[xmonad] background applications

Jim Cheetham jim at gonzul.net
Mon Aug 30 01:06:31 EDT 2010

On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 2:50 PM, Sergey Manucharian
<ingeniware at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I'm trying to get a handle on the different "levels" that xmonad can
>> run at: either within gnome, or instead of gnome... is that right?

Not quite; XMonad manages windows, Gnome manages "desktop sessions"
and uses something else to manage windows -- in Ubuntu that's

It's quite possible to have Gnome running with XMonad as the window
manager -- if you do this you can have the standard gnome-panel with
menus, application icons and status applets. Mind you, there is a
little confusion in idiom between a window manager that primarily uses
the keyboard with a panel that primarily demands the mouse ...

The following command will change the window manager that Gnome uses :-
$ gconftool-2 -s
/desktop/gnome/session/required_components/windowmanager xmonad --type

(set it to gnome-wm to get the old metacity back)

This way you can log in with "gnome session" and get xmonad. You may
want to play around with the xmonad.hs a little to improve things --
use avoidStruts on your layouts so you can have "always visible"
things like gkrellm running without overlapping.

You can also hook up to DBus and have the XMonad Log Monitor running
in gnome-panel, so you get the current window title and layout name to
display in the panel ... however the log monitor applet is abandoned
now, and I think there are some deep issues with xmonad sending
messages to dbus reliably, because it doesn't always update for me ...

I keep Gnome around despite the memory load because I've become used
to things like the rhythmbox control icon, and how ssh-agent
integrates. But that's about all I consciously need ...

> I use trayer [0] - it's a tiny application which I start from
> my .xinitrc. It holds Skypes and Pidgin's tray icons.
> I believe there must be a package for Ubuntu.

Looks like it -- "trayer" gets you v1.0-3 from the universe
repository. From http://fbpanel.sf.net/


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