mwmrc man page

mwmrc — the Motif Window Manager Resource Description File

Description

The mwmrc file is a supplementary resource file that controls much of the behavior of the Motif window manager mwm.  It contains descriptions of resources that cannot easily be written using standard X Window System, Version 11 resource syntax. The resource description file contains entries that are referred to by X resources in defaults files (for example, /usr/share/X11/app-defaults/Mwm) or in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property on the root window. For example, the resource description file enables you to specify different types of window menus; however, an X resource is used to specify which of these window menus mwm should use for a particular window.

Location

The window manager searches for one of the following resource description files, where $LANG is the value of the language environment on a per-user basis:

$HOME/$LANG/.mwmrc
$HOME/.mwmrc
/etc/X11/mwm/$LANG/system.mwmrc
/etc/X11/mwm/system.mwmrc

The first file found is the first used. If no file is found, a set of built-in specifications is used. A particular resource description file can be selected using the configFile resource. The following shows how a different resource description file can be specified from the command line:

/usr/bin/mwm -xrm "mwm*configFile: mymwmrc"

Resource Types

The following types of resources can be described in the mwm resource description file:

Buttons

Window manager functions can be bound (associated) with button events.

Keys

Window manager functions can be bound (associated) with key press events.

Menus

Menu panes can be used for the window menu and other menus posted with key bindings and button bindings.

Mwm Resource Description File Syntax

The mwm resource description file is a standard text file that contains items of information separated by blanks, tabs, and new lines characters. Blank lines are ignored. Items or characters can be quoted to avoid special interpretation (for example, the comment character can be quoted to prevent it from being interpreted as the comment character). A quoted item can be contained in double quotes (" "). Single characters can be quoted by preceding them by the back-slash character (\). If a line ends with a back-slash, the next line is considered a continuation of that line. All text from an unquoted # to the end of the line is regarded as a comment and is not interpreted as part of a resource description. If ! is the first character in a line, the line is regarded as a comment.

Window Manager Functions

Window manager functions can be accessed with button and key bindings, and with window manager menus. Functions are indicated as part of the specifications for button and key binding sets, and menu panes. The function specification has the following syntax:

function = function_name [function_args]
function_name = window manager function
function_args = {quoted_item | unquoted_item}

The following functions are supported. If a function is specified that isn't one of the supported functions then it is interpreted by mwm as f.nop.

f.beep

This function causes a beep.

f.circle_down [ icon | window]

This function causes the window or icon that is on the top of the window stack to be put on the bottom of the window stack (so that it is no longer obscuring any other window or icon). This function affects only those windows and icons that are obscuring other windows and icons, or that are obscured by other windows and icons. Secondary windows (that is, transient windows) are restacked with their associated primary window. Secondary windows always stay on top of the associated primary window and there can be no other primary windows between the secondary windows and their primary window. If an icon function argument is specified, then the function applies only to icons. If a window function argument is specified then the function applies only to windows.

f.circle_up [ icon | window]

This function raises the window or icon on the bottom of the window stack (so that it is not obscured by any other windows). This function affects only those windows and icons that are obscuring other windows and icons, or that are obscured by other windows and icons. Secondary windows (that is, transient windows) are restacked with their associated primary window. If an icon function argument is specified then the function applies only to icons. If an window function argument is specified then the function applies only to windows.

f.exec command (or ! command)

This function causes command to be executed (using the value of the $MWMSHELL or $SHELL environment variable if set; otherwise, /bin/sh ). The ! notation can be used in place of the f.exec function name.

f.focus_color

This function sets the colormap focus to a client window. If this function is done in a root context, then the default colormap (setup by the X Window System for the screen where mwm is running) is installed and there is no specific client window colormap focus. This function is treated as f.nop if colormapFocusPolicy is not explicit.

f.focus_key

This function sets the keyboard input focus to a client window or icon. This function is treated as f.nop if keyboardFocusPolicy is not explicit or the function is executed in a root context.

f.kill

This function is used to close application windows. The actual processing that occurs depends on the protocols that the application observes. The application lists the protocols it observes in the WM_PROTOCOLS property on its top level window. If the application observes the WM_DELETE_WINDOW protocol, it is sent a message that requests the window be deleted. If the application observes both WM_DELETE_WINDOW and WM_SAVE_YOURSELF, it is sent one message requesting the window be deleted and another message advising it to save its state. If the application observes only the WM_SAVE_YOURSELFprotocol , it is sent a message advising it to save its state. After a delay (specified by the resource quitTimeout), the application's connection to the X server is terminated. If the application observes neither of these protocols, its connection to the X server is terminated.

