color "None." This style is partially destructive.
The "MiniIcon" style draws the window's miniature icon in the button, which is specified with the MiniIcon option of the Style command. This button style accepts no arguments. Example:
Style "*"     MiniIcon mini-bx2.xpm
Style "xterm" MiniIcon mini-term.xpm
Style "Emacs" MiniIcon mini-doc.xpm
ButtonStyle 1 MiniIcon
The "TiledPixmap" style accepts a pixmap to be tiled as the button background. One pixmap is specified as an argument. Pixmap transparency is not used. This style is fully destructive.
ButtonStyle button - [!]flag ...
Sets state-independent flags for the specified button. State-independent flags affect button behavior. Each flag is separated by a space. If an "!" is prefixed to the flag then the flag behavior is negated. The special flag "Clear" clears any existing flags.
The following flags are usually used to tell fvwm which buttons should be affected by MWM function hints. This is not done automatically since you might have buttons bound to complex functions, for instance.
"MWMDecorMenu" should be assigned to title bar buttons which display a menu. The default assignment is the leftmost button. When a window with the MWMFunctions Style option requests not to show this button, it will be hidden.
"MWMDecorMin" should be assigned to title bar buttons which minimize or iconify the window. The default assignment is the second button over from the rightmost button. When a window with the MWMFunctions Style option requests not to show this button, it will be hidden.
"MWMDecorMax" should be assigned to title bar buttons which maximize the window. The default assignment is the rightmost button. When a window with the MWMFunctions Style option requests not to show this button, it will be hidden.
ChangeDecor decor
Changes the decor of a window to decor. decor is "Default," or the name of a decor defined with AddToDecor. If decor is invalid, nothing occurs. If called from somewhere in a window or its border, then that window is affected. If called from the root window the user will be allowed to select the target window. ChangeDecor only affects attributes which can be set using the AddToDecor command.
ChangeDecor "CustomDecor1"
ChangeMenuStyle menustyle menu ...
Changes the menu style of "menu" to "menustyle", you may specified more than one menu in each ChangeMenuStyle.
ChangeMenuStyle  pixmap1 Screensavers ScreenLock
ClickTime [ delay ]
Specifies the maximum delay (in milliseconds) between a button press and a button release for the Function built-in to consider the action a mouse click. The default delay is 150 milliseconds. Omitting the delay value resets the ClickTime to the default.
If the window accepts the delete window protocol a message is sent to the window asking it to gracefully remove itself. If the window does not understand the delete window protocol then the window is destroyed.
ColorLimit limit
Specifies a limit on the colors used in pixmaps used by fvwm. Zero (the default) sets no limit. Fvwm uses pixmaps for icons, mini-icons, and pixmap borders and titles. This command limits pixmap colors to a set of colors that starts out with common colors. The current list contains about 60 colors and starts with white, black, grey, green, blue, red, cyan, yellow, and magenta. The command "ColorLimit 9" would limit pixmaps to these 9 colors.
It makes the most sense to put this command at the front of the definitions that contain mini-icons.
Solid frame and title colors (including shadows and gradients) are not controlled by this command.
ColormapFocus FollowsMouse|FollowsFocus
By default, fvwm installs the colormap of the window that the cursor is in. If you use ColormapFocus FollowsFocus, then the installed colormap will be the one for the window that currently has the keyboard focus.
Current (conditions) command
Performs command on the current window if it satisfies all conditions. Conditions include "Iconic", "!Iconic", "Visible", "!Visible", "Sticky", "!Sticky", "Maximized", "!Maximized", "Transient", "!Transient", "Raised", "!Raised", "CurrentDesk", "CurrentPage", and "CurrentPageAnyDesk". In addition, the condition may include a window name to match to. The window name may include the wildcards * and ?. The window name, icon name, class, and resource will be considered when attempting to find a match. The window name can begin with ! which will prevent command if any of the window name, icon name, class or resource match.
Note that earlier versions of fvwm2 required the conditions to be enclosed in brackets instead of parentheses (this is still supported for backwards compatibility).
CursorMove horizontal vertical
Moves the mouse pointer by horizontal pages in the X direction and vertical pages in the Y direction. Either or both entries may be negative. Both horizontal and vertical values are expressed in percent of pages, so "CursorMove 100 100" means to move down and right by one full page. "CursorMove 50 25" means to move right half a page and down a quarter of a page. Alternatively, the distance can be specified in pixels by appending a 'p' to the horizontal and/or vertical specification. For example "CursorMove -10p -10p" means move ten pixels up and ten pixels left. The CursorMove function should not be called from pop-up menus.
CursorStyle context cursornum
Defines a new cursor for the specified context. The various contexts are:

POSITION (XC_top_left_corner)
used when initially placing windows
TITLE (XC_top_left_arrow)
used in a window title-bar
DEFAULT (XC_top_left_arrow)
used in windows that don't set their cursor
SYS (XC_hand2)
used in one of the title-bar buttons
MOVE (XC_fleur)
used when moving or resizing windows
WAIT (XC_watch)
used during an EXEC builtin command
MENU (XC_sb_left_arrow)
used in menus
used for various builtin commands such as iconify
DESTROY (XC_pirate)
used for DESTROY, CLOSE, and DELETE built-ins
TOP (XC_top_side)
used in the top side-bar of a window
RIGHT (XC_right_side)
used in the right side-bar of a window
BOTTOM (XC_bottom_side)
used in the bottom side-bar of a window
LEFT (XC_left_side)
used in the left side-bar of a window
TOP_LEFT (XC_top_left_corner)
used in the top left corner of a window
TOP_RIGHT (XC_top_right_corner)
used in the top right corner of a window
BOTTOM_LEFT (XC_bottom_left_corner)
used in the bottom left corner of a window
BOTTOM_RIGHT (XC_bottom_right_corner)
used in the bottom right corner of a window

And the cursornum is the numeric value of the cursor as defined in the include file X11/cursorfont.h. An example:
# make the kill cursor be XC_gumby:
CursorStyle DESTROY 56
The defaults are shown in parenthesis above.
DefaultColors [ foreground background ]
DefaultColors sets the default forground and background colors used in miscellaneous windows created by fvwm, for example in the geometry feedback windows during a move or resize operation. If you don't want to change one color or the other, use - as its color name. To revert to the builtin default colors omit both color names. Note that the default colors are not used in menus, window titles or icon titles.
DefaultFont [ fontname ]
DefaultFont sets the default font to font fontname. The default font is used by fvwm2 whenever no other font has been specified. To reset the default font to the built in default, omit the argument. The default font is used for menus, window titles, icon titles as well as the geometry feedback windows during a move or resize operation. To override the default font in a specific context, use the WindowFont, IconFont or MenuStyle commands.
Sends a message to a window asking that it remove itself, frequently causing the application to exit.
Desk arg1 [ arg2 ] [ min max ]
Switches the current viewport to another desktop (workspace, room).
The command takes 1, 2, 3, or 4 arguments. A single argument is interpreted as a relative desk number. Two arguments are understood as a relative and an absolute desk number. Three arguments specify a relative desk and the minimum and maximum of the allowable range. Four arguments specify the relative, absolute, minimum and maximum values. (Desktop numbers can be negative.)
If arg1 is non zero then the next desktop number will be the current desktop number plus arg1.
If arg1 is zero then the new desktop number will be arg2. (If arg2 is not present, then the command has no effect.)
If min and max are given, the new desktop number will be no smaller than min and no bigger than max. Values out of this range are truncated (if you gave an absolute desk number) or wrapped around (if you gave a relative desk number).
The syntax is the same as for MoveToDesk, which moves a window to a different desktop.
The number of active desktops is determined dynamically. Only desktops which contain windows or are currently being displayed are active. Desktop numbers must be between 2147483647 and -2147483648 (is that enough?).
DeskTopSize HorizontalxVertical
Defines the virtual desktop size in units of the physical screen size.
Destroys an application window, which usually causes the application to crash and burn.
DestroyDecor decor
Deletes the decor defined with AddToDecor, so that subsequent references to it are no longer valid. Windows using this decor revert to the default fvwm decor. The decor named "Default" cannot be destroyed.
DestroyDecor "CustomDecor1"
Deletes a function, so that subsequent references to it are no longer valid. You can use this to change the contents of a function during an fvwm session. The function can be rebuilt using AddToFunc.
