AfterStep on Mac OS X...

Chris Gauch (
Tue, 10 Apr 2001 20:05:29 -0400

** If you are not able to help answer my question, please forward this 
message to someone who might be able to help me out.  Thanks.

This question is in regards to running AfterStep on Mac OS X (final 
version 10.0)...

I've browsed through the site in hopes that I would find 
help for why AfterStep isn't running on OS X.  I recently downloaded the 
afterstep X11 window manager, and ran the install.script, which 
apparently worked just fine (the installer script even stated that I 
could simply type "startx" to run AfterStep).  However, I haven't been 
able to figure out how to configure my system to boot into AfterStep to 
successfully manage my xFree86 X11R6 windowing system.  I'll start by 
mentioning a few things...

I've successfully installed and configured xFree86 for Mac OS X.  It 
runs just great, but doesn't run "rootless", so I have to logout and 
login to my console environment (this issue is addressed, and it is 
known that the xFree86 distribution does not run "rootless" quite yet).  
Anyhow, the xFree86 distribution for Darwin installed the X11R6 files 
into the /usr/X11R6/ directory, which was created after running the script file.  The included window manager distributed with 
xFree86 is "twm", which is very rudimentary, but it loads perfectly when 
I type "startx" from the console command prompt.  The only thing I had 
to do to get xFree86 to run was to create a .cshrc file with the correct 
path setup.  This led me to the assumption that a window manager, such 
as AfterStep, would work as I downloaded it.

After downloading and extracting the AfterStep files in OS X, I ran the 
installer script by typing "sh installer.script" in the command prompt.  
It ran, compiled the resource files, and then prompted me to type 
"startx" to start AfterStep from the console.  However, "startx" 
currently fails to load AfterStep, and it appears as though I'm missing 
some command(s) or path setups to properly load AfterStep.  I noticed 
that the AfterStep install.script had placed a new .xinitrc file in my 
home directory with text "exec afterstop" in the file.  That was all the 
text that was in the file.  I have the AfterStep window manager 
installed in my home directory, so the path is as follows 
~myhome/GNUstep/Library/AfterStep/.  The Library directory contains all 
of the files that were ONE level above the "AfterStep" directory, such 
as the /autoconf, /include/, and /doc directories that were extracted 
from the .gz file.

Since I could no longer load the X11 windows from my console, I reverted 
to my old .xinitrc file included with xFree86 for Darwin.  In order to 
boot xFree86 with the TWM window manager, I replaced the .xinitrc file 
with the one supplied by xFree86, and sure enough twm loaded 

My questions are as follows...

[1] What should the .xinitrc file look like to properly run AfterStep in 
OS X?  Shouldn't there be a $PATH command?  Is "exec afterstop" 
sufficient?  Why "afterstop" instead of "afterstep"?  Is this a typo?

[2] Do I need to change my .cshrc file, or add another config file to 
run AfterStep?  If so, what should that look like?

[3] Are there any necessary adjustments to the AfterStep config files 
required to run AfterStep in OS X??

[4] What else am I missing here? I have everything needed to run 
xFree86, and I have all of the necessary files in the X11R6 directory.  
What else is needed?

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