f.lower [- client | within | freeFamily]

This function lowers a primary window to the bottom of the global window stack (where it obscures no other window) and lowers the secondary window (transient window or dialog box) within the client family. The arguments to this function are mutually exclusive. The client argument indicates the name or class of a client to lower. The name or class of a client appears in the WM_CLASS property on the client's top-level window. If the client argument is not specified, the context that the function was invoked in indicates the window or icon to lower. Specifying within lowers the secondary window within the family (staying above the parent) but does not lower the client family in the global window stack. Specifying freeFamily lowers the window to the bottom of the global windows stack from its local family stack.

f.maximize

This function causes a client window to be displayed with its maximum size. Refer to the maximumClientSize, maximumMaximumSize, and limitResize resources in mwm(1).

f.menu menu_name

This function associates a cascading (pull-right) menu with a menu pane entry or a menu with a button or key binding. The menu_name function argument identifies the menu to be used.

f.minimize

This function causes a client window to be minimized (iconified). When a window is minimized with no icon box in use, and if the lowerOnIconify resource has the value True (the default), the icon is placed on the bottom of the window stack (such that it obscures no other window). If an icon box is used, then the client's icon changes to its iconified form inside the icon box. Secondary windows (that is, transient windows) are minimized with their associated primary window. There is only one icon for a primary window and all its secondary windows.

f.move

This function initiates an interactive move of a client window.

f.next_cmap

This function installs the next colormap in the list of colormaps for the window with the colormap focus.

f.next_key [ icon | window | transient]

This function sets the keyboard input focus to the next window/icon in the set of windows/icons managed by the window manager (the ordering of this set is based on the stacking of windows on the screen). This function is treated as f.nop if keyboardFocusPolicy is not explicit. The keyboard input focus is only moved to windows that do not have an associated secondary window that is application modal. If the transient argument is specified, then transient (secondary) windows are traversed (otherwise, if only window is specified, traversal is done only to the last focused window in a transient group). If an icon function argument is specified, then the function applies only to icons. If a window function argument is specified, then the function applies only to windows.

f.nop

This function does nothing.

f.normalize

This function causes a client window to be displayed with its normal size. Secondary windows (that is, transient windows) are placed in their normal state along with their associated primary window.

f.normalize_and_raise

This function causes a client window to be displayed with its normal size and raised to the top of the window stack. Secondary windows (that is, transient windows) are placed in their normal state along with their associated primary window.

f.pack_icons

This function is used to relayout icons (based on the layout policy being used) on the root window or in the icon box. In general this causes icons to be "packed" into the icon grid.

f.pass_keys

This function is used to enable/disable (toggle) processing of key bindings for window manager functions. When it disables key binding processing all keys are passed on to the window with the keyboard input focus and no window manager functions are invoked. If the f.pass_keys function is invoked with a key binding to disable key binding processing the same key binding can be used to enable key binding processing.

f.post_wmenu

This function is used to post the window menu. If a key is used to post the window menu and a window menu button is present, the window menu is automatically placed with its top-left corner at the bottom-left corner of the window menu button for the client window. If no window menu button is present, the window menu is placed at the top-left corner of the client window.

f.prev_cmap

This function installs the previous colormap in the list of colormaps for the window with the colormap focus.

f.prev_key [ icon | window | transient]

This function sets the keyboard input focus to the previous window/icon in the set of windows/icons managed by the window manager (the ordering of this set is based on the stacking of windows on the screen). This function is treated as f.nop if keyboardFocusPolicy is not explicit. The keyboard input focus is only moved to windows that do not have an associated secondary window that is application modal. If the transient argument is specified, then transient (secondary) windows are traversed (otherwise, if only window is specified, traversal is done only to the last focused window in a transient group). If an icon function argument is specified then the function applies only to icons. If an window function argument is specified then the function applies only to windows.

f.quit_mwm

This function terminates mwm (but NOT the X window system).

f.raise [-client | within | freeFamily]

This function raises a primary window to the top of the global window stack (where it is obscured by no other window) and raises the secondary window (transient window or dialog box) within the client family. The arguments to this function are mutually exclusive. The client argument indicates the name or class of a client to lower. If the client is not specified, the context that the function was invoked in indicates the window or icon to lower. Specifying within raises the secondary window within the family but does not raise the client family in the global window stack. Specifying freeFamily raises the window to the top of its local family stack and raises the family to the top of the global window stack.

f.raise_lower [ within | freeFamily]

