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What is this awesome window manager?

awesome is a highly configurable, next generation framework window manager for X. It is very fast, extensible and licensed under the GNU GPLv2 license.

It is primarily targeted at power users, developers and any people dealing with every day computing tasks and who want to have fine-grained control on their graphical environment.

awesome screenshot


A window manager is probably one of the most used software applications in your day-to-day tasks, along with your web browser, mail reader and text editor. Power users and programmers have a big range of choice between several tools for these day-to-day tasks. Some are heavily extensible and configurable.

awesome tries to complete these tools with what we miss: an extensible, highly configurable window manager.

To achieve this goal, awesome has been designed as a framework window manager. It's extremely fast, small, dynamic and heavily extensible using the Lua programming language.

We provide a documented API to configure and define the behavior of your window manager.

awesome running on 6 monitors

Features and non-features

  • Very stable, fast and small codebase and footprint.
  • First window manager using the asynchronous XCB library instead of the old, synchronous  Xlib, which makes awesome less subject to latency compared to other window managers.
  • Documented source code and API.
  • No mouse needed: everything can be performed with the keyboard.
  • Real multihead support (XRandR) with per screen desktops (tags).
  • Implements many Freedesktop standards: EWMH, XDG Base Directory, XEmbed, Desktop Notification, System Tray.
  • Does not distinguish between layers: there is no floating or tiled layer.
  • Uses tags instead of workspaces: allow to place clients on several tags, and display several tags at the same time.
  • A lot of Lua extensions to add features: dynamic tagging, widget feeding, tabs, layouts, …
  • D-Bus support.
  • And more.

This is gonna be LEGEN... wait for it... DARY!