Sawfish (window manager)

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Sawfish logo
Screenshot of Sawfish
Developer(s) John Harper (retired), Janek Kozicki (2007), Chritopher Brantusek, Sawfish community
Initial release January 1, 2000 (2000-01-01)
Stable release 1.10 (September 25, 2013; 19 months ago (2013-09-25)) [±][1]
Preview release 1.10.99 (August 24, 2014; 8 months ago (2014-08-24)) [±][2]
Written in C, Lisp
Operating system GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Unix, Mac OS X
Available in Multilingual
Type Window manager
License GPLv2+
Sawfish Xsession running on Debian 7 GNU/Linux

Sawfish is a window manager for the X Window System. Its aim is simply to manage windows in the most flexible and attractive manner possible. It has a GUI with which many kinds of configuration can be done. For example,

  • It can automatically alter a particular window's position, behavior and appearance.
  • Bind keys.

Distinctively, Sawfish uses a Lisp-like scripting language, rep, for all of its code, making it particularly easy to customize, or program many kinds of behavior, responding to window creation, deletion, or any other changes. It can translate keyboard inputs to windows altogether, overcoming unconfigurable applications.


Sawfish was first called Sawmill. The name was changed because another software program had the same name. It was the standard window manager of the GNOME desktop environment until it was replaced by Metacity in Gnome 2.2.[3]

The development had stopped, but the community restarted it in 2007.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sawfish download current". Sawfish. 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  2. ^ "Sawfish download current". Sawfish. 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  3. ^ Cumming, Murray (February 2003). "Metacity Window Manager". GNOME 2.2.0 Release Notes. Gnome. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  4. ^ "X Window Emacs Manager", Emacs wiki .

External links[edit]