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1.3.8 System Trays and the Mode Line

Many users choose to sacrifice a little screen real-estate to display some generally useful information: the current time and date, wireless network connections, the names of open windows, etc. StumpWM allows you to display this information in a bar across either the top or the bottom of the screen. There are two ways to do this: using external programs called system trays, or using StumpWM’s own mode line.

System trays are a special kind of X window. They advertise to running programs that they are available for embedding icons or notifications from those programs. They often also display clickable icons for each open window. Common tray programs include the GNOME panel or KDE’s kicker, or simpler programs such as stalonetray. Simply starting one of these programs is usually enough for StumpWM to detect it, place it correctly, and allow it to function normally.

The mode line, a concept borrowed from Emacs, is a built-in part of StumpWM. It is essentially a string of text that can include a variety of information about your current session, including the names of current groups and windows. Several modules provide for different types of information. See section Mode Line, (and the modules directory) for more.

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