dwm — the dynamic window manager

Posted: January 17, 2007 in Applications, Emacs

Yesterday I was a bit bored and wanted to check out a tiling window manager. My choice fell on dwm and I’m totally excited. Gone are the days where I had to rearrange the windows myself.

One interesting point is that dwm is so lightweight that it can only be configured by editing its source code (config.h) and recompile it. Gentoo has a mechanism which allows saving customized config-header files to /etc/portage/savedconfig/. You can enable it by setting the USE-Flag savedconfig.

The most important thing you have to do as an emacs addict is to change the MODIFIER key from Mod1Mask (= Alt) to some other key, like Mod4Mask (= Windows key).

In contrast to e.g. ratpoison, dwm has a small bar on top of the screen which displays a pager, the title of the focused window and everything dwm receives on stdin. I made a script that informs me via the statusbar if I received a message on my instant messenger.

Another cool feature is that you can toggle between tiling and floating mode with a single keystroke.

So to sum it up: dwm is really worth a try.

  1. […] Filed under: Uncategorized — S @ 19:29:35 +0000 Tags: usability Tassilo Horn’s blog set me off. http://xwinman.org/ is a useful guide to X window managers. dwm is a dynamic window […]

  2. Sudhanshu says:

    can you mail me the script used for notifying any im reception on statusbar?


  3. Tassilo Horn says:

    Hi Sudhanshu,

    I’m sorry, but U don’t have that script anymore. As an alternative I’d recommend to use the notify-send utility which comes with libnotify.


  4. Darwin says:

    Sudhanshu, see README ;)

    (11:39)-[Darwin@Darwin ~]% cat .xinitrc
    wmsetbg ~/pic/screen.jpg
    while true
    echo `top -s1 | grep last`
    sleep 1
    done | dwm

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