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dwm, dwm.exe
dwm is a dynamic, minimalist tiling window manager for the X Window System that has influenced the development of several other X window managers, including xmonad5 and awesome67 It is externally similar to wmii, but internally much simpler dwm is written purely in C for performance and security in addition to simplicity,8 and lacks any configuration interface besides editing the source code9 One of the project's guidelines is that the source code will never exceed 2000 lines, and options meant to be user-configurable are all contained in a single header file7


  • 1 Features
  • 2 dmenu
  • 3 Forks and patches
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 Further reading
  • 7 External links


dwm supports multiple workspaces and, unlike ratpoison, allows moving and resizing windows with the mouse10 Older versions of dwm displayed their stdin in a status bar, along the edge of the screen Recent versions instead display the root window's name, which can be set by independent processes This is often used to show information that would appear in the notification area of other desktop environments—a clock, system load info, laptop battery and network status, music player information and the like This status line is often complemented with dmenu, a textual application launcher from the same developer as dwm dwm uses a focus-follows-mouse model and lacks any window decoration other than a border to show focus


See also: Comparison of application launchers

dmenu is a keyboard-driven menu utility developed as part of the dwm project When invoked, usually by a user-configured key combination, dmenu displays a horizontal menu of its stdin stream at the top edge of the screen This is usually used to pipe in a list of executable names from the user's $PATH, but dmenu can be used for any purpose where a menu is required The user can start typing a program name, and dmenu will narrow the list to show only substring matches for what the user typed The user can also use the arrow keys to navigate the menu When a choice is made, dmenu sends the selected text to stdout, which is usually piped into a shell to launch the program Command-line options can alter the font and colors of the menu, make the search case-insensitive, as well as switch the menu to a vertical orientation or place it at the bottom of the screen By default, only X Font Server fonts are supported although a patch exists to enable TrueType fonts using Xft

dmenu is similar in function to application launchers such as Katapult or GNOME Do for Linux or LaunchBar or Quicksilver for Mac OS X in that it allows quick launching of programs from a graphical environment using the keyboard

In addition to dwm,11 dmenu is often used with other window managers like xmonad,12 or Openbox,11 and other software like the uzbl web browser13

Forks and patchesedit

dwm has been an influential project; many other window managers are based on dwm's source code or inspired by it An extensive list of forks and patches can be found at the official site Below is a list of a few notable examples:

  • awesome extends dwm with FreeType support, reconfigurability, Lua scripting support, theming, and more layout types
  • echinus extends dwm with FreeType support, subset of EWMH,14 click-to-focus, reconfigurability, and more layout types
  • wmii is a tiling window manager from which dwm draws inspiration
  • xmonad is a dwm rewrite in Haskell with additional features

See alsoedit

  • Free software portal
  • Comparison of X window managers


  1. ^ Garbe, Anselm R "Anselm R Garbe" garbeus Retrieved 2011-05-15 
  2. ^ 01 Release tag
  3. ^ "dwm dynamic window manager" sucklessorg Retrieved March 12, 2012 
  4. ^ "MIT/X Consortium License" sucklessorg Retrieved 2015-05-04 
  5. ^ Kolmodin, Lennart April 2, 2007 "xmonad" Bits and Bytes Retrieved 2011-05-15 
  6. ^ Danjou, Julien 20 Sep 2007 "Announcing "awesome"" dwm Mailing list Retrieved 2011-05-15 
  7. ^ a b Auza, Jun August 2, 2008 "20 Most Nimble and Simple X Window Managers for Linux" TechSource 
  8. ^ "dwm home page" dwm is customized through editing its source code, which makes it extremely fast and secure - it does not process any input data which isn’t known at compile time 
  9. ^ Byfield, Bruce 2007-05-31 "Keyboard-driven environments open a new window on the desktop" Linuxcom SourceForge, Inc Retrieved 2010-03-01 
  10. ^ "A Review And Tutorial Of The DWM Window Manager" Linux Goodies Retrieved 2012-01-30 
  11. ^ a b Arch Linux Magazine Team January 2010 "Software Review: 2009 LnF Awards" Arch Linux Magazine Retrieved 4 March 2010 
  12. ^ "100 open source gems - part 2" TuxRadar Future Publishing 21 May 2009 Retrieved 3 March 2010 
  13. ^ Vervloesem, Koen 15 July 2009 "Uzbl: a browser following the UNIX philosophy" LWNnet Eklektix, Inc Retrieved 3 March 2010 
  14. ^ Polakov, Alexander, Homepage of author and his projects, retrieved 2011-11-19 

Further readingedit

  • German Tobias Walkowiak, Dynamische Fenster mit DWM Ressourcen sparen mit dem etwas anderen Window Manager, freeX, issue 6/07, Oct/Nov 2007 pp 44–47

External linksedit

  • Official website
  • Going fast with DWM review in Linux Journal
  • dwm review Russian
  • Configuring dwm German
  • Tiling WM review with several pages about twm Russian
  • dwm for Windows 3rd party port
  • dwm page in Free Software Directory
  • stali talk at CLT 2010 referenced dwm German

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