This function raises a primary window to the top of the global window stack if it is partially obscured by another window; otherwise, it lowers the window to the bottom of the window stack. The arguments to this function are mutually exclusive. Specifying within raises a secondary window within the family (staying above the parent window), if it is partially obscured by another window in the application's family; otherwise, it lowers the window to the bottom of the family stack. It has no effect on the global window stacking order. Specifying freeFamily raises the window to the top of its local family stack, if obscured by another window, and raises the family to the top of the global window stack; otherwise, it lowers the window to the bottom of its local family stack and lowers the family to the bottom of the global window stack.

f.refresh

This function causes all windows to be redrawn.

f.refresh_win

This function causes a client window to be redrawn.

f.resize

This function initiates an interactive resize of a client window.

f.restore

This function restores the previous state of an icon's associated window. If a maximized window is iconified, then f.restore restores it to its maximized state. If a normal window is iconified, then f.restore restores it to its normalized state.

f.restore_and_raise

This function restores the previous state of an icon's associated window and raises the window to the top of the window stack. If a maximized window is iconified, then f.restore_and_raise restores it to its maximized state and raises it to the top of the window stack. If a normal window is iconified, then f.restore_and_raise restores it to its normalized state and raises it to the top of the window stack.

f.restart

This function causes mwm to be restarted (effectively terminated and re-executed). Restart is necessary for mwm to incorporate changes in both the mwmrc file and X resources.

f.screen [ next | prev | back | screen_number]

This function causes the pointer to be warp to a specific screen number or to the next, previous, or last visited (back) screen. The arguments to this function are mutually exclusive. The screen_number argument indicates the screen number that the pointer is to be warped. Screens are numbered starting from screen 0. Specifying next cause the pointer to warp to the next managed screen (skipping over any unmanaged screens). Specifying prev cause the pointer to warp to the previous managed screen (skipping over any unmanaged screens). Specifying back cause the pointer to warp to the last visited screen.

f.send_msg message_number

This function sends an XClientMessageEvent of type _MOTIF_WM_MESSAGES with message_type set to message_number. The client message is sent only if message_number is included in the client's _MOTIF_WM_MESSAGES property. A menu item label is grayed out if the menu item is used to do f.send_msg of a message that is not included in the client's _MOTIF_WM_MESSAGES property.

f.separator

This function causes a menu separator to be put in the menu pane at the specified location (the label is ignored).

f.set_behavior

This function causes the window manager to restart with the default behavior (if a custom behavior is configured) or a custom behavior (if a default behavior is configured). By default this is bound to Shift Ctrl Alt <Key>!.

f.title

This function inserts a title in the menu pane at the specified location.

f.version

This function causes the window manager to display its release version in a dialog box.

Function Constraints

Each function may be constrained as to which resource types can specify the function (for example, menu pane) and also what context the function can be used in (for example, the function is done to the selected client window). Function contexts are:

root

No client window or icon has been selected as an object for the function.

window

A client window has been selected as an object for the function. This includes the window's title bar and frame. Some functions are applied only when the window is in its normalized state (for example, f.maximize) or its maximized state (for example, f.normalize).

icon

An icon has been selected as an object for the function.

If a function is specified in a type of resource where it is not supported or is invoked in a context that does not apply then the function is treated as f.nop. The following table indicates the resource types and function contexts in which window manager functions apply.

Function Contexts Resources
f.beep root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.circle_down root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.circle_up root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.exec root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.focus_color root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.focus_key root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.kill icon,window button,key,menu
f.lower root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.maximize icon,window(normal) button,key,menu
f.menu root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.minimize window button,key,menu
f.move icon,window button,key,menu
f.next_cmap root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.next_key root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.nop root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.normalize icon,window(maximized) button,key,menu
f.normalize_and_raise icon,window button,key,menu
f.pack_icons root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.pass_keys root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.post_wmenu root,icon,window button,key
f.prev_cmap root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.prev_key root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.quit_mwm root button,key,menu (root only)
f.raise root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.raise_lower icon,window button,key,menu
f.refresh root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.refresh_win window button,key,menu
f.resize window button,key,menu
f.restart root button,key,menu (root only)
f.restore icon,window button,key,menu
f.restore_and_raise icon,window button,key,menu
f.screen root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.send_msg icon,window button,key,menu
f.separator root,icon,window menu
f.set_behavior root,icon,window button,key,menu
f.title root,icon,window menu
f.version root,icon,window button,key,menu

Window Manager Event Specification

Events are indicated as part of the specifications for button and key binding sets, and menu panes. Button events have the following syntax:

button =~[modifier_list ]<button_event_name >
modifier_list =~modifier_name { modifier_name}

The following table indicates the values that can be used for modifier_name. Note that [Alt] and [Meta] can be used interchangably on some hardware.

