Elmord's Magic Valley

Software, lingüística e rock'n'roll. Sometimes in English.

Making new Pidgin conversation windows not appear on top of other windows in Xfce

2016-02-14 17:05 -0200. Tags: comp, unix, wm, in-english

Recently I started using Xfce/Xfwm instead of IceWM. One of the problems I had after migrating is that Xfwm places new Pidgin conversation windows on the top of existing windows, obstructing whatever I am doing. At least it doesn't give focus to the new window, but ideally the window should be placed in background.

The solution I found was, well, modifying the source code. Fortunately, there is only a single line to be changed.

  1. Download Xfwm 4.12's source code, unpack it (tar -xvf xfwm4-4.12.0.tar.bz2) in a place of your choosing, and enter the xfwm4-4.12.0 directory.

  2. In the file src/focus.c, replace line 232, which says:

                clientRaise (c, None);

    with:

                clientLower (c, None);
  3. Run ./configure. If it complains about missing libraries, you will have to install the corresponding development (header) packages from your distribution. On Debian, Ubuntu and similar, these packages have names ending in -dev. For instance, if ./configure complains that libxfce4ui-1 is missing, you will have to install the package libxfce4ui-1-dev.

    Update: You can install all(?) dependencies with:

    sudo apt-get install intltool libx11-dev libgtk2.0-dev libxfce4util-dev libxfce4ui-1-dev libwnck-dev 
    
  4. After ./configure succeeds, run make, then make install.

  5. If everything succeeded, test the newly compiled window manager by running xfwm4 --replace. (You may have to specify the full path, e.g., /usr/local/bin/xfwm4 --replace, to make sure you are using the newly compiled Xfwm, not the one that came with your distro.) If the new window manager works, you are done! (If anything goes wrong, you can run make uninstall to undo the installation, then run /usr/bin/xfwm4 --replace to re-run the original Xfwm.)

One day, maybe, I may try to turn this into a configuration option in Xfwm and submit a patch. One day...

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