DestroyFunc "PrintFunction"
Deletes a menu, so that subsequent references to it are no longer valid. You can use this to change the contents of a menu during an fvwm session. The menu can be rebuilt using AddToMenu.
DestroyMenu "Utilities"
DestroyMenuStyle menustyle
Deletes the menu style named "menustyle" and changes all menus using this style to the default style, you cannot destroy the default menu.
DestroyMenuStyle pixamp1
Deletes module configuration entries, so that new configuration lines may be entered instead. You can use this to change the the way a module runs during an fvwm session without restarting. Wildcards can be used for portions of the name as well.
DestroyModuleConfig FvwmFormFore
DestroyModuleConfig FvwmButtons*
Direction direction (conditions) command
Performs command (typically Focus) on a window in the given direction which satisfies all conditions. Conditions are the same as for Current. The direction may be one of North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West and Northwest. Which window Direction selects depends on angle and distance between the centerpoints of the windows. Closer windows are considered a better match than those farther away.
Echo string
Prints a message to stderr. Potentially useful for debugging things in your .fvwmrc.
Echo Beginning style defs...
EdgeResistance scrolling moving
Tells how hard it should be to change the desktop viewport by moving the mouse over the edge of the screen and how hard it should be to move a window over the edge of the screen.
The first parameter tells how milliseconds the pointer must spend on the screen edge before fvwm will move the viewport. This is intended for people who use "EdgeScroll 100 100" but find themselves accidentally flipping pages when they don't want to.
The second parameter tells how many pixels over the edge of the screen a window's edge must move before it actually moves partially off the screen. By default the viewport is moved a full page in the requested direction, but if you used EdgeScroll and set any values other than zero they will be used instead.
Note that, with "EdgeScroll 0 0", it is still possible to move or resize windows across the edge of the current screen. By making the first parameter to EdgeResistance 10000 this type of motion is impossible. With EdgeResistance less than 10000 but greater than 0 moving over pages becomes difficult but not impossible. See also, EdgeThickness.
EdgeScroll horizontal vertical
Specifies the percentage of a page to scroll when the cursor hits the edge of a page. A trailing "p" changes the interpretation to mean "pixels". If you don't want any paging or scrolling when you hit the edge of a page include "EdgeScroll 0 0" in your .fvwmrc file, or possibly better, set the EdgeThickness to zero. See the EdgeThickness command. If you want whole pages, use "EdgeScroll 100 100". Both horizontal and vertical should be positive numbers.
If the horizontal and vertical percentages are multiplied by 1000 then scrolling will wrap around at the edge of the desktop. If "EdgeScroll 100000 100000" is used fvwm will scroll by whole pages, wrapping around at the edge of the desktop.
EdgeThickness 0|1|2
This is the width or height of the invisible window that fvwm2 creates on the edges of the screen that are used for the edgescrolling feature.
A value of zero completely disables mouse edge scrolling, even while dragging a window.
1 gives the smallest pan frames, which seem to work best except on some servers.
2 is the default.
Pan frames of 1 or 2 pixels can sometimes be confusing, for example, if you drag a window over the edge of the screen, so that it stradles aa pan frame, clicks on the window, near the edge of the screen are treated as clicks on the root window.
Emulate fvwm|mwm|win
This command affects how miscellaneous things are done by fvwm. For example where the move/resize feedback window appears depends on this command. To have more MWM- or WIN-like behavior you can call Emulate with "MWM" or "WIN" as its argument.
Exec command
Executes command. You should not use an ampersand ``&'' at the end of the command. You probably want to use an additional ``exec'' at the beginning of command. Without that, the shell that fvwm invokes to run your command will stay until the command exits. In effect, you'll have twice as many processes running as you need. Note that some shells are smart enough to avoid this, but it never hurts to include the ``exec'' anyway.
The following example binds function key F1 in the root window, with no modifiers, to the exec function. The program rxvt will be started with an assortment of options.
Key F1 R N Exec exec rxvt -fg yellow -bg blue \
  -e /bin/tcsh
Note that this function doesn't wait for command to complete, so things like:
Exec "echo AddToMenu ... > /tmp/file"
Read /tmp/file
won't work reliably.
ExecUseShell [ shell ]
Makes the Exec command use the specified shell, or the value of the $SHELL environment variable if no shell is specified, instead of the default Bourne shell (/bin/sh).
ExecUseShell /usr/local/bin/tcsh
Executes a Focus command as if the user had used the pointer to select the window. This command alters the order of the windowlist in the same way as clicking in a window to focus, i.e. the target window is removed from the windowlist and placed at the start. This command is recommended for use with the Direction command and in the function invoked from WindowList.
Moves the viewport or window as needed to make the selected window visible. Sets the keyboard focus to the selected window. Does not automatically raise the window. Does not warp the pointer into the selected window (see WarpToWindow function). Does not de-iconify. This command does not alter the order of the windowlist, it rotates the windowlist around so that the target window is at the start.
To raise and warp a pointer together with Focus or FlipFocus, use a function:
AddToFunc SelectWindow
+ I Focus
+ I Raise
+ I WarpToWindow 50 8p
Function nctionName
Used to bind a previously defined function to a key or mouse button.
The following example binds mouse button 1 to a function called "Move-or-Raise", whose definition was provided as an example earlier in this man page. After performing this binding fvwm will execute to move-or-raise function whenever button 1 is pressed in a window title-bar.
Mouse 1 T A Function Move-or-Raise
The keyword "Function" may be omitted if "FunctionName" does not coincide with an fvwm built-in function name
GlobalOpts [ options ]
This is a TEMPORARY command used to set some global options which will later be handled as Style parms (or options to Style parms). It currently handles the following: SmartPlacementIsReallySmart/SmartPlacementIsNormal, ClickToFocusDoesntPassClick/ClickToFocusPassesClick, ClickToFocusDoesntRaise/ClickToFocusRaises, MouseFocusClickDoesntRaise/MouseFocusClickRaises, CaptureHonorsStartsOnPage/CaptureIgnoresStartsOnPage, RecaptureHonorsStartsOnPage/RecaptureIgnoresStartsOnPage, ActivePlacementHonorsStartsOnPage/ActivePlacementIgnoresStartsOnPage, NoStipledTitles/StipledTitles
GlobalOpts ClickToFocusDoesntPassClick, \
RecaptureHonorsStartsOnPage causes a window to be placed according to, or revert to, the StartsOnPage desk and page specification on Restart or Recapture. RecaptureIgnoresStartsOnPage causes fvwm to respect the current window position on Restart or Recapture. The default is RecaptureIgnoresStartsOnPage.
CaptureHonorsStartsOnPage causes the initial capture (of an already existing window) at startup to place the window according to the StartsOnPage desk and page specification. CaptureIgnoresStartsOnPage causes fvwm to ignore these settings (including StartsOnDesk) on initial capture. The default is CaptureHonorsStartsOnPage.
ActivePlacementIgnoresStartsOnPage suppresses StartsOnPage or StartsOnDesk placement in the event that both ActivePlacement and SkipMapping are in effect when a window is created. This prevents you from interactively placing a window and then wondering where it disappeared to, because it got placed on a different desk or page. ActivePlacementHonorsStartsOnPage allows this to happen anyway. The option has no effect if SkipMapping is not in effect, because fvwm will switch to the proper desk/page to perform interactive placement. The default is ActivePlacementHonorsStartsOnPage, which matches the way StartsOnDesk handled the situation.
GotoPage x y
Moves the desktop viewport to page (x,y). The upper left page is (0,0), the upper right is (M,0), where M is one less than the current number of horizontal pages specified in the DeskTopSize command. The lower left page is (0,N), and the lower right page is (M,N), where N is the desktop's vertical size as specified in the DeskTopSize command. The GotoPage function should not be used in a pop-up menu.
HilightColor textcolor backgroundcolor
Specifies the text and background colors for the decorations on the window which currently has the keyboard focus.
IconFont [ fontname ]
Makes fvwm use font fontname for icon labels. To reset this font to the default font (see DefaultFont) you may omit fontname.
Iconify [ value ]
Iconifies a window if it is not already iconified or de-iconifies it if it is already iconified. If the optional argument value is positive only iconification will be allowed. If the optional argument is negative only de-iconification will be allowed.