Modifier Description
Ctrl Control Key
Shift Shift Key
Alt Alt Key
Meta Meta Key
Mod1 Modifier1
Mod2 Modifier2
Mod3 Modifier3
Mod4 Modifier4
Mod5 Modifier5

Locking modifiers are ignored when processing button and key bindings. The following table lists keys that are interpreted as locking modifiers. The X server may map some of these symbols to the Mod1 - Mod5 modifier keys. These keys may or may not be available on your hardware: Key Symbol Caps Lock Shift Lock Kana Lock Num Lock Scroll Lock The following table indicates the values that can be used for button_event_name.

Button Description
Btn1Down Button 1 Press
Btn1Up Button 1 Release
Btn1Click Button 1 Press and Release
Btn1Click2 Button 1 Double Click
Btn2Down Button 2 Press
Btn2Up Button 2 Release
Btn2Click Button 2 Press and Release
Btn2Click2 Button 2 Double Click
Btn3Down Button 3 Press
Btn3Up Button 3 Release
Btn3Click Button 3 Press and Release
Btn3Click2 Button 3 Double Click
Btn4Down Button 4 Press
Btn4Up Button 4 Release
Btn4Click Button 4 Press and Release
Btn4Click2 Button 4 Double Click
Btn5Down Button 5 Press
Btn5Up Button 5 Release
Btn5Click Button 5 Press and Release
Btn5Click2 Button 5 Double Click

Key events that are used by the window manager for menu mnemonics and for binding to window manager functions are single key presses; key releases are ignored. Key events have the following syntax:

key =~[modifier_list] <Key>key_name
modifier_list =~modifier_name { modifier_name}

All modifiers specified are interpreted as being exclusive (this means that only the specified modifiers can be present when the key event occurs). Modifiers for keys are the same as those that apply to buttons. The key_name is an X11 keysym name. Keysym names can be found in the keysymdef.h file (remove the XK_ prefix).

Button Bindings

The buttonBindings resource value is the name of a set of button bindings that are used to configure window manager behavior. A window manager function can be done when a button press occurs with the pointer over a framed client window, an icon or the root window. The context for indicating where the button press applies is also the context for invoking the window manager function when the button press is done (significant for functions that are context sensitive). The button binding syntax is

Buttons bindings_set_name
{
    button    context    function
    button    context    function
    ...
    button    context    function
}

The syntax for the context specification is: context = object[| context] object = root | icon | window | title | frame | border | app The context specification indicates where the pointer must be for the button binding to be effective. For example, a context of window indicates that the pointer must be over a client window or window management frame for the button binding to be effective. The frame context is for the window management frame around a client window (including the border and titlebar), the border context is for the border part of the window management frame (not including the titlebar), the title context is for the title area of the window management frame, and the app context is for the application window (not including the window management frame). If an f.nop function is specified for a button binding, the button binding is not done.

Key Bindings

The keyBindings resource value is the name of a set of key bindings that are used to configure window manager behavior. A window manager function can be done when a particular key is pressed. The context in which the key binding applies is indicated in the key binding specification. The valid contexts are the same as those that apply to button bindings. The key binding syntax is:

Keys bindings_set_name
{
    key    context    function
    key    context    function
    ...
    key    context    function
}

If an f.nop function is specified for a key binding, the key binding is not done. If an f.post_wmenu or f.menu function is bound to a key, mwm automatically uses the same key for removing the menu from the screen after it has been popped up. The context specification syntax is the same as for button bindings with one addition. The context ifkey may be specified for binding keys that may not be available on all displays. If the key is not available and if ifkey is in the context, then reporting of the error message to the error log is suppressed. This feature is useful for networked, heterogeneous environments. For key bindings, the frame, title, border, and app contexts are equivalent to the window context. The context for a key event is the window or icon that has the keyboard input focus (root if no window or icon has the keyboard input focus).

Including Files

You may include other files into your mwmrc file by using the include construct. For example,

INCLUDE
{
    /usr/local/shared/mwm.menus
    /home/kmt/personal/my.bindings
}

causes the files named to be read in and interpreted in order as an additional part of the mwmrc file. Include is a top-level construct. It cannot be nested inside another construct.

Warnings

Errors that occur during the processing of the resource description file are recorded in: $HOME/.mwm/errorlog. Be sure to check this file if the appearance or behavior of mwm is not what you expect.

Files

$HOME/$LANG/.mwmrc
$HOME/.mwmrc
/etc/X11/mwm/$LANG/system.mwmrc
/etc/X11/mwm/system.mwmrc

Referenced By

mwm(1).