awesome (简体中文)

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From the awesome website:

"awesome is a highly configurable, next generation framework window manager for X. It is very fast, extensible and licensed under the GNU GPLv2 license.

It is primarly targeted at power users, developers and any people dealing with every day computing tasks and who want to have fine-grained control on its graphical environment." 来自awesome网站:

Awesome 是 XWindows 下可高度定制的新一代窗口管理器。运行快捷、扩展性强,遵循GPLv2发布。



安装位于官方软件仓库的软件包 awesome

如果你对不稳定的预览版本有兴趣,可以安装 awesome-gitAUR。但是请注意,这是一个不稳定的开发版,配置文件会有语法差异。



不使用登录管理器来运行 awesome,只要添加 exec awesome 到你的启动脚本(比如 ~/.xinitrc)。

如果你使用一些外设有问题(比如 usb 密钥,dvd),请阅读 HALPolicyKit 相关文档。当你不使用登录管理器时,系统不会自动载入任何东西。 有些情况下,使用 exec ck-launch-session awesome 能帮你解决问题。 为了确保这个命令正常执行,请安装 consolekit 软件包, 否则, ck-launch-session 将不能正常识别。请查看 ConsoleKit

你也可以甚至不用登陆直接使用预置用户启动Awesome,请参考Start X at boot



"SLIM" 是一个流行的轻量级登录管理器,十分受推崇。要使用SLIM登录Awesome,你可以这么做:


sessions             awesome,wmii,xmonad

编辑 ~/.xinitrc file

case $1 in
  awesome|wmii|xmonad) exec $1 ;;
  *) exec $DEFAULT_SESSION ;;





 $ mkdir -p ~/.config/awesome/


$ cp /etc/xdg/awesome/rc.lua ~/.config/awesome


要获得关于配置Awesome的更多信息,请看Awesome wiki的配置部分


注意: Awesome配置文件语法有时会变化,所以你可能得动手修改下载的配置文件。


用 Xephyr 测试 rc.lua

用这种方式可以在不破坏现有桌面的情况下对rc.lua进行测试。首先把 rc.lua 复制到一个新文件,接着进行修改。然后在Xephyr中运行新的rc.lua (Xephyr允许你在XWindow中植入一个新的XWindow - screenshot)。 你可以这样测试你的新rc.lua

$ Xephyr -ac -br -noreset -screen 1152x720 :1 &
$ DISPLAY=:1.0 awesome -c ~/.config/awesome/





默认的主题文件是 /usr/share/awesome/themes/default。把它复制到 ~/.config/awesome/themes/default 然后修改一下 rc.lua中的theme_path。

beautiful.init(awful.util.getdir("config") .. "/themes/default/theme.lua")




Beautiful 可以设置墙纸,所以你就不用在.xinitrc 或者 .xsession 中自己设置了。Beautiful 允许你给每个主题配一个墙纸。如果你看一看默认的主题文件,可以找到一个 wallpaper_cmd 值。当beautiful.init("path_to_theme_file")运行的时候,给定的命令就会运行。如果不想要 Beautiful 修改你的墙纸,你可以在这里自己定义一个命令,或者把这个值注释掉。

例如,如果你想用 awsetbg 设置墙纸,你可以这样写:

wallpaper_cmd = { "awsetbg -f .config/awesome/themes/awesome-wallpaper.png" }

注意: 要让Awsetbg工作,你需要有一个能设置背景图片的软件,比如"Feh"。


想要随机切换墙纸,只需要注释掉 wallpaper_cmd 一行,然后使用下面的代码添加脚本到到你的 .xinitrc 文件中:

while true;
  awsetbg -r <path/to/the/directory/of/your/wallpapers>
  sleep 15m
done &




GNOME有“开包即用”的优势,你可以在使用GNOME的同时改用awesome作为窗口管理器。如果你在用GNOME 3的话,你可以安装awesome-gnome包,然后在用GDM登陆的时候选择"Awesome GNOME"。更多详细内容请参考awesome wiki



在awesome 3中显示/隐藏wibox

To map Modkey-b to hide/show default statusbar on active screen (as default in awesome 2.3), add to your globalkeys in rc.lua:

awful.key({ modkey }, "b", function ()
    mywibox[mouse.screen].visible = not mywibox[mouse.screen].visible

Enable printscreens

To enable printscreens in awesome through the PrtScr button you need to have a screen capturing program. Scrot is a easy to use utility for this purpose and is available in Arch repositories.

Just type:

# pacman -S scrot

and install optional dependencies if you feel that you need them.

Next of we need to get the key name for PrtScr, most often this is named "Print" but one can never be too sure.

Start up:

# xev

And press the PrtScr button, the output should be something like:

 KeyPress event ....
     root 0x25c, subw 0x0, ...
     state 0x0, keycode 107 (keysym 0xff61, Print), same_screen YES,

In my case as you see, the keyname is Print.

Now to the configuration of awesome!

Somewhere in your globalkeys array (doesn't matter where) type:

Lua code:

 awful.key({ }, "Print", function () awful.util.spawn("scrot -e 'mv $f ~/screenshots/ 2>/dev/null'") end),

Also, this function saves screenshots inside ~/screenshots/, edit this to fit your needs.

Dynamic tagging

Eminent is a small lua library that monkey-patches awful to provide you with effortless and quick wmii-style dynamic tagging. Unlike shifty, eminent does not aim to provide a comprehensive tagging system, but tries to make dynamic tagging as simple as possible. In fact, besides importing the eminent library, you do not have to change your rc.lua at all, eminent does all the work for you.

Shifty is an Awesome 3 extension that implements dynamic tagging. It also implements fine client matching configuration allowing YOU to be the master of YOUR desktop only by setting two simple config variables and some keybindings!

Space Invaders

Space Invaders is a demo to show the possibilities of the Awesome Lua API.

Please note that it is no longer included in the Awesome package since the 3.4-rc1 release.

Naughty for popup notification

See the awesome wiki page on naughty.

Popup Menus

There's a simple menu by default in awesome3, and customed menus seem very easy now. However, if you're using 2.x awesome, have a look at

If you want a menu, you could take a look at awesome-freedesktop .

An example for awesome3:

myawesomemenu = {
   { "lock", "xscreensaver-command -activate" },
   { "manual", terminal .. " -e man awesome" },
   { "edit config", editor_cmd .. " " .. awful.util.getdir("config") .. "/rc.lua" },
   { "restart", awesome.restart },
   { "quit", awesome.quit }

mycommons = {
   { "pidgin", "pidgin" },
   { "OpenOffice", "soffice-dev" },
   { "Graphic", "gimp" }

mymainmenu ={ items = { 
                                        { "terminal", terminal },
                                        { "icecat", "icecat" },
                                        { "Editor", "gvim" },
                                        { "File Manager", "pcmanfm" },
                                        { "VirtualBox", "VirtualBox" },
                                        { "Common App", mycommons, beautiful.awesome_icon },
                                        { "awesome", myawesomemenu, beautiful.awesome_icon }

More Widgets in awesome

Widgets in awesome are objects that you can add to any widget-box (statusbars and titlebars), they can provide various information about your system, and are useful for having access to this information, right from your window manager. Widgets are simple to use and offer a great deal of flexibility. -- Source Awesome Wiki: Widgets.

There's a widely used widget library called Wicked (compatible with awesome versions prior to 3.4), that provides more widgets, like MPD widget, CPU usage, memory usage, etc. For more details see the Wicked page.

As a replacement for Wicked in awesome v3.4 check Vicious, Obvious and Bashets. If you pick vicious, you should also take a good look at vicious documentation.


Awesome has support for true transparency through xcompmgr. Note that you'll probably want the git version of xcompmgr, which is available in AUR.

Add this to your ~/.xinitrc:

xcompmgr &

See man xcompmgr or xcompmgr for more options.

In awesome 3.4, window transparency can be set dynamically using signals. For example, your rc.lua could contain the following:

client.add_signal("focus", function(c)
                              c.border_color = beautiful.border_focus
                              c.opacity = 1
client.add_signal("unfocus", function(c)
                                c.border_color = beautiful.border_normal
                                c.opacity = 0.7

If you got error messages about add_signal, using connect_signal insteaded.

Note that if you are using conky, you must set it to create its own window instead of using the desktop. To do so, edit ~/.conkyrc to contain:

own_window yes
own_window_transparent yes
own_window_type desktop

Otherwise strange behavior may be observed, such as all windows becoming fully transparent. Note also that since conky will be creating a transparent window on your desktop, any actions defined in awesome's rc.lua for the desktop will not work where conky is.

As of Awesome 3.1, there is built-in pseudo-transparency for wiboxes. To enable it, append 2 hexadecimal digits to the colors in your theme file (~/.config/awesome/themes/default, which is usually a copy of /usr/share/awesome/themes/default), like shown here:

bg_normal = #000000AA

where "AA" is the transparency value.

To change transparency for the actual selected window by pressing Modkey + PageUp/PageDown you can also use tansset-df available through the community package repository and the following modification to your rc.lua:

globalkeys = awful.util.table.join(
    -- your keybindings
    awful.key({ modkey }, "Next", function (c)
        awful.util.spawn("transset-df --actual --inc 0.1")
    awful.key({ modkey }, "Prior", function (c)
        awful.util.spawn("transset-df --actual --dec 0.1")
    -- Your other key bindings


You may have problems if you set your wallpaper with imagemagick's display command, it doesn't work well with xcompmgr. Please note that awsetbg may be using display if it doesn't have any other options. Installing habak, feh, hsetroot or whatever should fix the problem (grep -A 1 wpsetters /usr/bin/awsetbg to see your options).

Autorun programs

See also the Autostart page on the Awesome wiki.

awesome doesn't run programs set to autostart by the Freedesktop specification like GNOME or KDE. However, awesome does provide a few functions for starting programs (in addition to the Lua standard library function os.execute). To run the same programs on startup as GNOME or KDE, you can install dex from the AUR and then run that in your rc.lua:

os.execute"dex -a -e Awesome"

If you just want to set up a list of apps for awesome to launch at startup, you can create a table of all the commands you want to spawn and loop through it:

  local cmds = 
    --and so on...

  for _,i in pairs(cmds) do

(You could also run calls to os.execute with commands ending in '&', but it's probably a better idea to stick to the proper spawn function.)