IconPath path
Specifies a colon separated list of full path names of directories where bitmap (monochrome) icons can be found. Each path should start with a slash. Environment variables can be used here as well (i.e. $HOME or ${HOME}).
Note: if the FvwmM4 is used to parse your rc files, then m4 may want to mangle the word "include" which will frequently show up in the IconPath or PixmapPath command. To fix this add undefine(`include') prior to the IconPath command, or better use the '-m4-prefix' option to force all m4 directives to have a prefix of "m4_" (see the FvwmM4 man page).
ImagePath path
Specifies a colon separated list of directories in which to search for images (both monochrome and pixmap).
NOTE: ImagePath makes obsolete IconPath and PixmapPath commands in the next fvwm versions. In this version all of the three commands are allowed.
The ImagePath may contain environment variables such as $HOME (or ${HOME}). Further, a '+' in the path is expanded to the previous value of the path, allowing easy appending or prepending to the path.
For example:
ImagePath $HOME/icons:+:/usr/X11R6/include/bitmaps
Key keyname Context Modifiers Function
Binds a keyboard key to a specified fvwm built-in function, or removes the binding if Function is '-'. Definition is the same as for a mouse binding except that the mouse button number is replaced with a key name. The keyname is one of the entries from /usr/X11R6/include/X11/keysymdef.h, with the leading XK_ omitted. The Context and Modifiers fields are defined as in the Mouse binding. However, when you press a key the context window is the window that has the keyboard focus. That is not necessarily the same as the window the pointer is over (with SloppyFocus or ClickToFocus).
The following example binds the built in window list to pop up when Alt-Ctrl-Shift-F11 is hit, no matter where the mouse pointer is:
Key F11 A SCM WindowList
Binding a key to a title-bar button will not cause that button to appear unless a mouse binding also exists.
KillModule name
Causes the module which was invoked with name name to be killed. name may include wild-cards.
Allows the user to lower a window.
Maximize [ horizontal vertical ]
Without its optional arguments Maximize causes the window to alternately switch from a full-screen size to its normal size.
With the optional arguments horizontal and vertical, which are expressed as percentage of a full screen, the user can control the new size of the window. If horizontal is greater than 0 then the horizontal dimension of the window will be set to horizontal*screen_width/100. The vertical resizing is similar. For example, the following will add a title-bar button to switch a window to the full vertical size of the screen:
Mouse 0 4 A Maximize 0 100
The following causes windows to be stretched to the full width:
Mouse 0 4 A Maximize 100 0
This makes a window that is half the screen size in each direction:
Mouse 0 4 A Maximize 50 50
Values larger than 100 can be used with caution.
If the letter "p" is appended to each coordinate (horizontal and/or vertical), then the scroll amount will be measured in pixels.
Menu menu-name [ position ] [ double-click-action ]
Causes a previously defined menu to be popped up in a "sticky" manner. That is, if the user invokes the menu with a click action instead of a drag action, the menu will stay up. The command double-click-action will be invoked if the user double-clicks (or hits the key rapidly twice if the menu is bound to a key) when bringing the menu up.
Several other commands affect menu operation. See MenuStyle and SetAnimation. When in a menu, keyboard shortcuts work as expected. Cursor keystrokes are also allowed. Specifically, Cursor-Down, Ctrl-N, and Ctrl-J all move to the next item; Cursor-Up, Ctrl-P, and Ctrl-K all move to the prior item; Cursor-Left and Ctrl-B return to the prior menu; Cursor-Right and Ctrl-F popup the next menu; Ctrl-Cursor-Up and Ctrl-Cursor-Down move up and down five items, respectively; Shift-Cursor-Up and Shift-Cursor-Down move to the first and last items, respectively; Enter executes the current item; Escape exits the current sequence of menus.
The pointer will be warped to where it was when the menu was invoked if it was both invoked and terminated with a keystroke.
The position arguments allow to place the menu somewhere on the screen, for example centered on the visible screen or above a title bar. Basically it works like this: you specify a context-rectangle and an offset to this rectangle by which the upper left corner of the menu is moved from the upper left corner of the rectangle. The position arguments consist of several parts:
[ [context-rectangle] x y ] [ special-options ]
The context-rectangle can be one of:

the root window.
a 1x1 rectangle at the mouse position.
the window with the focus.
the inside of the focused window.
the title of the focused window or icon.
button #n of the focused window.
the focused icon.
the current menu.
the current menu item.
the current window, menu or icon.
whatever widget the pointer is on (e.g. a corner of a window or the root window).
Rectangle <geometry>
the rectangle defined by < geometry> in X geometry format. Width and height default to 1 if omitted.

If the context-rectangle is omitted "Mouse" is the default. Note that not all of these make sense under all circumstances (e.g. "Icon" if the pointer is on a menu).
The offset values x and y specify how far the menu is moved from it's default position. By default, the numeric value given is interpreted as a percentage of the context rectangle's width (height), but with a trailing "m" the menu's width (height) is used instead. Furthermore a trailing "p" changes the interpretation to mean "pixels".
Instead of a single value you can use a list of values. All additional numbers after the first one are separated from threir predecessor but their sign. Do not use any other separators.
If x or y are prefixed with 'o<number>' where <number> is an integer, the menu and the rectangle will be moved to overlap at the specified position before any other offsets are applied. The menu and the rectangle will be placed so that the pixel at <number> percent of the rectangle's width/height is right over the pixel at <number> percent of the menu's width/height. So 'o0' means that the top/left borders of the menu and the rectangle overlap, with 'o100' it's the bottom/right borders and if you use 'o50' they are centered upon each other (try it and you will see it is much simpler than this description). The default is 'o0'. The prefix
A prefix of 'c' is equivalent of 'o50'. Examples:
# window list in the middle of the screen
WindowList Root c c
# menu to the left of a window Menu name window -100m c+0
# popup menu 8 pixels above the mouse pointer Popup name mouse c -100m-8p
# somewhere on the screen Menu name rectangle 512x384+1+1 +0 +0
# centered vertially around a menu item AddToMenu foobar-menu + "first item" Nop + "special item" Popup "another menu" item \ +100 c + "last item" Nop
# above the first menu item AddToMenu foobar-menu + "first item" Popup "another menu" item +0 -100m
Note that you can put a submenu far off the current menu so you could not reach it with the mouse without leaving the menu. If the pointer leaves the current menu in the general direction of the submenu the menu will stay up.
The special-options:

The "animated" and "mwm" or "win" meny styles may move a menu somewhere else on the screen. If you do not want this you can add Fixed as an option. This might happen for example if you want the menu always in the top right corner of the screen.
Where do you want a submenu to appear when you click on it's menu item? The default is to place the title under the cursor, but if you want it where the position arguments say, use the SelectInPlace option. If you want the pointer on the title of the menu, use SelectWarp too.
The pointer is warped to the title of a submenu whenever the pointer would be on an item when the submenu is popped up ("fvwm" menu style) or never warped to thetitle at all ("mwm" or "win" menu styles). You can force (forbid) warping whenever the submenu is opened with the WarpTitle (NoWarp) option.
Note that the special-options do work with a normal menu that has no other position arguments.
MenuStyle stylename options
Sets a new menu style or changes a previously defined style. The stylename is the style name; if it contains spaces or tabs it has to be quoted. The name "*" is reserved for the default menu style. The default menu style is used for every menu-like object (e.g. the window created by the WindowList command) that had not be assigned a style using the ChangeMenuStyle. See also DestroyMenuStyle. When using monochrome color options are ignored.
options is a comma separated list containing some of the keywords FVWM/MWM/WIN, Foreground, Background, Greyed, HilightBack/HilightBackOff, ActiveFore/ActiveForeOff, Hilight3DThick/Hilight3DThin/Hilight3DOff, Animation/AnimationOff, Font, MenuFace, PopupDelay, PopupOffset, TitleWarp/TitleWarpOff, TitleUnderlines0/TitleUnderlines1/TitleUnderlines2, SeparatorsLong/SeparatorsShort, TrianglesSolid/TrianglesRelief, PopupImmediately/PopupDelayed, DoubleClickTime, SidePic, SideColor.
In the above list some options are listed as option pairs or triples with a / in between. These options exclude each other.
