Earlier, I asked whether it would be possible to run Fluxbox as Gnome's default windowmanager instead of metacity.
I am pleased to report that this is possible. Consider this a draft howto, as I am busy trying to tweak things.
I am indebted to poofyhairguy's "enlightened gnome" howto, as well as Stormy Eyes' excellent advice on running Openbox within Gnome
STEP ONE: Installing Fluxbox
This is the easy part. Fluxbox is in universe; enable universe, fire up your terminal, and
$ sudo apt-get install fluxbox
You can restart the Xsession here, if you like. When GDM comes up, you'll see Fluxbox added to your "Sessions" menu.
However, I would NOT restart the Xsession at this point. Fire up your terminal and
where you see replace that line with If you do this, Fluxbox will, on its first execution, generate a configuration file:
$ sudo /usr/share/xsessions/fluxbox.desktop
For a more complete discussion of what the startup file does in Fluxbox, please see This page in the Gentoo Wiki
Log into fluxbox, and confirm that it does, indeed work. We are now ready for
STEP TWO: Cramming Fluxbox into Gnome
This next section is essentially ripped off of poofyhairguy's excellent, and recently slashdotted, Enlightened Gnome Howto.
First, execute the following in a regular terminal:
Then, edit that session file:
$ sudo cp /usr/share/gnome/default.session ~/.gnome2/session
Find this line:
sudo gedit ~/.gnome2/session
and change it to this:
1,RestartCommand=gnome-wm --sm-client-id default1
Save the file, restart your Xsession (CTRL+ALT+BKSPACE), and log back into gnome.
1,RestartCommand=gnome-wm --default-wm fluxbox --sm-client-id default1
This will take a while. You will see fluxbox first, then the gnome-panel, and finally the desktop will appear and draw over all the fluxbox desktop.
Fluxbox in Gnome: First impressions
Fluxbox is a very lightweight windowmanager. Not for nothing is it the wm of choice of DamnSmallLinux From what I can tell, it takes up VERY little RAM.
It also draws and redraws faster than metacity, at least on my equipment--AMD k7, 512 MB RAM, nvidia geforce 5200 128mb VRAM-- and much neater as well.
Here's a neat trick that Fluxbox does: open two windows. Now middle-click drag one onto another. The two windows are now docked together: clicking on the titlebar will switch between windows. In this way, you can tab through any number of windows. This is particularly nice if you run stuff from terminals--that way, you can have the app in one window, then click the window itself and get the debug output.
Things I've got to figure out:
The nautilus desktop draws over fluxbox. Thus, no flux taskbar and no slit (the flux name for the dock).
Also, I can't get flux's right-click menu. Middle-click works.
Comments are ALWAYS welcome. A huge shout and thanks to the whole Ubuntu community--y'all rock, hard.
And of course, a screenshot of my desktop. The wm is fluxbox, and an assload of gdesklets running.