Sawfish (window manager)

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Sawfish logo
Screenshot of Sawfish
Developer(s) John Harper (retired), Janek Kozicki (2007), Christopher Bratusek, Sawfish community
Initial release January 1, 2000; 17 years ago (2000-01-01)
Stable release
1.12.0 / August 13, 2016; 11 months ago (2016-08-13)
Preview release
1.11.91 / July 30, 2016; 11 months ago (2016-07-30)
Written in C, Lisp
Operating system Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Unix, Mac OS X
Available in Multilingual
Type Window manager
License GPLv2+
Sawfish Xsession running on Debian 7 Linux

Sawfish is a window manager for the X Window System. It aims to manage windows in the most flexible and attractive manner possible. It matches a created window by multiple criteria, and automatically alters the window's position, sets the software theme per-window, or removes the borders entirely. There is a GUI configuration utility for users who do not wish to edit configuration files directly.

Sawfish uses a Lisp-like scripting language, rep, for all of its code and configuration, making it particularly easy to customize, or program many kinds of behavior, responding to window creation, deletion, or any other changes.


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.[1]

The development had stopped, but the community restarted it in 2007.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cumming, Murray (February 2003). "Metacity Window Manager". GNOME 2.2.0 Release Notes. Gnome. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 

External links[edit]