User:Belamp/Awesome (window manager)

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Awesome logo.png
Awesome screenshot.png
awesome with a number of terminals open
Developer(s) Julien Danjou
Stable release
3.4.3 / January 4, 2010
Written in C and Lua
Operating system Unix-like
Type Window manager
License GNU General Public License[1]

awesome is a dynamic tiling/stacking window manager for the X Window System developed in C and Lua programming language. The latter is also used for configuring and extending the window manager. Its development began as a fork of dwm[2]. It aims at being extremely small and fast and supports multiple layouts such as floating, tiling, and maximized. Like many tiling window managers, it strives to make it possible for the user to productively manage windows without the use of the mouse. It also supports the pango markup language, and D-Bus for communication.

The fork was initially nicknamed jdwm, with 'jd' denoting the first letters of its principal programmer's name, and with dwm reminding of the software project it forked from. The first git repository for what was to become awesome was set up in September 2007. jdwm was renamed to awesome, named after the same phrase used by the How I Met Your Mother character Barney Stinson[3]. awesome window manager was officially announced on dwm mailing list on September 20, 2007[2]

Aim of the project[edit]

Awesome has emerged as a dwm fork featuring customization through external configuration files (see Configuration and customization below). Although highly extensible, the default setup of the window manager is deliberately simplified. In doing so, the author has created what he calls a framework window manager[3] for users to expand and adapt to their own needs.


  • Multiple and per screen status bars, including a variety of widgets (text and icon boxes, graphs, progress bars, and so on).
  • Zero mouse dependency. Keyboard accelerated desktop environment.
  • Multihead support (XRandR, Xinerama or Zaphod mode).
  • EWMH support.
  • Real transparency support (using Composite extension and xcompmgr).
  • Customized entirely through editing a Lua script configuration file.
  • Each function for manipulating the environment is bindable to keys/ mouse buttons and executable remotely via D-Bus (awesome-client).

Configuration and customization[edit]

From the very beginning, awesome was conceived as a dwm fork with an external configuration file[3]. As such, its configuration file format, and the process of configuration itself, was subject to special attention by the author.

Early configuration file formats[edit]

Prior to the third major release, one of awesome's features was what Danjou termed a 'no complicated configuration'[4]. First versions of awesome (1.x) were simple modification of dwm with flat file configuration which used libconfig. In 2.x branch, Danjou changed the configuration library from libconfig to libconfuse, a different flat file configuration library, somewhat resembling libconfig. During the development of 2.x releases, many customization features were added to awesome, such as titlebars and icon drawing.[3]

New configuration file[edit]

On May 20 2008, Danjou announced in an e-mail to awesome mailing list[5] that a new format for the configuration file will be used in 3.0 release. The new format was placed in a file ~/.awesomerc.lua, and was later moved to ~/.config/awesome/rc.lua. As the extension suggests, the configuration file is written in Lua programming language. Danjou argued that the new format and Lua integration would enable awesome users to customize awesome in ways he previously considered impossible: using a programming language for configuration made it possible to dynamically specify configuration options[5].

awesome Lua API is now hosted on awesome's homepage[6], and tutorial-style article about configuring awesome is posted on awesome Wiki[7].

awesome configuration converter[edit]

For users migrating from 2.x releases, awesome configuration converter is being developed, although its wiki page states that the development is still in early stages and the software "doesn't work at the moment"[8].

Themes and widgets[edit]

It is possible to theme (or skin) awesome by using the window manager's Beautiful library[9]. In line with rc.lua configuration file, theming is also done in Lua, allowing dynamic themes to be created.

Although the default awesome configuration as of 3.2.1 release does not have any status indicators (like wireless network status, battery indicators, etc), users can add these items using widgets[10]. Data for the widgets is supplied using arbitrary Lua code since widgets are defined in the main configuration file.

There is also an alternative Wicked Lua library which can be used for creating widgets[11]. Wicked is not included with awesome, but it can be obtained in binary package form, or otherwise installed with distribution's packaging system, in many distributions including Debian, Arch Linux, Source Mage GNU/Linux, and Gentoo (operating system).

Migration to XCB[edit]

The 3.0 version, released September 18, 2008, uses the XCB library to communicate with the X server[12], making awesome the first window manager to use this library instead of Xlib. Work on the XCB port was started by Arnaud Fontaine, one of the current awesome developers[13], in January 2008[3].

Arnaud Fontaine announced the move to XCB on the XCB mailing list on April 9 2008[12]. In his message to the list, he emphasized the following as main advantages of using XCB: "modular architecture; direct access to the protocols; multithreading; asynchronous requests/replies;". The XCB port was completed the following month and Danjou created a new branch based on XCB[3].

Distribution package availability[edit]

awesome is distributed on a wide range of Unix-like operating systems, including Arch Linux, Debian, Gentoo (operating system), PLD Linux, Ubuntu (operating system), Source Mage GNU/Linux, T2 SDE, FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD.

Named releases[edit]

Until version number 1.3 awesome window manager did not have named releases[14]. Since the release of 2.0 release candidate, awesome has used named releases starting with 2.0-rc1 nicknamed "Bumping Toaster", followed by 2.0-rc2 "Softened Lights", 2.0 "Fruit Fly", all the way to 3.2 "Accidental Babies", 3.2.1 "Complicated" , 3.3.2 "Half-Moon" and 3.3.3 "Firelight".

A list of supported packages can be found on download page.[15]

Invaders module[edit]

Among standard awesome libraries, there is a library called 'invaders', which contains the Space Invaders video game clone, written by Gregor "farhaven" Best[16]. This module was first introduced in 3.1 release[17]. For the 3.4 release, the module has been removed due to its novelty nature, increasing needs for maintenance and fading interest.


awesome is a free software. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2, as published by Free Software Foundation[1].

Deletion from Wikipedia[edit]

On February 22, 2010, the article about awesome was was removed from Wikipedia by Jayjg[18]. The article was in the list of articles proposed to deletion since January 30, 2010. Some think[19], that this was an attack against open source community.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]