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KDE and awesome

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Replace KWin[edit]

Option 1: .desktop files[edit]

Place the following in $(KDE prefix)/ksmserver/windowmanagers/awesome.desktop (the folder will probably contain openbox.desktop or metacity.desktop as well).

Note: on KDE3, $(KDE Prefix) usually is /usr/share/apps/.

Note: on KDE4, $(KDE Prefix) usually is /usr/share/kde4/apps/.

Note: for Gentoo, you'll find the ksmserver folder in /usr/share/apps/ksmserver

Note: on KDE Frameworks 5, $(KDE Prefix) usually is /usr/share/.

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Highly configurable framework window manager

Now, you should be able to choose "awesome" as window manager in System Settings->Default Applications->Window Manager

Option 2: Environment variables[edit]

Per user[edit]

KDE has the KDEWM environment variable that allows you to specify an alternative window manager to use. Just create a new script called something like:



export KDEWM=awesome

and make it executable chmod +x ~/.kde/env/

Note: on KDE Frameworks 5 that variable is read from plasma-workspace's environment, so put it into ~/.config/plasma-workspace/env/


I made a script in /etc/X11/Xsession.d/98mine containing just:

export KDEWM=awesome

But this is not recommended since it sets this variable for all users of the system (which is only me on my laptop).

I made some screenshots.

Disable Plasma[edit]

Copy /usr/share/autostart/plasma-desktop.desktop to ~/.config/autostart/ and add Hidden=true at the end.

Note: on Plasma 5 that is /etc/xdg/autostart/plasmashell.desktop.

Disable KRunner[edit]

Copy /usr/share/autostart/krunner.desktop to ~/.config/autostart/ and add Hidden=true at the end.

Note: on Plasma 5 that is located in /etc/xdg/autostart/.

Fix Systray[edit]

Tray icons of some KDE applications won't show up in awesome's systray because they use the KDE status notifier. If you disable this service (System Settings > Startup and Shutdown > Service Manager > uncheck "Status Notifier Manager") all the icons should appear. Tip taken from Tint2 Wiki.

Note: on Plasma 5 also take a look to

Logout / Shutdown / Lock[edit]

Install kshutdown, also available as package in many distribution.