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I use the "awesome" (tiling) window manager (with default config) and want to run netbeans (java app).

But the window is completely grey. The installer window was it too, so i installed under KDE.

I guess it has to do how java talks to the deskop or WM but found it hard to find the right keywords to search for this issue

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

The JVM contains a hard-coded list of non re-parenting window managers such as Awesome. You can fix this by using the wmname utility provided by in the package suckless-tools to set the window manager name property of the root window:

sudo apt-get install suckless-tools


wmname LG3D


wmname compiz

Then restart or launch your Java application.

I've confirmed this to be working on JDK 1.7u3 with Netbeans 7.1 on Ubuntu 11.10/Awesome.

For additional details, check out Awesome's wiki on the issue.

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had the same issue with xmonad, this fixed it – Dog Mar 28 '14 at 18:10
On that wikipedia article, it says xmonad is not reparenting: "Virtually all modern window managers are re-parenting [...] Exceptions to that rule are dwm, PLWM, ratpoison and xmonad, due to a lack of any typical window decorations used by these window managers" – Dog Mar 28 '14 at 18:46

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