I want to use TWM without, say, GNOME or KDE or Xfce. Just plain TWM, no frills. I'm new to the whole desktop environment/window/display manager aspect so I'm not sure how I should go about setting this up.

  • Bravo! twm is still a fast, lightweight window manager with interesting concepts incorporated. Be sure to investigate doing your own menus, and modifying what mouseclicks on the background can do. – Bruce Ediger Oct 19 '14 at 21:20

Presuming you have twm installed (yum install xorg-x11-twm), create a shell script in $HOME called .xinitrc:



That's it. I believe this must be executable (chmod a+x .xinitrc). You will now be able to startx from the console and get twm (don't invoke this script yourself directly). If you use a display manager (graphical login), it should use this as well, although I cannot promise.

See also man xinit.

  • Will any gnome/kde components be loaded still? I'm looking to reduce memory usage with this, too. – Kayell Oct 19 '14 at 16:38
  • They're only loaded if you use them. – goldilocks Oct 19 '14 at 17:57
  • I tried this today, but to no avail. I'm using XDM as my display manager, and with that script (and the same code in .xsessions) nothing happens when I login, save for a frozen, centered mouse cursor. I can switch to other consoles though, however, so the system is not hanged. Any ideas? I wish this wasn't so hard, I'm almost tempted to just reinstall with the minimal install. – Kayell Oct 24 '14 at 2:34
  • Unless you are really attached to the graphical login, I'd just remove that so you boot to console and then use startx -- I've posted an explanation for that here: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/164005/… – goldilocks Oct 24 '14 at 13:44
  • ...also just noticed I had the shebang reversed (!#/bin/sh should have been #!/bin/sh; # before !, now edited correctly). If you duplicated that mistake it would be a problem. – goldilocks Oct 24 '14 at 13:55

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