FVWM, MWM, WIN reset all options to the style with the same name in former versions of fvwm2. The default for new menu styles is FVWM style. These options override all others except Foreground, Background, Greyed, HilightBack, HilightFore and PopupDelay, so they should be used only as the first option specified for a menu style or to reset the style to defined bahavior. The same effect can be created by setting all the other options one by one.
MWM and WIN style menus popup sub-menus automatically. WIN menus indicate the current menu item by changing the background to dark. FVWM sub-menus overlap the parent menu, MWM and WIN style menus never overlap the parent menu.
FVWM style is equivalent to HilightBackOff, Hilight3DThin, ActiveForeOff, AnimationOff, Font, MenuFace, PopupOffset 0 67, TitleWarp, TitleUnderlines1, SeparatorsShort, TriangleRelief, PopupDelayed.
MWM style is equivalent to HilightBackOff, Hilight3DThick, ActiveForeOff, AnimationOff, Font, MenuFace, PopupOffset -3 100, TitleWarpOff, TitleUnderlines2, SeparatorsLong, TriangleRelief, PopupImmediately.
WIN style is equivalent to HilightBack, Hilight3DOff, ActiveForeOff, AnimationOff, Font, MenuFace, PopupOffset -5 100, TitleWarpOff, TitleUnderlines1, SeparatorsShort, TriangleSolid, PopupImmediately.
Foreground and Background may have a color name as an argument. This color is used for menu text or the menu's background. You can omit the color name to reset these colors to the built in default.
Greyed may have a color name as an argument. This color is the one used to draw a menu-selection which is prohibited (or not recommended) by the mwm-hints which an application has specified. If the color is omitted the color of "greyed" menu entries is based on the background color of the menu.
HilightBack and HilightBackOff switch hilighting the background of the selected menu item on and off. A specific background color may be used by providing the color name as an argument to HilightBack. If you use this option without an argument the color is based on the menu's background color.
ActiveFore and ActiveForeOff switch hilighting the foreground of the selected menu item on and off. A specific foreground color may be used by providing the color name as an argument to ActiveFore. Omitting the color name has the same effet as using ActiveForeOff.
Hilight3DThick, Hilight3DThin and Hilight3DOff determine if the selected menu item is hilighted with a 3D relief. Thick reliefs are two pixels wide, thin reliefs are one pixel wide.
Animation and AnimationOff turn menu animation on or off. When animation is on, sub-menus that don't fit on the screen cause the parent menu to be shifted to the left so the sub-menu can be seen.
Font takes a font name as an argument. If a font by this name exists it is used for the text of all menu items. If it does not exist or if the name is left blank the built in default is used.
MenuFace enforces a fancy background upon the menus. You can use the same options for MenuFace as for ButtonStyle plus DGradient, (top-left to down-right) and BGradient (down-left to top-right). See ButtonStyle for more info. If you use MenuFace without arguments the style is reverted back to normal.
Some examples of MenuFaces are:
MenuFace DGradient 128 2 lightgrey 50 blue 50 white
MenuFace TiledPixmap texture10.xpm
MenuFace HGradient 128 2 Red 40 Maroon 60 White
MenuFace Solid Maroon
If you encounter performance problems with gradient backgrounds you can try one or all of the following:
Turn Hilighting of the active menu item other than forground color off:
MenuStyle <stylename> Hilight3DOff, HilightBackOff
MenuStyle ActiveFore <preferred color>
Make sure submenus do not overlap the parent menu. This can prevent menus being redrawn every time a submenu pops up or down.
MenuStyle <stylename> PopupOffset 1 100
Run you X server with backing storage. If your Xserver is started with the -bs option, turn it off. If not try the -wm option.
startx -- -wm
You may have to adapt this example to your system (e.g. if you use xinit to start X).
PopupDelay requires one numeric argument. This value is the delay in milliseconds before a sub-menu is popped up when the pointer moves over a menu item that has a sub-menu. If the value is zero no automatical pop up is done. If the argument is omitted the built in default is used. Note that the popup delay has no effect if the PopupImmediately option is used since sub-menus pop up immediately then. The PopupDelay option should only be applied to the default style ('*') since it is a global setting and affects all menus.
PopupImmediately makes menu items with sub menus pop up it up as soon as the pointer enters the item. The PopupDelay is ignored then. If PopupDelayed is used fvwm2 looks at the PopupDelay option if or when this automatic popup happens.
PopupOffset requires two integer arguments. Both values affect where sub-menus are placed relative to the parent menu. If both values are zero, the left edge of the sub-menu overlaps the left edge of the parent menu. If the first value is non-zero the sub-menu is shifted that many pixels to the right (or left if negative). If the second value is non-zero the menu is moved by that many percent of the parent menu's width to the right or left.
TitleWarp and TitleWarpOff affect if the pointer warps to the menu title when a sub-menu is opened or not. Not that regardless of this setting the pointer will not be warped if the menu does not pop up under the pointer.
TitleUnderlines0, TitleUnderlines1 and TitleUnderlines2 specify how many lines are drawn below a menu title.
SeparatorsLong and SeparatorsShort set the length of menu separators. Long separators run from the left edge all the way to the right edge. Short separators leave a few pixels to the edges of the menu.
TrianglesSolid and TrianglesRelief affect how the small triangles for sub-menus is drawn. Solid triangles are filled with a color while relief triangles are hollow.
DoubleClickTime requires one numeric argument. This value is the time in milliseconds between two mouse clicks in a menu to be considered as a double click. The default is 450 milliseconds. If the argument is omitted the doucle click time is reset to this default. The DoubleClickTime option should only be applied to the default style ('*') since it is a global setting and affects all menus.
SidePic takes the name of an xpm or bitmap file as an argument. The picture is drawn along the left side of the menu. The SidePic option can be overridden by a menu specific side pixmap (see AddToMenu). If the file name is omitted an existing side pixmap is remove from the menu style.
SideColor takes the name of an X11 color as an argument. This color is used to colorize the column containing the side picture (see above). The SideColor option can be overridden by a menu specific side color (see AddToMenu). If the color name is omitted the side color option is switched off.
MenuStyle * mwm
MenuStyle * Foreground Black, Background gray40
MenuStyle * Greyed gray70, ActiveFore White
MenuStyle * HilightBackOff, Hilight3DOff
MenuStyle * Font lucidasanstypewriter-14
MenuStyle * MenuFace DGradient 64 darkgray MidnightBlue
MenuStyle gred mwm MenuStyle gred Foreground Yellow, Background Maroon MenuStyle gred Greyed Red, ActiveFore Red MenuStyle gred HilightBackOff, Hilight3DOff MenuStyle gred Font lucidasanstypewriter-12 MenuStyle gred MenuFace DGradient 64 Red Black
Note that all style options could be placed on a single line for each style name.
MenuStyle forecolor backcolor shadecolor font style [ anim ]
This is the old syntax of the MenuStyle command. It is obsolete and may be removed in the future. Please use the new syntax as described above.
Sets the menu style. When using monochrome the colors are ignored. The shade-color is the one used to draw a menu-selection which is prohibited (or not recommended) by the mwm-hints which an application has specified. The style option is either "fvwm" "mwm" or "win", which changes the appearance and operation of the menus and where the feedback window appears during resizes and moves.
"mwm" and "win" style menus popup sub-menus automatically. "win" menus indicate the current menu item by changing the background to black. "fvwm" sub-menus overlap the parent menu, "mwm" and "win" style menus never overlap the parent menu. "mwm" resize and move feedback windows are in the center of the screen, instead of the upper left corner.
The "anim" option is either "anim" or blank. When this option is "anim", sub-menus that don't fit on the screen cause the parent menu to be shifted to the left so the sub-menu can be seen.
See also SetAnimation command.
Module ModuleName
Specifies a module which should be spawned during initialization. At the current time the available modules (included with fvwm) are FvwmAnimate (fancy animation of (de)iconification) FvwmAudio (makes sounds to go with window manager actions), FvwmAuto (an auto raise module), FvwmBacker (to change the background when you change desktops), FvwmBanner (to display a spiffy XPM), FvwmButtons (brings up a customizable tool bar), FvwmCpp (to preprocess your .fvwmrc with cpp), FvwmEvent (trigger various actions by events), FvwmForm (to bring up dialogs), FvwmIconBox (like the mwm IconBox), FvwmIconMan (like the twm icon manager), FvwmIdent (to get window info), FvwmM4 (to preprocess your .fvwmrc with m4), FvwmPager (a mini version of the desktop), FvwmSave (saves the desktop state in .xinitrc style), FvwmSaveDesk (saves the desktop state in fvwm commands), FvwmScroll (puts scrollbars on any window), FvwmTalk (to interactively run fvwm commands), and FvwmWinList (a window list), FvwmAnimate (produces animation effects when a window is iconified or deiconifed). These modules have their own man pages. There are other modules out on there as well.
