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

Olivier Fourdan fourdan at gmail.com
Wed Jul 25 18:17:28 CEST 2012

On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 5:47 PM, Chris Bainbridge <
chris.bainbridge at gmail.com> wrote:

> [...]
> 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".

Then how does the session manager tells that an application is a WM? How do
you prevent the session manager from starting the WM from the session if
you specify a WM elsewhere?

With the current design, changing the WM is as simple as:

$ myfavoritewm --replace &

And it will be restored along with the session, it's that simple. Anything
else adds non-standard complexity.

> 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."

Having many users hitting the same bug does not mean the code is fragile,
it means the code needs fixing.

Session management is pretty standard and works well enough, unless we hit
a bug such as this one.

Fixing the bug should be the goal, not reinventing the way of starting the
window manager to hide possible bugs in the future...

> 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
> something?

It is not a dead window manager, it's the session management not starting

If the WM dies, fix the WM, If the session manager fails to restart the WM,
fix the session manager.

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