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7. AfterStep Application ("as-apps") configuration.

7.1 What's the difference between as-apps and modules?

Modules are part of AfterStep, and need to be called by AfterStep. They cannot be run alone. As-apps, on the other hand, can be used by other window managers as well.

7.2 I want to add a pixmap to the background of xiterm

The first thing you must ensure is that you compiled xiterm to allow this. The default configuration of xiterm does not permit the addition of pixmaps. You need to edit xiterm.h (you'll find it in xiterm/src/) before compiling in order enable the feature: change the line

/*#define XPM_BACKGROUND*/



Once you're sure you've compiled and installed xiterm correctly, simply add the switch "-pixmap {path-to-pixmap}".

7.3 I want xiterm to start as the login shell.

In order for this to work correctly, you need to adjust the compile-time settings for UTMP_SUPPORT. The relevant section is near the end of xiterm.h. The exact changes you need to make vary from system to system; just read the comments carefully, and make the correct adjustments.

7.4 How do I get that cool transparent xiterm?

You can't. There is no such thing. The "transparent" effect you are looking for is actually just a *term program (xiterm, rxvt, whatever) with a background pixmap identical to the desktop. The user carefully lined up the *term so that the pixmaps appeared to be the same ones.

Apparently, the newest version of Eterm has a "transparency" option. If you decide to use it, I hope you have a couple of million extra CPU cycles lying around! The transparent Eterm actually just reads the current background, than then tries to keep the Eterm background lined up correctly. In order to make this work, you will need to use esetroot, or use the new pager introduced with the 1.5 series. The new pager offers support for Eterm. You will still need to get all the necessary libraries for Eterm, however.

There is also a program called roottail, which allows you to tail messages onto the root window. This is useful, for instance, if you want to view /var/log/messages without having an extra xterm open all the time.

7.5 I am having trouble with asmix or asmixer and Wharf

This appeared in AS 1.4.4. That release included only asmix, and not asmixer. You can either get asmixer and install it, or use asmix. If you use asmix, make sure you are invoking in correctly in the Wharf. In particular, you must be consistent in your invocation: it is labelled "asMix" in the Wharf file, even though the name of the file is "asmix".

The latest version fixed this, so you can use "asmix" in the Wharf file. The class name, however, is still "asMix", so you have to use "asMix" in the database file, if you have any options you want to configure particularly for asmix.

7.6 I upgraded AfterStep, and now my as-apps look funny in the Wharf.

This is because of some changes to the "Swallow" and "MaxSwallow" keywords in the Wharf configuration. Have a look at the section on Wharf, above.

7.7 How do I use asmail?

Asmail checks for your mail. You configure it using the asmail configuration file, which can be found with the rest of your AfterStep configuration files. (On version 1.5, this is /usr/local/share/afterstep.) The configuration is pretty self-explanatory.

Note that asmail checks for mail on the local system. If you are connected to another system, and are using NFS, you can check your mail on that system. If you are connected across a PPP or SLIP link, you may want to use a program such as fetchmail to retrieve your mail. Then, asmail will report when you have received mail.

7.8 What is ascp?

Ascp stands for `AfterStep Control Panel', and is a program that allows you to configure AfterStep while imitating the NEXTSTEP control panel look and feel. It makes it really easy to configure AfterStep without manually fiddling with the configuration file(s). There is more information about how to get it below. Make sure you read it carefully.

Versions of ascp before version 0.9 used Tcl/Tk and TkStep, and would write .only to a steprc file. Starting with version 0.9, ascp has abandoned the Tcl-based approach. The new ascp is based entirely upon GTK+. The very latest version is dependent upon having (at least) version 1.1.1 of GTK+, and glib version 1.1.2.

WARNING: AfterStep doesn't use .steprc since version 1.2, so if you use the older Tcl-based ascp , you will have to run AfterStep in 'compatibility' mode:

 afterstep -f {yeoldsteprc}

7.9 I tried to install TkStep, but it doesn't work with TkStep and Tcl7.6

There is a version of TkStep which is supposed to work with Tk 7.6, but it does not seem to work for everyone. The best approach is probably to upgrade: the latest version of TkStep works with Tk8.0; see below for more information about TkStep.

7.10 Why doesn't ascp run on my system?

This depends on which version of ascp you are talking about. The old ascp needed TkStep. TkStep is a version of Tk implemented by Alfredo Kojima (, and now maintained by Oliver Graf ( and Steve Murray (; it gives Tk the NEXTSTEP look-and-feel, and implements a few new widgets, like font and color choosers. You can download it from or These versions of ascp do not work with the new configurations anyway (i.e. post 1.2), so you might not need to worry about this. To use the Tcl/Tk based ascp versions with the latest version of TkStep, you need a patch. You can get the patch from Steve Murray's site: These patches only work for versions 0.8 and 0.8-SE, but not for 0.8.4. You must patch ascp before using it with Tk 8.0, or your .steprc file will be corrupted.

A new version of ascp which does not depend on TkStep is now available. This is ascp 0.9, also known as gtk+-ascp. The new version only supports the new-style (non-.steprc) configuration. The latest version of this depends upon GTK+. You can get this version from Both the program and the site are maintained by Nwanua Elumeze ( The ascp home page also tells you what version of GTK+ you will need for the current version of ascp, and provides a link for you to find it.

7.11 Can I use Window Maker applets in AfterStep?

Yes. It was always more or less possible, except that WM apps tended not to display correctly in the Wharf. The changes to the Swallow and MaxSwallow functions in Wharf have made it possible to use any Window Maker applet in Wharf.

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