- This document is an ever growing set of questions,
statements, ideas and complaints about AfterStep version 2.0
This document is an ever growing set of questions, statements, ideas and
complaints about AfterStep version 2.0.
You can get this FAQ at the following locations: http://www.afterstep.org/
The rest of this document assumes you are running AfterStep 2.0. If you are
running a version of AfterStep prior to version 2.0, this document will
suggests only one thing: upgrade.
AfterStep is a Window Manager for the X Window System (hereafter referred to as
X). It was started to emulate the look and feel of NeXTSTEP(tm), but has
evolved into something that while still being able to emulate NeXT, can do
much much more. Without using much memory or cpu time, AfterStep provides all
the features one could want in a Window Manager.
Original AfterStep was a continuation of the BowMan Window Manager which was
originally put together by Bo Yang. BowMan was based on the fvwm Window
Manager, written by Robert Nation. Fvwm was based on code from twm. And so
Idea was to emulate some of the look and feel of the NEXTSTEP(tm) user
interface, but overtime it evolved to include other concepts, as dictated by
end user needs. It is that unholy direction that made Alfredo Kojima abandon
project in 1997 and create a Window Manger of its own - Window Maker, which
had a goal of strict adherance to NEXTSTEP interface ideas.
After releasing version 1.8.11 it became aparent for developers that old
AfterStep codebase had reached its limits and required a substantial redesign.
Such redesign began with development of radically new image handling library
libAfterImage, introducing high quality image manipulation, blending, TrueType
fonts, XML image scripting, and more. Building off of libAfterImage and
incorporating new developments in X Window management, AfterStep 2.0 was born
and released in September, 2004. As of now AfterStep code base contains none
of the original fvwm parts, and association to fvwm, twm and BowMan remain
only in history.
Yes. There should be a version of the AfterStep FAQ available within your
specific AfterStep distribution. If you are using a version earlier than 2.0,
it is strongly suggested you upgrade.
"X" is shorthand for The X Window System. It is a basis for building
graphical user interfaces for UNIX (it is available for non-UNIX systems, but
wasn't designed to be as such). "X" is not the interface itself,
just a foundation for one. For more information, check www.x.org .
A Window Manager is a program that manages your windows during your X session.
AfterStep is one of many available window managers .
- The Wharf
- Similar to NeXTSTEP's(tm) Dock, it allows applications to
be Swallowed, shortcuts with icons, and many other things.
- The Pager
- Shows a miniature view of the Afterstep desktops, you can
move between them, and move windows around in the Pager as though it were
a miniature desktop.
- The WinList
- A list of all the windows, clicking on the items can show
that window, destroy it, shade it, or anything you might want.
- Almost anything can be changed.
- XML image scripting
- AfterStep allows XML scripts to be used to assemble complex
images for things like buttons, frame sides, etc, from other, simpler
images or graphical primitives.
- TrueType fonts support
- Antialised TrueType fonts could be used to render window
titles and other labels.
- Unicode, UTF8 and other encodings support
- Most international character encodings are supported as
long as fonts provide glyphs.
- AfterStep can calculate a set of about 34 colors to create
looks with harmonious color composition.
AfterStep 2.0 supports Extended Window Manager Hints, ICCCM protocol and Motif
hints, thus making it as compatible as possible with both GNOME and KDE, as
well as most other X applications.
AfterStep 2.0 does run under Windows using CYGWIN compatibility layer, while
running any X server. Some of the X servers available under Windows allow
so-called root-less mode, where X applications can coincide with native
applications. See sample screenshot .
- Sasha Vasko <sasha at aftercode.net>
- coordinator, coder, web designer, carpenter, and everything
else ( at the moment ).
- Niklas Lunger <niklas at fet dot at>
- documentation and user testing.
- Nathan Mahon <as_ml at vaevictus net>
- realease manager
Code contributions are welcome. Hardware donations are welcome. If you can help
write AfterStep, or feel you can help the effort elsewhere, do so. Hang out on
irc (#afterstep, efnet), participate on the mailing lists, suggest ideas, help
code, etc etc.
see 1.9. above.
