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18 April 2011, 10:25

FVWM 2.6 released after nearly ten years in development

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FVWM logo After five years since a stable release and nearly ten years in development, version 2.6.0 of the FVWM window manager has been released. This new version adds numerous features including support for PNG/SVG icons, "unmanaged" windows, modules for moving windows and listing running windows, more style options, improved font support with anti-aliasing, GetText support for menu text, support for Perl based modules and mouse gesture bindings. The new release comes with a script, fvwm-convert-2.6, which will convert 2.4's config files to the 2.6's configuration format to simplify upgrading.

As one of the earliest virtual window managers for the X Window system, FVWM (F Virtual Window Manager) was released in 1993 as a derivative of twm (Tom's or Tabbed Window Manager) with support added for virtual desktops. Over the years, FVWM became a heavily configurable window manager with the ability to style most of its visual elements, create dynamic popup menus, manage sessions and, of course, handle multiple virtual desktops. FVWM provided the basis for a whole generation of window managers. But it was also overshadowed both by the projects based on it and by the GNOME and KDE desktops which demoted the window manager to just a component of the Unix desktop. FVWM still has its users though, drawn to its extreme configurability and minimal footprint compared to a desktop environment.

The last stable release series, 2.4, reached version 2.4.20, released in December 2006; even numbered series in FVWM are stable versions and odd numbered series are beta/development versions. Series 2.5 began development in 2002 and reached version 2.5.31 by the end of last year. Now, that development version has become the new stable release, the basis for series 2.6 of FVWM. The 2.6.0 release has already been superceded by a 2.6.1 release which fixed some last minute bugs.


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