I normally enjoy using Gnome 3 and gnome-shell in Fedora 16. However, I would like to temporarily run a non-compositing window manager such as metacity so that some wine games can have full control of the display.

I have metacity installed. When I run metacity --replace, instead of switching window managers I get a gnome-shell failure display that forces me to logout.

I also cannot find a way to choose a different session from the login prompt. There are no buttons, options, arrows or anything to choose. Just username and password.

I'm about to resort to desperate measures involving systemd runlevels to disable X and start it manually via startx. Is that going to be my only option? I hope not.

2 Answers 2


No. However ambitious and great your idea about halting runlevels, you need not do that. Once you are logged into your GNOME system, switch to TTY1 using 'ctrl + Alt + F1'. There enter the following command:

$ xinit metacity -- :1

This will launch metacity on Screen 1. If you want you can also end your GNOME session before doing this.


If you use GDM, there next to the user and password a small arrow where you can choose the X dm you have installed and want to use. So closing session and choosing that WM should work.

  • This does not actually work because GDM seems to only detect full desktop environments, not window managers.
    – Zan Lynx
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 18:45
  • 4
    @ZanLynx - You can create a .desktop file for whatever you use. I use xmonad fine with GDM.
    – beatgammit
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 17:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .