Install X11 and WindowMaker on CentOS 7

Normally, a server is not supposed to have a graphical environment. However, in certain specific contexts – such as the installation of the 389 Directory Server with its graphical administration console – the presence of a light graphical environment may be desirable.

This article describes the installation of the graphics server and WindowMaker window manager under CentOS 7, starting from a minimal server-type installation.

To begin, install the X Window System provided by the corresponding package group.

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$ sudo yum group install “X Window System”

Install the WindowMaker window manager. It is found in the Nux Dextop third-party repository, which will need to be configured beforehand. Note that this deposit requires the EPEL deposit.

$ sudo yum install WindowMaker

InfoThe X Window System package group provides the Openbox window manager, but since WindowMaker was the first graphical environment I used when I started with Linux, I decided to keep it out of habit.

WindowMaker is a clone of the graphical environment of the NeXTSTEP system designed in the late 1980s and based on BSD. For the record, it was on this system that Tim Berners-Lee developed the first web browser in 1990.

We will also install a graphics terminal and a variety of fonts.

$ sudo yum install xterm xorg-x11-fonts- *

If necessary, we can install the GDM connection manager.

$ sudo yum install gdm

Edit a ~ / .Xresources file to configure the appearance of the terminal.

XTerm * background: # 000000
XTerm * foreground: LightGrey
XTerm * font: 9×15
XTerm * VT100.geometry: 105×35

Then edit ~ / .xinitrc to take this file into account.

/ usr / bin / xrdb -merge $ HOME / .Xresources
/ usr / bin / wmaker

Start WindowMaker by hand.

$ startx

The theme defined by the CentOS team is not very pretty. It is best to use the WindowMaker default theme by selecting Appearance> Themes> Default from the main menu. This is what it looks like in the end.

If the font size of the terminal is too small, we can take a look in the file / usr / share / X11 / app-defaults / XTerm. The VT100.font section displays the available font sizes.

* fontMenu * font2 * Label: Tiny
* VT100.font2: 5×7
* fontMenu * font3 * Label: Small
* VT100.font3: 6×10
* fontMenu * font4 * Label: Medium
* VT100.font4: 7×13
* fontMenu * font5 * Label: Large
* VT100.font5: 9×15
* fontMenu * font6 * Label: Huge
* VT100.font6: 10×20

Linux Console Screen Shot

If you have installed a connection manager like GDM, you can optionally set the startup in graphical mode by default.

$ sudo systemctl set-default

The writing of this documentation requires time and significant quantities of espresso coffee. Enjoy this blog ? Offer the editor a coffee by clicking on the cup.


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