xfce4-session: xfwm4 removed from session, not started on login

Chris Bainbridge chris.bainbridge at gmail.com
Wed Jul 25 17:47:02 CEST 2012

On 25 July 2012 14:34, Matt X <edelstahl at gmx.us> wrote:
> [...]
>> 2) Is there any way to ensure that this never happens again? I'm
>> thinking that xfwm4 (and perhaps some others) is so important that it
>> should always be started regardless of the previous session contents,
>> unless the user has explicitly configured an alternative session
>> manager.
> Please reassure me:
> - Would this cause problems if a person didn't have xfwm4 installed, and specified another WM in xfce's Session and Startup?  On one computer, I used Metacity with XFCE for a while (I use xfwm4 now).  On another, I still use Openbox (and will for the foreseeable future).
> - Would this cause problems or slow down log in if a person _did_ have xfwm4 installed, but had another WM specified in xfce's Session and Startup?
> - How would xfce-session know that one of the autostart applications specified is a different WM?

I don't see why it would cause any problems - the chosen WM would be
stored as a setting (is it already stored somewhere?) and started on
every login, rather than having to be present in the user's session
file. If you choose a different WM, then that would be started
instead. If you want to run your own script to start your WM, then you
would just select that script in the settings, if you don't want a WM,
then you select "no wm".

It just seems like the existing way of starting the WM is extremely
fragile, there are reports in forums all over the net of people asking
how to fix their broken xfce with no window decorations (google xfce
no window borders). It's in the FAQ -
http://wiki.xfce.org/faq#window_manager "If you have no window borders
anymore and can't focus windows, xfwm4 probably closed itself. This
happens sometimes and due to the random nature of this annoying bug
it's hard to track. But there are workarounds available." I don't
understand why a dead window manager is so difficult to deal with,
when it could just be restarted on login. Perhaps I'm missing

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