background - customization panel for setting background pattern
The background customization panel is used to edit the background for a
particular desk. The user is presented with a list of different
backgrounds. All backgrounds except those using the graphics library
(GL) can be previewed. The user can select a background, modify its
colors if it is a non-GL pattern, then apply the background pattern to
the current desk.
The background panel can be run from a Unix shell command line or from
the toolchest (Desktop > Customize > Background). Like most other
customization panels, the background panel has the ``runonce'' feature,
meaning only one instance of the application will at one time.
Attempting to launch the application a second time will have the effect
of deiconifying the application window or popping it to the top on the
For more information about the entire IRIX Interactive Desktop
environment and about the XUSERFILESEARCHPATH environment variable, see
the IID(1) man page.
The background patterns presented in this panel are derived from one of
/usr/lib/X11/system.backgrounds (system default)
Either the user's backgrounds or the system default backgrounds will be
presented in the background panel. If a $HOME/.backgrounds file exists,
then the backgrounds on that list will be presented in the panel.
Otherwise the backgrounds in the system default file will be presented.
If the user desires to append some backgrounds to the system default
list, the user must first copy the system default file to the
$HOME/.backgrounds file in their home directory, then use a text editor
to append new background entries to that file.
Each background entry has the following format:
command <4Dwm command>
default <default command>
readok <file1>, <file2>, ...
The background line defines the name of the background that the user will
see from the customization panel.
The command line specifies the command that will be passed to 4Dwm, which
handles the management of backgrounds. This command can have formatting
characters (%1 %2 %3 ...) representing how many colors the background
requires as well as how many the user may edit, up to a maximum of five
Currently all command formats acceptable to the xsetroot(1) command may
be used, as well as a -xpm option for files in X pixmap (xpm) format.
Additionally a -execute option allows execution of any background setting
command (for example, twilight(6D)). However, use of arbitrary
backgrounds set via the -execute command may degrade performance,
especially if file manager icons are on the background. Also note that
to integrate with the IRIX Interactive Desktop environment, any X program
introduced as a new background (for example, xearth) needs to set the
_SGI_ROOTPAINTER_ID property on its window and on the root window. (This
property needs to be of type WINDOW and have a value of the window on
which the property is set.) If the background-setting program does not
set this property, then the window manager, 4Dwm(1X), will not know on
which window to perform an XKillClient operation when the user switches
desks or selects a new background. Without the property set, the
background-setting program can run multiple times, which can load the
system unnecessarily. In short, users can have any X program running as
their background, but if that program does not set the
_SGI_ROOTPAINTER_ID property, then they need to kill that program
manually every time they switch desks or switch backgrounds.
The default line designates the image the user will originally see in the
viewer as well as its default colors.
The readok command checks that the files listed can actually be read. If
they can not, the background will not be presented to the user in the
For example, the following is the entry for the two-color Scatter
command "-bitmap /usr/include/X11/bitmaps/granite -bg %1 -fg %2"
default "-bitmap /usr/include/X11/bitmaps/granite -bg lightsteelblue3 -fg honeydew1"
4Dwm caches backgrounds for all desks. If a user has many desks, each
using many colors, the colors can fill up the colormap. Similarly, if
many desks each have large background pixmaps, much server memory can be
IRIX 6.5.14 introduced some new non-GL background patterns: Citrus
Citrus, Camouflage, Sand, Sky (HDTV), Sprinkle, Reef, Reef (HDTV),
Midnight, and Iron. Except for Sprinkle, these new patterns are
unusually large pixmaps; their sizes are 1280x1024 pixels except the
"HDTV" backgrounds which are intended for 1920x1200-pixel screens. The
large backgrounds can be used on monitors at any resolution, but they
look best when the screen matches their size. (Users can customize the
colors of any non-GL background by clicking the color squares in the
Using the new 1280x1024 and 1920x1200 backgrounds will cause Xsgi, the
background panel and 4Dwm to consume several megabytes more memory than
usual, hence it is recommended that these large desktop patterns be
applied prudently. It will take longer for the background panel to
display the previews for these large patterns than for the small ones,
and login may take several more seconds, but desk switching should not
suffer performance degradation. The user can free the consumed memory by
clicking the background panel's Close button, by applying a smaller
pattern then restarting 4Dwm (System > Utilities > Restart Window Manager
on the toolchest), and/or by logging out. To avoid consuming much memory
on low-memory IRIX workstations, do not apply any of the new large
pixmaps to any desk's background and remember to close the background
panel when done previewing patterns.
Setting a background via the -execute flag in the background panel
differs from setting the same background from the command line in that
those backgrounds set via the background panel will be remembered across
desk switches and restarted automatically when returning to the desk.
Backgrounds started from the command line will be forgotten after a desk
switch. (However, backgrounds set using the xsetroot(1) command or
bgpaste(6D) will be remembered across desk switches.)
Here is an example $HOME/.backgrounds entry for an RGB background:
command "-execute /usr/sbin/bgpaste -o 0 0 -t 0 0 0 /usr/tmp/genesis.rgb"
default "-execute /usr/sbin/bgpaste -o 0 0 -t 0 0 0 /usr/tmp/genesis.rgb"
4Dwm records the user's chosen backgrounds (including any color
customizations) for every desk in the user's $HOME/.Sgiresources file.
4Dwm(1X), xsetroot(1), ov(1), IID(1)
The maximum number of editable colors in the customization panel is five.
If a pixmap contains more than that many, only the first five will be
available in the palette beneath the image viewing area.
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