- HTML documentation
AfterStep 2.0 comes installed with complete set of documentation in HTML
format, usually installed at /usr/local/share/afterstep/doc/html or
/usr/share/afterstep/doc/html . Same documentation is available online
from : http://www.afterstep.org/visualdoc.php . If you find that
documentation incomplete in some areas - please feel free to submit any
corrections to any of the AfterStep mailing lists.
- WWW Page
The official AfterStep web page is at http://www.afterstep.org/ . This web
site is managed by whoever has write access to AfterStep CVS, and is
kindly hosted by the generous people at Web Conquest .
- FTP site
The FTP site, ftp://ftp.afterstep.org/ , is the best place to get AfterStep.
- AfterStep applets
The applets (asapps) that go with AfterStep are distributed separately. The
applet distribution is maintained by Albert Dorofeev,
(<email@example.com>). You can find the applets at
http://www.tigr.net/afterstep/as-apps/ . RPMs for many an applet could be
found here : http://www.afterstep.org/rpms/
- Man pages.
AfterStep installation comes with set of man pages that attempt to cover all
aspects of AfterStep configuration. Please read the relevant man
page before asking a question. Also note that the Pager man page is 'man
Pager' (note the capitalization).
There is also #afterstep on freenode.net IRC servers . Feel free to come in
and have a chat with us!
There currently is a mailing list for users to ask questions and get support:
as-users is the general AfterStep mailing list, open to all AfterStep
questions, concerns and ideas. Subscribe by entering your e-mail at :
The old mailing list archives can be read at
http://www.tigr.net/afterstep/mail/ , while current archives (registration
required) can be found at
You can download AfterStep 2.0 at any of the following locations:
ftp://ftp.afterstep.org/stable/ SourceForge.net RPM packages
Because AfterStep is an X application, you need to have X installed, and the X
development libraries (note, in this case "development" means
libraries need to compile things with X, not development level code). It's
probably a good idea to also have a working C compiler.
AfterStep includes some image libraries, but it is recommended that you install
those libraries using your distribution's package management system. Note that
you will need development libraries in addition to run-time libraries. The
following are the libraries that AfterStep can take advantage of : libJPEG -
support for JPEG image format
libPNG - support for PNG image format
libTIFF - support for TIFF image format
Freetype - support for TrueType fonts
Note that following image format do not require any external libraries : XPM,
PPM, BMP, ICO, XCF, GIF.
Yes, before compiling AfterStep, do this:
mkdir ~/bin mkdir -p ~/man/man1 ./configure --prefix ~/
Then follow the normal install directions, allowing you to
without being root.
Install AfterStep 2.0 and then run it. It will start with default configuration
that you may or maynot like. If you wish to try and reuse your old
configuration files, then copy them over from your old
~/GNUstep/Library/AfterStep/ directory and into ~/.afterstep/. Restart
AfterStep to make changes effective. If some of the features do not work quite
right - feel free to submit bug report along with your configuration files.
It is recommended though that you start with default configuration and try out
all of the supplied looks and color schemes. Select whichever is close to what
you want and then modify it to your liking. These approach will allow you to
take advantage of many new features, available in AfterStep 2.0.
Make sure that all configuration files that you ever changed are in your home
directory at ~/.afterstep/, as installing afterstep will replace everything in
global shared location (/usr/local/share/afterstep). Install afterstep and
run. You should not have any trouble.
Most likely, you don't have the X devel package (should have come with your
operating system, if not, check http://www.x.org/ ).
Configuration files are usually either in /usr(/local)/share/afterstep for
system wide configuration and ~/.afterstep for personal settings.
Configuration is handled in multiple files: look file (in looks subdirectory)
for visual attributes, feel file (in feels subdirectory) for the general
behaviour; wharf, winlist, banner, pager, animate for module specific
Just copy any file you want to modify over from /usr(/local)/share/afterstep to
~/.afterstep to override system wide defaults retaining subdirectory layout.