Paul Sutton


FreeBSD 7

Further to my previous post I have been on IRC #freebsd in order to ask about what would be good to use for taking screen shots of desktop applications for example.

Scrot : is easy to use and you cam use this to take a picture of the whole screen, this will be useful going forward with these posts.

pkg install scrot

For basic usage just type scrot at the console or in a terminal window.

I have also installed simpleviewer, with

pkg install simpleviewer

However running this at the cli did do anything, you need to find the actual binary executable for this.

info -lx simpleviewer

reveals sviewgl as the program you need to run.

I am now pretty much set up for taking screenshots and being able to view then.

#bsd, #desktop, ##freebsd, #twm, #screenshots, #graphics, #viewing, #console, #gui


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FreeBSD 6

Further to my previous post or probably more specifically the post before that I am sharing a little more about setting up twm.

I have been trying to find a way to share my config files here. The easiest way to this, so I thought, would be to copy the files to a removable media, this failed. So this morning I created a github repository and uploaded copies of the two files there.

So firstly there is the xinitrc file as below



# merge in defaults and keymaps

if [ -f $sysresources ]; then

    xrdb -merge $sysresources


if [ -f $sysmodmap ]; then
    xmodmap $sysmodmap

if [ -f "$userresources" ]; then
    xrdb -merge "$userresources"


if [ -f "$usermodmap" ]; then
    xmodmap "$usermodmap"

# start some nice programs

if [ -d /usr/local/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d ] ; then
	for f in /usr/local/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/?*.sh ; do
		[ -x "$f" ] && . "$f"
	unset f
twm &
#xclock -geometry 50x50-1+1 &
#xterm -geometry 40x25+494-0 &
exec xterm -geometry 40x25+0+0 -name login

The end section of this tells the X11 system to load twm as the window manager, the last line creates a special xterm window that, if exited will exit the X11 system too.

Following on from this is the system.twmrc file which is sets up the twm system.

# Default twm configuration file; needs to be kept small to conserve string
# space in systems whose compilers don't handle medium-sized strings.
# Sites should tailor this file, providing any extra title buttons, menus, etc.
# that may be appropriate for their environment.  For example, if most of the
# users were accustomed to uwm, the defaults could be set up not to decorate
# any windows and to use meta-keys.

TitleFont "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*"
ResizeFont "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*"
MenuFont "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*"
IconFont "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--*-100-*-*-*-*-*-*"
IconManagerFont "-adobe-helvetica-bold-r-normal--*-100-*-*-*"

    BorderColor "slategrey"
    DefaultBackground "rgb:2/a/9"
    DefaultForeground "gray85"
    TitleBackground "rgb:2/a/9"
    TitleForeground "gray85"
    MenuBackground "rgb:2/a/9"
    MenuForeground "white"
    MenuBorderColor "black"
    MenuTitleBackground "gray70"
    MenuTitleForeground "rgb:2/a/9"
    IconBackground "rgb:2/a/9"
    IconForeground "gray85"
    IconBorderColor "gray85"
    IconManagerBackground "rgb:2/a/9"
    IconManagerForeground "gray85"

# Define some useful functions for motion-based actions.
MoveDelta 3
Function "move-or-lower" { f.move f.deltastop f.lower }
Function "move-or-raise" { f.move f.deltastop f.raise }
Function "move-or-iconify" { f.move f.deltastop f.iconify }

# Set some useful bindings.  Sort of uwm-ish, sort of simple-button-ish
Button1 = : root : "defops"

Button1 = m : window|icon : f.function "move-or-lower"
Button2 = m : window|icon : f.iconify
#Button3 = m : window|icon : f.function "move-or-raise"
Button3 = m : window|icon : f.quit "quit application"

Button1 = : title : f.function "move-or-raise"
Button2 = : title : f.raiselower

Button1 = : icon : f.function "move-or-iconify"
Button2 = : icon : f.iconify

Button1 = : iconmgr : f.iconify
Button2 = : iconmgr : f.iconify

# And a menus with the usual things
menu "defops"
"Twm"	f.title
"Iconify"	f.iconify
"Resize"	f.resize
"Move"		f.move
"Raise"		f.raise
"Lower"		f.lower
""		f.nop
"Focus"		f.focus
"Unfocus"	f.unfocus
"Show Iconmgr"	f.showiconmgr
"Hide Iconmgr"	f.hideiconmgr
""		f.nop
"Nethack"	f.exec "exec vulture-nethack &"
"Doom"		f.exec "exec prboom &"	
#"Xterm"	f.exec "exec xterm &"
"LXTerminal"	f.exec "exec lxterminal &"
"Thunar"	f.exec "exec thunar &"

"XCalc"		f.exec "exec xcalc &"
""		f.nop
"Kill"		f.destroy
"Delete"	f.delete
""		f.nop
"Restart"	f.restart
"Exit"		f.quit

"Frame"	"=100x50+100+100"	1
"XTerm"	"=300x50+120+100"	2

It is fairly basic at the moment, but feel free to git clone from here.

I am sharing as they are more of a guide rather than something that should be just used.

#bsd, #config, #desktop, #settings, #configuration, #tool, #freebsd, #twm, #window, #icoms, #xinitrc, #system.twmrc

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FreeBSD 5

Carrying on directly from my previous post I have found a nice video tutorial to explain how to edit the .twmrc file. This can be found at:

While this is a short video, it is easy to follow and comprehensive.

#bsd, #config, #desktop, #settings, #configuration, #tool, #freebsd, #twm, #window, #icoms.

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FreeBSD 4

Carrying on from my previous post. I am now turning my attention to configuring the twm desktop [1]

twm is set as the default window manager in:-

/usr/local/etc/X11/xinit/ file : xinitrc

After finding some information on how to configure the twm desktop [2]. This document seems to be from around 1989.

I tried to find the configuration files in my local home directory structure on bsd but was unable to. However there is one


Which, I think is more of a global configuration. Given the only two users are myself and root is fine.

I used this to add a second icon manager to the desktop.

I have also found some other documentation [3] which explains how add items to the menu.

So to add menu entry to menu for vulture-nethack

edit /usr/local/share/X11/twm/system.twmrc

“Nethack” f.exec “exec vulture-nethack &”

the & is important

If you need more help you may want to ask on IRC: * #freebsd which is hosted freenode. [4] I am on IRC as zleap but also frequent a few other channels.


  1. twm Desktop
  2. An Overview of twm (Tom’s Window Manager)
  3. Customizing twm
  4. Freenode IRC

#bsd, #config, #desktop, #settings, #configuration, #tool, #freebsd, #twm, #window, #icoms.

You can find me on Friendica at

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Licenced under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)