Description of problem:
'man gnome-wm' claims:
The user can overwrite the selection of a window manager by setting the
WINDOW_MANAGER environment variable
The program stores the current selection of a window manager in the
gconf key /desktop/gnome/applications/window_manager/default
It is far from clear where WINDOW_MANAGER is supposed to be set as
gnome-session seems to totally ignore user shell startup files. Changing
value of /desktop/gnome/applications/window_manager/default also does
not have any effect. So what is a non-hacky way of substuting another
window manager and where it is documented?
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
The recommended way to switch to a different window manager is
provided the other-window-manager supports session management and has
a --replace argument to replace the running window manager.
> The recommended way to switch ...
The question was about a non-hacky and documented way to do the job. I know
also other ways. For example, by replacing gnome-wm by other script with the
same name but earlier in $PATH.
With the current state of things suggested commands require an open terminal
window (or at least a "mini-command" applet) and gnome-session-save will
make that terminal in a session client - which may be not desired.
As a matter of fact if processing shell startup files does work like it should
(see bug 177258 and the current discussion there) then setting WINDOW_MANAGER
environment variable acts as advertised.