Title bar of X apps, no host name?

Jon TURNEY jon.turney@dronecode.org.uk
Thu Dec 29 17:52:00 GMT 2011

On 07/11/2011 18:23, Jon TURNEY wrote:
> On 03/11/2011 19:27, Timothy Madden wrote:
>> On 24.10.2010 04:59, Jerry Cloe wrote:
>>> When I start individual windows between two linux boxes I always get the
>>> host name in the title bar of the window.
>>> For example from my desktop linux box:
>>> ssh -X jerry@prodserver
>>> then
>>> gedit&
>>> The title bar of the resulting gedit window will be along the lines of:
>>> "gedit (on prodserver.host.com)"
>>> But, when I do this from my windows/cygwin desktop, the title bar is simply
>>> "gedit" without the host name.
>>> On the linux side, I've never done anything to set this up or make it work,
>>> it just always worked, so I'm not even sure where to begin looking.
>>> Any ideas?
>> Does anyone know how to change the window title to include the hostname
>> please ?
>> Connecting to 4 machines (with *ssh -Y*) and starting the *gvim* on all of
>> them can be really frustrating when you have no indication what machine each
>> instance is running on.
> This is a feature of the Window Manager you are using on your linux hosts (I
> guess metacity, which appears to add the WM_CLIENT_MACHINE window property
> onto the end of the window title (if it is not the local hostname)).
> Unfortunately, the integrated WM built into the Cygwin X server (which manages
> each X window as a native window in multi-window mode) doesn't have this
> feature.  I can see it would be kind of useful, but then again, I'm sure some
> people would hate it, so if added, it would need to configurable.

In xorg-server 1.13.1-1, which I've just uploaded, I've added support for ann
additional option '-hostintitle', on an experimental basis, which turns on the
behaviour of adding the hostname to the window title.

This option is based on the implementation in metacity when I looked a that:
the contents of the WM_CLIENT_MACHINE window property (which is typically set
by the toolkit) are added to the window title if (i) the property exists, and
(ii) it's value is not equal to the local hostname.

I'm not 100% convinced that this option is a good idea:  For example, it can
only report the host on which the X application is running, which may not be
the host with which you are interacting, e.g. if you start an xterm on host A,
and then run ssh in that xterm to host B, the window title may be something
like 'user@B (on A)', which, while technically correct, may confuse a native
user.  If host B doesn't set the window title sensibly, it's even more confusing.

There's are also probably various issues with window titles not changing
appropriately when a hostname is changed.

Also, I'm not sure about the option name.  It will get changed if something
clearer occurs to me.

Feedback welcome.

Volunteer Cygwin/X X Server maintainer

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