Modules can be short lived transient programs or, like FvwmButtons, can remain for the duration of the X session. Modules will be terminated by the window manager prior to restarts and quits, if possible. See the introductory section on modules. The keyword "module" may be omitted if ModuleName is distinct from all built-in and function names.
Specifies a colon separated list of paths for fvwm to search when looking for a module to load. Individual directories do not need trailing slashes. Environment variables can be used here as well (i.e. $HOME or ${HOME}). The builtin module path is available via the environment variable $FVWM_MODULEDIR.
Mouse Button Context Modifiers Function
Defines a mouse binding, or removes the binding if Function is zero then any button will perform the specified function. Context describes where the binding applies. Valid contexts are R for the root window, W for an application window, T for a window title bar, S for a window side, top, or bottom bar, F for a window frame (the corners), I for an Icon window, or 0 through 9 for title-bar buttons, or any combination of these letters. A is for any context except for title-bar buttons. For instance, a context of FST will apply when the mouse is anywhere in a window's border except the title-bar buttons.
Modifiers is any combination of N for no modifiers, C for control, S for shift, M for Meta, or A for any modifier. For example, a modifier of SM will apply when both the Meta and Shift keys are down. X11 modifiers mod1 through mod5 are represented as the digits 1 through 5.
Function is one of fvwm's built-in functions.
The title bar buttons are numbered with odd numbered buttons on the left side of the title bar and even numbers on the right. Smaller-numbered buttons are displayed toward the outside of the window while larger-numbered buttons appear toward the middle of the window (0 is short for 10). In summary, the buttons are numbered:
1 3 5 7 9    0 8 6 4 2
The highest odd numbered button which has an action bound to it determines the number of buttons drawn on the left side of the title bar. The highest even number determines the number or right side buttons which are drawn. Actions can be bound to either mouse buttons or keyboard keys.
Move [ x y [ Warp ] ]
Allows the user to move a window. If called from somewhere in a window or its border, then that window will be moved. If called from the root window then the user will be allowed to select the target window. If the optional argument Warp is specified the pointer is warped with the window.
The operation can be aborted with Escape or by pressing any mouse button (except button 1 which confirms the move).
If the optional arguments x and y are provided, then the window will be moved immediately without user interaction. Each argument can specify an absolute or relative position from either the left (top) or right (bottom) of the screen. By default, the numeric value given is interpreted as a percentage of the screen width (height), but a trailing "p" changes the interpretation to mean "pixels".
Simple Examples:
# Interactive move
Mouse 1 T A Move
# Move window so top left is at (10%,10%)
Mouse 2 T A Move 10 10
# Move top left to (10pixels,10pixels)
Mouse 3 T A Move 10p 10p
More complex examples (these can be bound as actions to keystrokes, etc.; only the command is shown, though):
# Move window so bottom right is at bottom
# right of screen
Move -0 -0
# Move window 5% to the right, and to the # middle vertically Move w+5 50
# Move window up 10 pixels, and so left edge # is at x=40 pixels Move 40p w-10p
See also the "AnimatedMove" command, above.
MoveToDesk arg1 [ arg2 ] [ min max ]
Moves the selected window to another desktop (workspace, room).
The arguments are the same as for the Desk command. MoveToDesk is a replacement for the old WindowsDesk command, which can no longer be used.
MoveToPage [ x y ]
Moves the selected window to another page (x,y). The upper left page is (0,0), the upper right is (M,0), where M is one less than the current number of horizontal pages specified in the DeskTopSize command. The lower left page is (0,N), and the lower right page is (M,N), where N is the desktop's vertical size as specified in the DeskTopSize command. If x and y are not given, the window is moved to the current page (a window that has the focus but is off-screen can be retrieved with this).
Next (conditions) command
Performs command (typically Focus) on the next window which satisfies all conditions. Conditions are the same as for Current with the addition of CirculateHit which overrides the CirculateSkip style attribute and CirculateHitIcon which overrides the CirculateSkipIcon style attribute for iconified windows.
None (conditions) command
Performs command if no window which satisfies all conditions exists. Conditions are the same as for Next.
Does nothing. This is used to insert a blank line or separator in a menu. If the menu item specification is Nop " ", then a blank line is inserted. If it looks like Nop "", then a separator line is inserted. Can also be used as the double-click action for Menu.
OpaqueMoveSize percentage
Tells fvwm the maximum size window with which opaque window movement should be used. The percentage is percent of the total screen area. With "OpaqueMoveSize 0" all windows will be moved using the traditional rubber-band outline. With "OpaqueMoveSize 100" all windows will be move as solid windows. The default is "OpaqueMoveSize 5", which allows small windows to be moved in an opaque manner but large windows are moved as rubber-bands.
PipeRead cmd option
Causes fvwm to read commands output from the program named cmd. Useful for building up dynamic menu entries based on a directories contents, for example.
PixmapPath path
Specifies a colon separated list of full path names of directories where pixmap (color) icons can be found. Each path should start with a slash. Environment variables can be used here as well (i.e. $HOME or ${HOME}).
Popup PopupName [ position ] [ default-action ]
This built-in has two purposes: to bind a menu to a key or mouse button, and to bind a sub-menu into a menu. The formats for the two purposes differ slightly. The position arguments are the same as for Menu. The command default-action will be invoked if the user clicks a button to invoke the menu and releases it immediately again (or hits the key rapidly twice if the menu is bound to a key).
To bind a previously defined pop-up menu to a key or mouse button:

The following example binds mouse buttons 2 and 3 to a pop-up called "Window Ops". The menu will pop up if the buttons 2 or 3 are pressed in the window frame, side-bar, or title-bar, with no modifiers (none of shift, control, or meta).
Mouse 2 FST N Popup "Window Ops"
Mouse 3 FST N Popup "Window Ops"
Pop-ups can be bound to keys through the use of the Key built in. Pop-ups can be operated without using the mouse by binding to keys and operating via the up arrow, down arrow, and enter keys.
To bind a previously defined pop-up menu to another menu, for use as a sub-menu:

The following example defines a sub menu, "Quit-Verify" and binds it into a main menu, called "RootMenu":
AddToMenu Quit-Verify
 + "Really Quit Fvwm?" Title
 + "Yes, Really Quit"  Quit
 + "Restart Fvwm2"     Restart fvwm2
 + "Restart Fvwm 1.xx" Restart fvwm
 + ""                  Nop
 + "No, Don't Quit"    Nop
AddToMenu RootMenu "Root Menu" Title + "Open XTerm Window" Popup NewWindowMenu + "Login as Root" Exec exec xterm \ -fg green -T Root \ -n Root -e su - + "Login as Anyone" Popup AnyoneMenu + "Remote Hosts" Popup HostMenu + "" Nop + "X utilities" Popup Xutils + "" Nop + "Fvwm Modules" Popup Module-Popup + "Fvwm Window Ops" Popup Window-Ops + "" Nop + "Previous Focus" Prev (*) Focus + "Next Focus" Next (*) Focus + "" Nop + "Refresh screen" Refresh + "Recapture screen" Recapture + "" Nop + "Reset X defaults" Exec xrdb -load \ $HOME/.Xdefaults + "" Nop + "" Nop + "Quit" Popup Quit-Verify

Popup differs from Menu in that pop-ups do not stay up if the user simply clicks. These are Twm style popup-menus, which are a little hard on the wrist. Menu provides Motif or Microsoft-Windows style menus which will stay up on a click action. See menu for an explanation of the interactive behaviour of menus.
Prev (conditions) command
Performs command (typically Focus) on the previous window which satisfies all conditions. Conditions are the same as for Next.
Exits fvwm, generally causing X to exit too.
Causes fvwm to stop managing the screen on which the command was issued.
Allows the user to raise a window.
Alternately raises and lowers a window.
Read filename [ option ]
Causes fvwm to read commands from the file named filename. If the option following the filename is "Quiet", no message is produced if the file is not found.
