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Getting Sawfish to work in Red Hat 8.0


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I found a lot many people on the Net who missed the cutomizability of sawfish in Gnome2 in Red Hat Linux 8.0. I've been able to run it nicely in RH 8 and it required steps that were not always obvious. Here's an account:

  1. Getting Sawfish: This is one step where I can't do much to help. I got the packages "sawfish" and "rep-gtk" from the Red Hat 8.0 channel of Ximian Red Carpet. I'm using sawfish-2.0-4 and rep-gtk-
  2. Switching the WM: Set the WINDOW_MANAGER environment variable to "sawfish" in your .bash_profile. Then re-login into your Gnome2 session. This time around you would see sawfish as your WM. You can also switch to sawfish without logging out by running killall metacity && sawfish &. However, I didn't have good experiences with doing this trick and I recomment a re-login. Add these two lines to your .bash_profile:
      export WINDOW_MANAGER
  3. Preferences Gotchas: The most irritating thing I found was that while configuring tooltips for sawfish, the settings window hangs and you have to kill using killall rep or something similar. The second thing is that there's a "Call Command" option in the list of actions that appears when you try to "Add" a new shortcut. I wasted some time in figuring out that it's not a "Run Shell Command" replacement, but something entirely different. I still haven't figured out what it means.
  4. Gnome Logout Shortcut: The Gnome Logout command listed in Sawfish's list of actions doesn't work any more since the command that it used to run has changed. The new command to run for Gnome Logout is: "gnome-session-save --kill". This will bring the confirmation dialog, if you have enabled it in your session preferences (i.e. if you were getting it with MetaCity, you'd get it with Sawfish too). BTW, the command to lock your screen is "xscreensaver-command -lock".

HTH. This is all that I know about running Sawfish on Red Hat 8.0. Follow whatever is written here at your own risk since some of my statements are based on what I observed on my machine and may not be the same on yours. That, or the paranormal forces might favor you differently from the way they favored me. Please do not contact me regarding this since I can't offer any more help than what I wrote above.


A few days back I discovered how to coerce Metacity into launching arbitrary commands through keyboard shortcuts so I'm back with M. Follow this thread on the ILUG-Bom mailing list for details. However, I've been missing Enlightenment since RH 7.X. Hope E17 turns out to be something really good.

© 2002 - 2004 Tahir Hashmi. Unauthorized copying, alteration and redistribution in any media is prohibited, except where explicitly stated as being distributed under the OpenContent License (OPL). Last updated: 21 February, 2021. Update Log. Personal Email: tahir AT tahir.ws [PGP Key: ASCII, Binary]; code_martial AT softhome.net [PGP Key: ASCII, Binary] IM: Yahoo! Messenger [tn_hashmi]