Is it possible to run the GNOME session manager but not have a window manager? It would also be nice to have a panel (or at least a status notification area) that was in a window, rather than a title-bar less menu bar.

The reason I want this is that I'm using my Mac's X server and logging into a VM running Fedora on the same host. And I've noticed some things, like the ability to use USB tethering, depend on a D-Bus session being active, and possibly the NetworkManager widget in the panel.

Edit: From IRC - #gnome:<borschty> ok, then go to gconf-editor somewhere under /desktop/session there should be something like "required_components" and remove window-manager from that list. You could use something like wmctrl to change the window-type of the panel, but a) that might break stuff and b) i have no idea how that could work without a window-manager to interpret those hints

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    GNOME is a Window Manager, so I don't think so. – Wuffers May 20 '11 at 0:26
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    @Mark Szymanski: It isn't. It's a desktop environment and a GUI toolkit. It has a window manager that ships with it and is used by default. metacity or compiz, but they are not GNOME. It, in fact, used to be popular to mix and match window managers. Sawfish and Enlightenment were popular, as was fvwm. – Omnifarious May 20 '11 at 0:31
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    the window tookit is GTK+ - which works with quite a few window managers, say openbox or even windows – Journeyman Geek May 20 '11 at 0:41
  • @Journeyman Geek: OK, yes, the toolkit is GTK+. sigh But GNOME is still not dependent on a particular window manager to work. – Omnifarious May 20 '11 at 0:43
  • Ahh.. enlightenment.. not the WM tho. They all follow the window manager spec freedesktop.org/wiki/Specifications/wm-spec , anything that supports it, ought to work. – Journeyman Geek May 20 '11 at 0:48

Assuming you just want to change the window manager to something more minimalist, this post suggests using the ~/.gnomerc file to tell GNOME the executable.

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  • While that's an interesting post, and I think you for it, I don't want any window manager, since one is already running on that display, the native OS X window manager. Also, do you know of an application that allows you to have all the status notification stuff in a window that has a title bar? – Omnifarious May 20 '11 at 12:43
  • @Omnifarious The standard Linux do nothing programs are "/bin/false" and "/bin/true" - try those out in your ~/.gnomerc. If they don't work, then write a script with an empty loop within it (if you're not familiar with bash, I can help you with that). – new123456 May 20 '11 at 20:08
  • @nwe123456: I've already written one. :-) It just loops on a 36 hour sleep. :-) You might want to check out my stackoverflow profile. grin But thank you for being so helpful. – Omnifarious May 20 '11 at 22:14

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