Causes fvwm to recapture all of its windows. This ensures that the latest style parameters will be used. The recapture operation is visually disturbing.
Causes all windows on the screen to redraw themselves.
Causes current (or chosen) window to redraw itself.
Resize [ x y ]
Allows the user to resize a window. If called from somewhere in a window or its border, then that window will be resized. If called from the root window then the user will be allowed to select the target window.
The operation can be aborted with Escape or by pressing any mouse button (except button 1 which confirms the resize).
If the optional arguments x and y are provided, then the window will be resized so that its dimensions are x by y). The units of x and y are percent-of-screen, unless a letter "p" is appended to each coordinate, in which case the location is specified in pixels.
Restart WindowManagerName
Causes fvwm to restart itself if WindowManagerName is "fvwm2", or to switch to an alternate window manager if WindowManagerName is other than "fvwm2". If the window manager is not in your default search path, then you should use the full path name for WindowManagerName.
This command should not have a trailing ampersand or any command line arguments and should not make use of any environmental variables. Of the following examples, the first two are sure losers, but the third is OK:
Key F1 R N Restart fvwm &
Key F1 R N Restart $(HOME)/bin/fvwm
Key F1 R N Restart /home/nation/bin/fvwm
Scroll horizonal vertical
Scrolls the virtual desktop's viewport by horizontal pages in the x-direction and vertical pages in the y-direction. Either or both entries may be negative. Both horizontal and vertical values are expressed in percent of pages, so "Scroll 100 100" means to scroll down and left by one full page. "Scroll 50 25" means to scroll left half a page and down a quarter of a page. The scroll function should not be called from pop-up menus. Normally, scrolling stops at the edge of the desktop.
If the horizontal and vertical percentages are multiplied by 1000 then scrolling will wrap around at the edge of the desktop. If "Scroll 100000 0" is executed over and over fvwm will move to the next desktop page on each execution and will wrap around at the edge of the desktop, so that every page is hit in turn.
If the letter "p" is appended to each coordinate (horizontal and/or vertical), then the scroll amount will be measured in pixels.
SendToModule modulename string
Sends an arbitrary string (no quotes required) to all modules matching modulename, which may contain wildcards. This only makes sense if the module is set up to understand and deal with these strings though... Can be used for module to module communication, or implementation of more complex commands in modules.
SetAnimation milliseconds-delay [ fractions-to-move-list ]
Sets the time between frames and the list of fractional offsets to customize the animated moves of the AnimatedMove command and the animation of menus (if the menu style is set to animated). If the fractions-to-move-list is omitted, only the time between frames is altered. The fractions-to-move-list specifies how far the window should be offset at each successive frame as a fraction of the difference between the starting location and the ending location. e.g.:
SetAnimation 10 -.01 0 .01 .03 .08 .18 .3 \
  .45 .6 .75 .85 .90 .94 .97 .99 1.0
Sets the delay between frames to 10ms, and sets the positions of the 16 frames of the animation motion. Notice that negative values are allowed, and in particular can be used to make the motion appear more cartoonish, by briefly moving slightly in the opposite direction of the main motion. The above settings are the default.
SetEnv varname stringvalue
Set an environment variable to a new value, similar to shell's export or setenv command. The variable and its value are inherited by processes started directly by fvwm2. This can be especially useful in conjunction with the FvwmM4 module; e.g. "SetEnv height HEIGHT" will make the FvwmM4-set variable "HEIGHT" usable by processes started by fvwm2 as the environment variable "$height". If stringvalue includes whitespace, you should enclose it in quotes.
SnapAttraction proximity [ behavior ]
If during an interactive move the window (or icon) comes within proximity pixels of another the window (or icon) will be moved to make the borders adjoin. The default of -1 means that no snapping will happen. A setting of 0 does indeed snap when the distance is zero pixels. This is relevant when the SnapGrid command is used.
The behavior argument is optional and may be set to one of the four following values:
With All both icons and windows snap to other windows and other icons.
SameType lets snap windows only to other windows and icons only to other icons.
With Windows windows snap only to other windows. Icons do not snap.
Similarly with Icons icons snap to only other icons and windows do not snap.
The default SnapAttraction setting for behavior is "All".
SnapGrid x-grid-size y-grid-size
During an interactive move a window (or icon) will be positioned such that its location (top left corner) will be coincindent with the nearest grid point. The default x-grid-size and y-grid-size setting are both 1, which is effectively no grid all. An interactive move with both SnapGrid and SnapAttraction in effect will result in the window being moved to be adjacent to the nearest window border (if within snap proximity) or grid position. In other words, the window will move the shortest distance possible to satisfy both SnapGrid and SnapAttraction. Note that the X and Y coordinates are not coupled. For example, a window may snap to another window on the X axis while snapping to a grid point on the Y axis.
Makes a window sticky if it is not already sticky, or non-sticky if it is already sticky.
Style windowname options
This command is intended to replace the old fvwm 1.xx global commands NoBorder, NoTitle, StartsOnDesk, Sticky, StaysOnTop, Icon, WindowListSkip, CirculateSkip, SuppressIcons, BoundaryWidth, NoBoundaryWidth, StdForeColor, and StdBackColor with a single flexible and comprehensive window(s) specific command. This command is used to set attributes of a window to values other than the default or to set the window manager default styles.
windowname can be a window's name, class, or resource string. It can contain the wildcards * and/or ?, which are matched in the usual Unix filename manner. They are searched in the reverse order stated, so that Style commands based on the name override or augment those based on the class, which override or augment those based on the resource string.
Note - windows that have no name (WM_NAME) are given a name of "Untitled", and windows that don't have a class (WM_CLASS, res_class) are given Class = "NoClass" and those that don't have a resource (WM_CLASS, res_name) are given Resource = "NoResource".
options is a comma separated list containing some or all of the keywords BorderWidth, HandleWidth, NoIcon/Icon, MiniIcon, IconBox, IconGrid, IconFill, NoTitle/Title, NoHandles/Handles, WindowListSkip/WindowListHit, CirculateSkip/CirculateHit, StaysOnTop/StaysPut, Sticky/Slippery, StartIconic/StartNormal, Color, ForeColor, BackColor, StartsOnDesk/StartsOnPage/StartsAnyWhere, IconTitle/NoIconTitle, MWMButtons/FvwmButtons, MWMBorder/FvwmBorder, MWMDecor/NoDecorHint, MWMFunctions/NoFuncHint, HintOverride/NoOverride, NoButton/Button, OLDecor/NoOLDecor, StickyIcon/SlipperyIcon, SmartPlacement/DumbPlacement, RandomPlacement/ActivePlacement, DecorateTransient/NakedTransient, SkipMapping/ShowMapping, UseDecor, UseStyle, NoPPosition/UsePPosition, Lenience/NoLenience, ClickToFocus/SloppyFocus/MouseFocus|FocusFollowsMouse.
In the above list some options are listed as style-option/opposite-style-option. The opposite-style-option for entries that have them describes the fvwm default behavior and can be used if you want to change the fvwm default behavior.
DecorateTransient causes transient windows, which are normally left undecorated, to be given the usual fvwm decorations (title bar, buttons, etc.). Note that some pop-up windows, such as the xterm menus, are not managed by the window manager and still do not receive decorations. NakedTransient (the default) causes transient windows not to be given the standard decorations.
Icon takes an (optional) unquoted string argument which is the icon bitmap or pixmap to use.
IconBox takes four numeric arguments or an X11 geometry string:
IconBox l t r b
IconBox geometry
Where l is the left coordinate, t is the top, r is right and b is bottom. Negative coordinates indicate distance from the right or bottom of the screen. Perhaps easier to use is an X11 Geometry string:
IconBox -80x200-1-1
Which would place an 80 by 240 pixel iconbox in the lower right hand corner of the screen. The iconbox is a region of the screen where fvwm attempts to put icons for any matching window, as long as they do not overlap other icons. Multiple icon boxes can be defined as overflow areas. When the first icon box is filled, the second one is filled. All the icon boxes for one style must be defined in one command. For example:
Style "*" IconBox -80x200-1-1, \
          IconBox 1000x70-1-1
IconGrid takes 2 numeric arguments greater than zero.
