Awesome (Window Manager)

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Source Repository:Gentoo Portage Tree

Summary: A dynamic floating and tiling window manager.



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Awesome (Window Manager)


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About Awesome

Awesome is a highly configurable window manager distributed under GPL-2 license. It handles both tiling and floating layouts. You can go into a fine-grained customization to suit your needs with Lua scripting. As a window manager, awesome is an ideal choice if you plan to get rid of your mouse.


A physical monitor plugged into your computer.
A window.
A tag is something like a workspace or a desktop that you may find in other window managers. However, it is slightly more flexible as you can attach a client to multiple tags. Moreover, each screen has its own range of tags.
A layout is a way to arrange your clients in the current tag (eg. floating, horizontaly tiled, verticaly tiled, focused client full-screen, ...)
A widget is a box that can contain text, images or more advanced objects. It enables you to add pieces of information in the status bar (at the top-right of each screen) such as the time, the volume level or your battery load. You can also add widgets in the title bar of a client.

USE flags

Name Description
dbus Enables awesome to receive signals from dbus (eg. to trigger events on hotplug)
doc Includes extra HTML documentation (using doxygen)
gnome Enables you to use awesome as gnome's window manager (See. Quickly Setting up Awesome with Gnome)


Just emerge it:

# emerge -a awesome

Then you can add this line to your ~/.xinitrc:

exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch --sh-syntax --exit-with-session awesome

And run xinit to launch awesome. You can also configure a display manager instead, but this is not covered in this document.

Getting Started

So, you should see a nice awesome background and a top bar which includes your tags on the left (from 1 to 9), the status bar (containing a clock widget) on the right and, on the very left, an icon representing the current layout.

You can switch against tags by typing Mod4 + [1..9] or Mod4 + Left/Right. Where Mod4 is the "Super" key and [1..9] any digit from 1 to 9. Mod4 is the default modifier for awesome key bindings, yet you can configure another one (See #Configuration Configuration).


Awesome user configuration files are located in ~/.config/awesome/. For now, a single file called rc.lua should lie in this directory. It contains the default configuration (including widgets, tags, key bindings, ...). Note that if you don't know Lua, you can still proceed some customization. As far as I'm concerned, I only had to learn Lua basics when I started to create my own widgets.


A quick introduction to awesome configuration will be described here soon.