X Window Managers
Along the top of your keyboard are a number of function keys normally twelve of them, we don't tend to use them a great deal but these can be really useful on occasion. For example your Desktop can sometimes lock up completely, by pressing these keys in unison you can switch to a default terminal or console screen allowing you to login in and initiate your commands from the command line. What's more you can run seven independent applications on each of them and switch between each console simply by pressing a corresponding key combination and Function key. Not only this but is possible to add new desktop instances to at least one of the remaining seven consoles left undefined, perhaps more.
Now how cool would it be if you could run more than one Desktop Manager "X Window Manager, AfterStep, Blackbox, CTWM, FVWM, fluxbox, OLVWM, vtwm, and wmaker" at a time imagine if you will, your friend looking over your shoulder at your screen and with a quick toggle of your fingers the screen completely changes to a different window manager. Ok so hardly earth shattering news switching desktop is really very easy, however changing or sampling a new desktop manager is a little different. If your aim here is to hide your screen from someone looking over your shoulder, well there are perhaps better ways to achieve it. If you like to see how a different desktop behaves but want a way to quickly go back the way it was or continuously switch between the two or more X window types then the method below holds some merit.
Desktop System Preparation
Choose and download and install the window manager you want perhaps from the list above it may not be a complete list but is good enough for now until you get the gist of it.
The name of the manager you want to use is not important just remember to use lowercase names when calling or installing any Linux package
There is no way we can validate all the window manger examples noted above you will just have to try them out for yourself. Create a .xinitrc file in your own home directory you do not need sudo as the file created / edited is in a directory owned by you.
Choose your favourite application editor so you can create and edit the file straight away, something like this:-
It is important you note the file to be created is in your own home directory so you DO NOT need to use the sudo command, (in fact I would positively recommend against it), with the editor and it is also very important you proceeder the filename xinitrc with a dot thus ".xinitrc". Now that you have or about to edit the file you need to know what to put in it,
There is one more file we need to edit called "Xwrappper.config" located in the directory "/etc/X11" this then because it is a system command we DO NEED to use sudo so on the commend line again you need use an editor
Substitute the one line in the file that says:-
With instead two that says:-
The "#" hash as it is called and sometimes the Pound sign by Americans mainly remarks out the original without the need to delete it. Save the file after it has been amended as above.
That for the created file is it! you need nothing more
Starting a dual instance of X display whilst original is still running
This will take a bit of getting used to, but in order to run a second instance of X we need to send the appropriate command. Use the following:-
This command with its parameter and options defined tells the PC, to what initial display the instance of X refers. You should now see "Afterstep2" image background displayed, to revert back to the original screen you need do the following using the "Control" "Alt" and a "Function key" together. The Afterstep2 instance screen will until otherwise declared become the main active screen and defaulted to "CTRL-ALT-F8" so pressing "CTRL-ALT-F7" will revert your screen to the way it was.
Gnome-terminal will still show the Xserver open to shut this down select the terminal the program is running and Press "CTRL-c"this terminates the program still running within the terminal window.
It should be possible for you to use any window manager this way so give it a spin and try it yourself