IconGrid x y
Icons are placed in an icon box by stepping thru the icon box using the x and y values for the icon grid, looking for a free space. The default grid is 3 by 3 pixels which gives a tightly packed appearance. To get a more regular appearance use a grid larger than your largest icon. Currently there is no way to clip an icon to a maximum size. An IconGrid definition must follow the IconBox definition that it applies to:
Style "*" IconBox -80x240-1-1, IconGrid 90 90
IconFill takes 2 arguments.
IconFill Bottom Right
Icons are placed in an icon box by stepping thru the icon box using these arguments to control the direction the box is filled in. By default the direction is left to right, then top to bottom. This would be expressed as:
IconFill left bottom
To fill an icon box in columns instead of rows, specify the vertical direction (top or bottom) first. The directions can be abbreviated or spelled out as follows: "t", "top", "b", "bot", "bottom", "l", "lft", "left", "r", "rgt", "right". An IconFill definition must follow the IconBox definition that it applies to:
Style "*" IconBox -80x240-1-1, IconFill b r
MiniIcon specifies a pixmap to use as the miniature icon for the window. This miniature icon can be drawn in a title-bar button (see ButtonStyle), and can be used by various fvwm modules (FvwmWinList, FvwmIconMan, and FvwmTaskBar). It takes the name of a pixmap as an argument.
StartsOnDesk takes a numeric argument which is the desktop number on which the window should be initially placed. Note that standard Xt programs can also specify this via a resource (e.g. "-xrm '*Desk: 1'").
StartsOnPage takes 1, 2, or 3 numeric arguments. If one or three arguments are givem, the first (or only) argument is the desktop number. If three arguments are given, the 2nd and 3rd arguments identify the x,y page position on the virtual window. If two arguments are given, they specify the page position, and indicate no desk preference. If only one argument is given, StartsOnPage functions exactly like StartsOnDesk. For those standard Xt programs which understand this usage, the starting desk/page can also be specified via a resource (e.g., "-xrm 'Fvwm.Page: 1 0 2'").
StartsOnPage in conjunction with SkipMapping is a useful technique when you want to start an app on some other page and continue with what you were doing, rather than waiting for it to appear.
StaysOnTop makes the window always try to stay on top of the other windows. This might be handy for clocks or mailboxes that you would always like to be visible. If the window is explicitly lowered it will not try to force its way back to the top until it is explicitly raised. StaysPut (the default) allows the window to be obscured and stay that way.
BorderWidth takes a numeric argument which is the width of the border to place the window if it does not have resize-handles.
HandleWidth takes a numeric argument which is the width of the border to place the window if it does have resize-handles.
Button and NoButton take a numeric argument which is the number of the title-bar button which is to be included/omitted.
StickyIcon makes the window sticky when its iconified. It will deiconify on top the active desktop.
MWMButtons makes the Maximize button look pressed-in when the window is maximized. See the MWMButton flag in ButtonStyle for more information.
MWMBorder makes the 3-D bevel more closely match mwm's.
MWMDecor makes fvwm attempt to recognize and respect the mwm decoration hints that applications occasionally use.
MWMFunctions makes fvwm attempt to recognize and respect the mwm prohibited operations hints that applications occasionally use. HintOverride makes fvwm shade out operations that mwm would prohibit, but it lets you perform the operation anyway.
OLDecor makes fvwm attempt to recognize and respect the olwm and olvwm hints that many older XView and OLIT applications use.
Color takes two arguments. The first is the window-label text color and the second is the window decoration's normal background color. The two colors are separated with a slash. If the use of a slash causes problems then the separate ForeColor and BackColor options can be used.
UseDecor accepts one argument: the name of a decor created with AddToDecor. If UseDecor is not specified, the "Default" decor is used. Windows do not actually contain decors, but are always assigned to one. If the decor is later modified with AddToDecor, the changes will be visible for all windows which are assigned to it. The decor for a window can be reassigned with ChangeDecor.
UseStyle takes one arg, which is the name of another style. That way you can have unrelated window names easily inherit similar traits without retyping. For example: 'Style "rxvt" UseStyle "XTerm"'.
SkipMapping tells fvwm not to switch to the desk the window is on when it gets mapped initially (useful with StartsOnDesk or StartsOnPage).
Lenience instructs fvwm to ignore the convention in the ICCCM which states that if an application sets the input field of the wm_hints structure to False, then it never wants the window manager to give it the input focus. The only application that I know of which needs this is sxpm, and that is a silly bug with a trivial fix and has no overall effect on the program anyway. Rumor is that some older applications have problems too.
ClickToFocus instructs fvwm to give the focus to the window when it is clicked in. The default MouseFocus (or its alias FocusFollowsMouse) tells fvwm to give the window the focus as soon as the pointer enters the window, and take it away when the pointer leaves the window. SloppyFocus is similar, but doesn't give up the focus if the pointer leaves the window to pass over the root window or a ClickToFocus window (unless you click on it, that is), which makes it possible to move the mouse out of the way without losing focus.
NoPPosition instructs fvwm to ignore the PPosition field when adding new windows. Adherence to the PPosition field is required for some applications, but if you don't have one of those its a real headache.
RandomPlacement causes windows which would normally require user placement to be automatically placed in ever-so-slightly random locations. For the best of all possible worlds use both RandomPlacement and SmartPlacement.
SmartPlacement causes windows which would normally require user placement to be automatically placed in a smart location - a location in which they do not overlap any other windows on the screen. If no such position can be found user placement or random placement (if specified) will be used as a fall-back method. For the best of all possible worlds use both RandomPlacement and SmartPlacement.
An example:
# Change default fvwm behavior to no title-
# bars on windows! Also define a default icon.
Style "*"           NoTitle,                 \
                    Icon unknown1.xpm,       \
                    BorderWidth 4,           \
                    HandleWidth 5
# now, window specific changes: Style "Fvwm*" NoHandles, Sticky, \ WindowListSkip, \ BorderWidth 0 Style "Fvwm Pager" StaysOnTop, BorderWidth 0 Style "*lock" NoHandles, Sticky, \ StaysOnTop, WindowListSkip Style "xbiff" Sticky, WindowListSkip Style "FvwmButtons" NoHandles, Sticky, \ WindowListSkip Style "sxpm" NoHandles Style "makerkit"
# Put title-bars back on xterms only! Style "xterm" Title, Color black/grey
Style "rxvt" Icon term.xpm Style "xterm" Icon rterm.xpm Style "xcalc" Icon xcalc.xpm Style "xbiff" Icon mail1.xpm Style "xmh" Icon mail1.xpm, \ StartsOnDesk 2 Style "xman" Icon xman.xpm Style "matlab" Icon math4.xpm, \ StartsOnDesk 3 Style "xmag" Icon magnifying_glass2.xpm Style "xgraph" Icon graphs.xpm Style "FvwmButtons" Icon toolbox.xpm Style "Maker" StartsOnDesk 1 Style "signal" StartsOnDesk 3
# Fire up Netscape on the second desk, in the # middle of my 3x3 virtual desktop, and don't # bother me with it... Style "Netscape*" SkipMapping, \ StartsOnPage 1 1 1
Note that all properties for a window will be OR'ed together. In the above example "FvwmPager" gets the property StaysOnTop via an exact window name match but also gets NoHandles, Sticky, and WindowListSkip by a match to "Fvwm*". It will get NoTitle by virtue of a match to "*". If conflicting styles are specified for a window, then the last style specified will be used.
If the NoIcon attribute is set then the specified window will simply disappear when it is iconified. The window can be recovered through the window-list. If Icon is set without an argument then the NoIcon attribute is cleared but no icon is specified. An example which allows only the FvwmPager module icon to exist:
Style "*" NoIcon
Style "Fvwm Pager" Icon
Does nothing. This is used to insert a title line in a popup or menu.
TitleStyle [ justification ] [ height num ]
Sets attributes for the title bar. Justifications can be "Centered", "RightJustified," or "LeftJustified." height sets the title bar's height to an amount in pixels. Defaults are Centered and WindowFont height. The height parameter must be set after a WindowFont command since WindowFont resets the height to the default for the specified font. Example:
TitleStyle LeftJustified Height 24
TitleStyle [ state ] [ style ] [ -- [!]flag ... ]
Sets the style for the title bar. state can be one of "ActiveUp," "ActiveDown," or "Inactive." If state is omitted, then the style is added to every state. If parentheses are placed around the style and flags, then multiple state definitions can be given per line. style can be omitted so that flags can be set while not destroying the current style.
