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I just downloaded Xmonad from the repository on my Ubuntu 10.04 box, but when I log out and try to log back in using Xmonad instead Gnome, it doesn't work.

I just get the login screen background image and a mousepointer, and nothing else. Right-clicking does nothing, no menus or anything. Key combo's like Ctrl-X, Ctrl-Z, and Ctrl-Alt-Delete do nothing either. Left the computer in this state for 30 minutes while I went to the grocery store, but it was still hung when I returned and I had to hard-reboot it.

A Google search returned a few sites showing how to configure Xmonad to work with Gnome, but I'm afraid to try this since I don't want to risk borking my Gnome installation, at least not until I've had a chance to learn Xmonad a bit.

Is it possible to run Xmonad independently of Gnome? If so, anyone have any idea what might be wrong and how to fix it?

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sounds like you just need to configure xmonad. i don't use it so i can't give you specifics, but check the docs at ... you might find some sample configurations to help you get started. – quack quixote Jun 7 '10 at 11:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Hit Mod+Shift+Return to launch a terminal. Mod is likely left-alt or left-Win

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xmonad is a tiling window manager as mentioned above. As such, it is mostly geared towards a mouseless desktop experience.

You can customize xmonad with external programs like dmenu, xmobar/dgen to give you minimal menu selection via keyboard and a status bar/notification bar.

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This is nor really an answer, you should post this kind of information as a comment. – zeel Nov 6 '12 at 4:09

It sounds like you're running Xmonad just fine. As maco said, hit Mod+Shift+Return to open a terminal window.

Also, if you have dmenu installed, you can hit Mod+P to bring up a search box for all installed applications (appears at the top of the screen, typically).

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Xmonad is a tiling window manager, and from what I understand it's very, very minimal, which means it does not include a menu. Have a look at the guided tour on the Xmonad website, which should get you going.

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