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Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:29 pm
by cwwgateway
Hi,
I have been working with XFCE a little bit and I wanted to see what some people have done to make it seem/act more like gnome 2.32. In my case, I use pretty much the default LMDE desktop, but with the mint menu and (depending on how I feel :wink: ), AWN.

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:35 pm
by Roken
I spent a little time doing it, but my XFCE desktop is virtually identical to my old gnome 2.3 desktop. I'd give you comparative screen grabs, but I'm slowly eradicating as much of gnome from my system as I can, and no longer have the option to boot in to a gnome desktop,

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:42 pm
by wyrdoak
Here's Xfce with Compiz and Wine.
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Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:25 pm
by kijin
@wyrdoak What do your window decorations look like? I've been playing with Compiz on Mint 12 / Xubuntu 11.10, but I can't get Compiz to respect xfwm4's window decoration settings. It keeps trying to use the GNOME (Metacity) window decoration.

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:44 pm
by wyrdoak
I'm using Emerald for my window decorations. have you tried xfwm4 --replace in the window decorations command line?
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BTW: I've found it works better if you DON"T set up Compiz to autostart, set up only the Fusion Icon to autostart.

Auto Start Command: fusion-icon

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:33 pm
by Roken
In the interests of completeness, here's a grab of my desktop. The window decorations are a gtk2/gtk3 theme (the gtk3 part is for new gnome applications that rely on it to get consistency. xfce applications are fine with gtk2).

I've included my compiz window decorator in the grab for you.
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Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:09 pm
by kijin
wyrdoak wrote:I'm using Emerald for my window decorations. have you tried xfwm4 --replace in the window decorations command line?

BTW: I've found it works better if you DON"T set up Compiz to autostart, set up only the Fusion Icon to autostart.
Auto Start Command: fusion-icon
I tried xfwm4 --replace but this just caused Compiz to stop working. I'd much rather avoid Emerald because it seems rather unstable and most of those glossy Emerald themes are not to my taste. But I'll try the fusion-icon method and see how it goes. Thanks.

I got XFCE set up almost exactly the way I used to set up GNOME 2: one panel and a dock. The only thing I'm missing is the smooth window/workspace switcher, which requires Compiz. If I could get similar effects without relying on Compiz, I'd do it.

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:49 pm
by richyrich
simply xfce4 compositing and docky. look ma! no compiz! :D

Image

ps: the workspace mouse navigation tweaks work great too.

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:52 pm
by wyrdoak
kijin wrote:
I tried xfwm4 --replace but this just caused Compiz to stop working. I'd much rather avoid Emerald because it seems rather unstable and most of those glossy Emerald themes are not to my taste. But I'll try the fusion-icon method and see how it goes. Thanks.
Looks like you need: gtk-window-decorator --replace like Roken pointed out. I haven't had too much of an instability problem with Emerald, works better than it did in Gnome for me, once I found something that I could live with and stopped playing with it.

I use Expo and for some reason wobbly windows :lol: is the main reason for Compiz. I mainly set up the cube to get the Xfce window switcher to work with Compiz.

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:01 am
by kijin
wyrdoak wrote:Looks like you need: gtk-window-decorator --replace like Roken pointed out.
That worked like a charm, thanks. I'm using the Equinox Evolution theme. Had to go into gconf-editor to set the theme manually.
wyrdoak wrote:I use Expo and for some reason wobbly windows :lol: is the main reason for Compiz. I mainly set up the cube to get the Xfce window switcher to work with Compiz.
I like Compiz's window switcher. I also find that the smooth animation when changing workspaces helps me remember which workspace I'm on. Expo too.

But wobbly windows? Seriously? lol :P

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:27 am
by wyrdoak
kijin wrote: I like Compiz's window switcher. I also find that the smooth animation when changing workspaces helps me remember which workspace I'm on. Expo too.

But wobbly windows? Seriously? lol :P
:lol: Well after a year with Win7 starter :cry: one of the ugliest desktops they could come up with,and you can't even change the wallpaper I needed some fun. :mrgreen:

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:47 pm
by kijin
Hmm, I found a minor issue. gtk-window-decorator crashes if I click the "menu" button at the top left of a window. I don't really need that button, so I disabled it using gconf-editor. The relevant key is apps/metacity/general/button_layout if anyone is wondering.

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:55 pm
by bwat47
Where do you set the decorator theme in gconf?

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:59 pm
by wyrdoak
Compiz setting manager/ window decoration/command

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:30 pm
by dritzominous
richyrich wrote:simply xfce4 compositing and docky. look ma! no compiz! :D

Image

ps: the workspace mouse navigation tweaks work great too.
Power to you bro!

That's how I roll too. 8)

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:52 am
by jjaythomas
Compiz or xfwm4...

it seems more stable if delete xfwm4 from session "menu-settings-'session and Startup' and then manually start comiz and resave session in "menu-settings-'session and Startup' (no need to autostart 'FusionIcon') and you won't be startin xfwm4 just to replace it with compiz.

Hint you can also deleate 'xfdesktop' from session and diferent wallpapers per desktop (wallpaper plugin) and/or cube faces work not to mention pager in panel. :D

J.Jay

Re: Making XFCE closer to gnome 2.32

Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:01 am
by LifeInTheGrey
jjaythomas wrote:Compiz or xfwm4...

it seems more stable if delete xfwm4 from session "menu-settings-'session and Startup' and then manually start comiz and resave session in "menu-settings-'session and Startup' (no need to autostart 'FusionIcon') and you won't be startin xfwm4 just to replace it with compiz.

Hint you can also deleate 'xfdesktop' from session and diferent wallpapers per desktop (wallpaper plugin) and/or cube faces work not to mention pager in panel. :D

J.Jay
Actually, an even smoother way is to edit this file (root permission):

/etc/xdg/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-session.xml

And replace this ...

<property name="Client0_Command" type="array">
<value type="string" value="xfwm4"/>
</property>

with this ...

<property name="Client0_Command" type="array">
<value type="string" value="compiz"/>
<value type="string" value="ccp"/>
</property>

This will start Compiz at boot without any sort of --replace command at all because Compiz is now the default window manager for the system. The "ccp" component is to use the settings you specify in CCSM.

In regards to the overall "make XFCE like GNOME 2" topic ... totally doable. I actually like the XFCE weather applet more than GNOME's, and with a little magic you can get it running the exact same using WAY less resources. A screenshot of my system is here, and tell me that doesn't just ooze GNOME 2.

Btw, the theme is a GTK2/GTK3 theme I made called Buonanotte ... if you like, PM me.