If an "!" is prefixed to any flag, its behavior is negated. Valid flags for each state include "Raised," "Flat," and "Sunk" (these are mutually exclusive). The default is Raised. See the note in ButtonStyle regarding the ActiveDown state. Examples:
TitleStyle ActiveUp HGradient 16 navy black
TitleStyle ActiveDown (Solid red -- flat) \
  Inactive (TiledPixmap wood.xpm)
TitleStyle ActiveUp (-- Flat) ActiveDown  \
  (-- Raised) Inactive (-- Flat)
This sets the ActiveUp state to a horizontal gradient, the ActiveDown state to solid red, and the Inactive state to a tiled wood pixmap. Finally, ActiveUp is set to look flat, while ActiveDown set to be sunk (the Raised flag for the ActiveDown state causes it to appear Sunk due to relief inversion), and Inactive is set to flat as well. An example which sets flags for all states:
TitleStyle -- flat
For a flattened look:
TitleStyle -- flat
ButtonStyle All ActiveUp (-- flat) Inactive \
  (-- flat)
UpdateDecor [ decor ]
Updates window decorations. decor is an optional argument which specifies the decor to update. If given, only windows which are assigned to that particular decor will be updated. This command is useful, for instance, after a ButtonStyle, TitleStyle or BorderStyle (possibly used in conjunction with AddToDecor). Specifying an invalid decor results in all windows being updated. This command is less disturbing than Recapture, but does not affect window style options as Recapture does.
Wait name
This built-in is intended to be used in fvwm functions only. It causes execution of a function to pause until a new window name name appears. Fvwm remains fully functional during a wait. This is particularly useful in the InitFunction if you are trying to start windows on specific desktops:
AddToFunc InitFunction
 + "I" exec xterm -geometry 80x64+0+0
 + "I" Wait xterm
 + "I" Desk 0 2
 + "I" Exec exec xmh -font fixed -geometry \
 + "I" Wait xmh
 + "I" Desk 0 0
The above function starts an xterm on the current desk, waits for it to map itself, then switches to desk 2 and starts an xmh. After the xmh window appears control moves to desk 0.
WarpToWindow x y
Warps the cursor to the associated window. The parameters x and y default to percentage of window down and in from the upper left hand corner (or number of pixels down and in if 'p' is appended to the numbers).
WindowFont [ fontname ]
Makes fvwm use font fontname instead of "fixed" for window title-bars. To reset this font to the default font (see DefaultFont) you may omit fontname.
WindowId id func
The WindowId function is similar to the Next and Prev funcs, except that it looks for a specific window id and runs the specified func on it.
WindowId 0x34567890 Raise
WindowId 0x34567890 WarpToWindow 50 50
Mostly this is useful for functions used with the WindowList builtin.
WindowList [ position ] [ options ] [ double-click-action ]
Generates a pop-up menu (and pops it up) in which the title and geometry of each of the windows currently on the desk top are shown. The geometry of iconified windows is shown in parenthesis. Selecting an item from the window list pop-up menu will by default cause the interpreted function WindowListFunc to be run with the window id of that window passed in as $0. By default the WindowListFunc looks like this:
AddToFunc WindowListFunc
 + "I" WindowId $0 Iconify -1
 + "I" WindowId $0 FlipFocus
 + "I" WindowId $0 Raise
 + "I" WindowId $0 WarpToWindow 5p 5p
You can Destroy the builtin WindowListFunc and create your own if these defaults do not suit you.
The position arguments are the same as for Menu. The command double-click-action will be invoked if the user double-clicks (or hits the key rapidly twice if the menu is bound to a key) when bringing the window list. The double-click-action must be quoted if it consists of more than one word.
The double-click-action is useful to define a default window if you have bound the window list to a key (or button) like this:
Key Tab A M WindowList "Prev FlipFocus"
Hitting Alt-Tab once it brings up the window list, if you hit it twice the focus is flipped between the current and the last focused window.
The options passed to WindowList can be "NoGeometry", "Function <funcname>", "Desk <desknum>", "CurrentDesk", "NoIcons", "Icons", "OnlyIcons", "NoNormal", "Normal", "OnlyNormal", "NoSticky", "Sticky", "OnlySticky", "NoOnTop", "OnTop", "OnlyOnTop", "NoDeskSort", "UseIconName", "Alphabetic", "NotAlphabetic".
(Note - normal means not iconic, sticky, or ontop)
If you pass in a function via "Function <funcname>", $0 is the window id:
AddToFunc IFunc "I" WindowId $0 Iconify
WindowList Function IFunc, NoSticky, \
  CurrentDesk, NoIcons
If you wanted to use the WindowList as an icon manager, you could invoke the following:
WindowList OnlyIcons, Sticky, OnTop, Geometry
(Note - the "Only" options essentially wipe out all other ones...)
WindowsDesk arg1 [ arg2 ]
Moves the selected window to another desktop (workspace, room).
This command has been removed and must be replaced by MoveToDesk, the arguments for which are the same as for the Desk command. Note: You cannot simply change the name of the command: the syntax has changed. If you used "WindowsDesk n" to move a window to desk n, you will have to change it to "MoveToDesk 0 n".
WindowShade [ opt ]
Toggles the window shade feature for titled windows. Windows in the shaded state only display a title bar. If opt is not given, the window shade state is toggled. If opt is 1, the window is forced to the shaded state. If opt is 2, then the window is forced to the non-shaded state. Maximized windows and windows without titles cannot be shaded.
XORvalue number
Changes the value with which bits are XOR'ed when doing rubber-band window moving or resizing. Setting this value is a trial-and-error process.
Used to continue adding to the last specified decor, function or menu. See the discussion for AddToDecor, AddToFunc, and AddToMenu.


All (I think) window manager operations can be performed from the keyboard so mouseless operation should be possible. In addition to scrolling around the virtual desktop by binding the Scroll built-in to appropriate keys, pop-ups, move, resize, and most other built-ins can be bound to keys. Once a built-in function is started the pointer is moved by using the up, down, left, and right arrows, and the action is terminated by pressing return. Holding down the shift key will cause the pointer movement to go in larger steps and holding down the control key will cause the cursor movement to go in smaller steps. Standard emacs and vi cursor movement controls (^n, ^p, ^f, ^b, and ^j, ^k, ^h, ^l) can be used instead of the arrow keys.


A sample configuration file, .fvwmrc, is supplied with the fvwm distribution. It is well commented and can be used as a source of examples for fvwm configuration.


If the -s command line argument is not given, fvwm will automatically start up on every screen on the specified display. After fvwm starts each screen is treated independently. Restarts of fvwm need to be performed separately on each screen. The use of EdgeScroll 0 0 is strongly recommended for multi-screen displays.
You may need to quit on each screen to quit from the X session completely.


Fvwm starts on this display unless the -display option is given.
Set by fvwm to the directory containing the standard fvwm modules.


As of fvwm 2.2 there were exactly 46.144 unidentified bugs. Identified bugs have mostly been fixed, though. Since then 12.25 bugs have been fixed. Assuming that there are at least 10 unidentified bugs for every identified one, that leaves us with 46.144 - 12.25 + 10 * 12.25 = 156.395 unidentified bugs. If we follow this to its logical conclusion we will have an infinite number of unidentified bugs before the number of bugs can start to diminish, at which point the program will be bug-free. Since this is a computer program infinity = 3.4028e+38 if you don't insist on double-precision. At the current rate of bug discovery we should expect to achieve this point in 4.27e+27 years. I guess I better plan on passing this thing on to my children....
Known bugs can be found in the BUGS file in the distribution, in the fvwm bug tracking system (accessible from the fvwm home page) and in the TO-DO list.
Bug reports can be sent to the FVWM workers' mailing list (see the FAQ).


Robert Nation with help from many people, based on twm code, which was written by Tom LaStrange. After Robert Nation came Charles Hines, followed by Brady Montz. Currently fvwm is maintained by a number of people on the fvwm-workers mailing list (Dan Espen, Steve Robbins, Paul Smith, Jason Tibbitts, Dominik Vogt, Bob Woodside and others).
The official FVWM homepage is http://www.fvwm.org/.
late 20th century 3rd Berkeley Distribution