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Xmonad on Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric with Unity 2D

Xmonad is the best window manager I’ve ever tried, so I felt very uncomfortable updating Ubuntu to 11.04. Gnome2 worked great for me, but when community says it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on.

The first thing after update was setting up xmonad. I followed this great tutorial and everything went smooth. Except for the fact that Unity 2d did’t work all that well with Xmonad.

So I replaced Unity launcher with Gnome do and continued with my day to day work. It bothered me a bit, but hey, we can’t have everything.

Here is the interesting part of the story. After s few months I decided that this isn’t good enough, so I checked out Unity 2D source and fixed the parts that bothered me(hip hip hooray for open source!!).

Please can check out and test my fork from the github repository.

Change list:

  • Xmonad workspace indicator!
  • Display application name and window title in panel
  • Move launcher under panel so it doesn’t cover it
  • Made spread (application and workspace switcher) useful in Xmonad (always display list of applications from every screens, never display list of workspaces)
  • Removed animations and fancy background from spread.
  • Load panel only on the primary screen
  • Don’t filter apps in lagacy tray (had problems with Skype)

Go to installation instructions

If you have any troubles, feature requests or bug reports, please contact me(hamax on freenode) or post a comment. I’ll try to patch the code with new Unity updates, but I can’t make any promises.

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8 Responses

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  1. Maelstrom says

    Looks very cool, I’ll try this today and see how I go. I did exactly the same thing, only I’m still at the Gnome-do bit.

  2. hamax says

    Thanks for trying it. If you have any problems, you can contact me on freenode irc server ( under the nick hamax(channels #xmonad and #ubuntu-unity).

  3. Mark Hansen says

    Wow, really nice! I love it when open source enables people to tweak things just the way they like. Thanks for sharing!

  4. macem says

    looks really nice. i got it to compile after i got the dependencies sorted.
    when logging in with unity-xmonad the launcher is white without any icons and the panel has no icons. the xmonad key-bindings work but the gnome part seems broken.

  5. SKazi says

    I use your set-up in 11.10, and am currently testing out Precise. So my question is planning on taking this to precise anytime soon? :)

  6. hamax says

    @SKazi yeah, I started working on it, but it’s not as straightforward as I hopped because Unity changed a lot.
    I’ll try to find enough time to at least port panel before the release.

  7. Collin Peters says

    Any update on support for precise? This is exactly what I am looking for.

  8. Si says

    Fantastic functionality! Exactly what I’m looking for!! Any progress on the 12.04 release?

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