awesome - awesome window manager


awesome [-v | --version] [-h | --help] [-c | --config FILE] [-k | --check] [--search DIRECTORY] [-a | --no-argb] [-r | *--replace]


awesome is a window manager for X. It manages windows in different layouts, like floating or tiled. Any layout can be applied dynamically, optimizing the environment for the application in use and the task currently being performed.

In a tiled layout, windows are managed in a master and stacking area. The master area contains the windows which currently need the most attention, whereas the stacking area contains all other windows. In a floating layout windows can be resized and moved freely. Dialog windows are always managed as floating, regardless of the layout currently applied. The spiral and dwindle layouts are special cases of the tiled layout where the stacking area is arranged in a spiral for the former or as a rectangular fractal for the later.

Windows are grouped by tags in awesome. Each window can be tagged with one or more tags. Selecting certain tags displays all windows with these tags.

awesome can contain small wiboxes which can display anything you want: all available tags, the current layout, the title of the visible windows, text, etc.


-v, --version

Print version information to standard output, then exit.

-h, --help

Print help information, then exit.

-c, --config FILE

Use an alternate configuration file instead of $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/awesome/rc.lua.

-k, --check

Check configuration file syntax.


Add a directory to the library search path.

-a, --no-argb

Don’t use ARGB visuals.

-r, --replace

Replace an existing window manager.



Button1 on tag name

View tag.

Button4, Button5 on tag name

Switch to previous or next tag.

Button4, Button5 on root window

Switch to previous or next tag.

Button1, Button3, Button4, Button5 on layout symbol

Switch to previous or next layout.

Layout modification

Mod4 + Button1 on tag name

Tag current client with this tag only.

Mod4 + Button3 on tag name

Toggle this tag for client.

Button3 on tag name

Add this tag to current view.

Mod4 + Button1 on client window

Move window.

Mod4 + Button3 on client window

Resize window.



Mod4 + s

Show currently assigned key bindings.

Window manager control

Mod4 + Control + r

Restart awesome.

Mod4 + Shift + q

Quit awesome.

Mod4 + r

Run prompt.

Mod4 + x

Run Lua code prompt.

Mod4 + Return

Spawn terminal emulator.

Mod4 + w

Open main menu.


Mod4 + m

Maximize client.

Mod4 + n

Minimize client.

Mod4 + Control + n

Restore client.

Mod4 + f

Set client fullscreen.

Mod4 + Shift + c

Kill focused client.

Mod4 + t

Set client on-top.


Mod4 + j

Focus next client.

Mod4 + k

Focus previous client.

Mod4 + u

Focus first urgent client.

Mod4 + Left

View previous tag.

Mod4 + Right

View next tag.

Mod4 + 1-9

Switch to tag 1-9.

Mod4 + Control + j

Focus next screen.

Mod4 + Control + k

Focus previous screen.

Mod4 + Escape

Focus previously selected tag set.

Layout modification

Mod4 + Shift + j

Switch client with next client.

Mod4 + Shift + k

Switch client with previous client.

Mod4 + o

Send client to next screen.

Mod4 + h

Decrease master width factor by 5%.

Mod4 + l

Increase master width factor by 5%.

Mod4 + Shift + h

Increase number of master windows by 1.

Mod4 + Shift + l

Decrease number of master windows by 1.

Mod4 + Control + h

Increase number of columns for non-master windows by 1.

Mod4 + Control + l

Decrease number of columns for non-master windows by 1.

Mod4 + space

Switch to next layout.

Mod4 + Shift + space

Switch to previous layout.

Mod4 + Control + space

Toggle client floating status.

Mod4 + Control + Return

Swap focused client with master.

Mod4 + Control + 1-9

Toggle tag view.

Mod4 + Shift + 1-9

Tag client with tag.

Mod4 + Shift + Control + 1-9

Toggle tag on client.


awesome is customized by creating a custom $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/awesome/rc.lua file.


awesome can be restarted by sending it a SIGHUP.


awesomerc(5) awesome-client(1)


Of course there’s no bug in awesome. But there may be unexpected behaviors.


Julien Danjou <[email protected]> and others.