To run a program only if it is not currently running, you can spawn it with a shell command that runs the program only if pgrep doesn't find a running process with the same name:

function run_once(prg)
  awful.util.spawn_with_shell("pgrep -u $USER -x " .. prg .. " || (" .. prg .. ")")

So, for example, to run parcellite only if there is not a parcellite process already running:


Passing content to widgets with awesome-client

You can easily send text to an awesome widget. Just create a new widget:

 mywidget = widget({ type = "textbox", name = "mywidget" })
 mywidget.text = "initial text"

To update the text from an external source, use awesome-client:

 echo -e 'mywidget.text = "new text"' | awesome-client

Don't forget to add the widget to your wibox.

Using a different panel with awesome

If you like awesome's lightweightness and functionality but do not like the way its default panel looks, you can install a different panel. Just install xfce4-panel by issuing:

sudo pacman -S xfce4-panel

Of course any other panel will do as well. Then add it to autorun section of your rc.lua (how to do that is written elsewhere on this wiki). You can also comment out the section which creates wiboxes for each screen (starting from "mywibox[s] = awful.wibox({ position = "top", screen = s })" ) but it isn't necessary. Any way do not forget to check your rc.lua for errors by typing

awesome -k rc.lua

Also you should change your "modkey+R" keybinding, in order to start some other application launcher instead of built in awesome. Xfrun4, bashrun, etc. Check the Application launchers section of Openbox article for examples. Don't forget to add

      properties = { floating = true } },
    { rule = { instance = "$yourapplicationlauncher" },

to your rc.lua.

Fix Java (GUI appears gray only)

Guide taken from [2].

  1. Install wmname from community
  2. Run the following command or add it to your .xinitrc:
    wmname LG3D

If you use a non-reparenting window manager and Java 6, you should uncomment the corresponding line in /etc/profile.d/

If you use a non-reparenting window manager and Java 7, you should uncomment the corresponding line in /etc/profile.d/

Prevent Nautilus from displaying the desktop (Gnome3)

Run dconf-editor. Navigate to org->gnome->desktop->background and uncheck "draw-background" as well as "show-desktop-icons" for good measure. That's it!

Another option is moving /usr/bin/nautilus to a new location and replacing it with a script that runs 'nautilus --no-desktop' passing any arguments it receives along.

/usr/bin/nautilus-real --no-desktop $@

Transitioning away from Gnome3

Run 'gnome-session-properties' and remove programs that you won't be needing anymore (e.g Bluetooth Manager, Login Sounds, etc).

If you'd like to get rid of GDM, make sure that your rc.conf DAEMONS list includes "dbus" (and "cupsd" if you have a printer). It's advisable to get a different login manager (like SLiM), but you can do things manually if you wish. That entails setting up your .xinitrc properly and installing something like devmon (AUR).

If you wan't to keep a few convenient systray applets and your GTK theme, append this to your rc.lua;

function start_daemon(dae)
	daeCheck = os.execute("ps -eF | grep -v grep | grep -w " .. dae)
	if (daeCheck ~= 0) then
		os.execute(dae .. " &")

procs = {"gnome-settings-daemon", "nm-applet", "kupfer", "gnome-sound-applet", "gnome-power-manager"}
for k = 1, #procs do

Prevent the mouse scroll wheel from changing tags

In your rc.lua, change the Mouse Bindings section to the following;

-- {{{ Mouse bindings
    awful.button({ }, 3, function () mymainmenu:toggle() end)))
-- }}}



If you encounter UI problems with libreoffice install libreoffice-gnome.

Mod4 key

The Mod4 is by default the Win key. If it's not mapped by default, for some reason, you can check the keycode of your Mod4 key with

$ xev

It should be 115 for the left one. Then add this to your ~/.xinitrc

xmodmap -e "keycode 115 = Super_L" -e "add mod4 = Super_L"
exec awesome

The problem in this case is that some xorg installations recognize keycode 115, but incorrectly as the 'Select' key. The above command explictly remaps keycode 115 to the correct 'Super_L' key.

Mod4 key vs. IBM ThinkPad users

IBM ThinkPads do not come equipped with a Window key (although Lenovo have changed this tradition on their ThinkPads). As of writing, the Alt key is not used in command combinations by the default rc.lua (refer to the Awesome wiki for a table of commands), which allows it be used as a replacement for the Super/Mod4/Win key. To do this, edit your rc.lua and replace:

modkey = "Mod4"


modkey = "Mod1"

Note: Awesome does a have a few commands that make use of Mod4 plus a single letter. Changing Mod4 to Mod1/Alt could cause overlaps for some key combinations. The small amount of instances where this happens can be changed in the rc.lua file.

If you do not like to change the awesome standards, you might like to remap a key. For instance the caps lock key is rather useless (for me) adding the following contents to ~/.Xmodmap

clear lock 
add mod4 = Caps_Lock

and (re)load the file. This will change the caps lock key into the mod4 key and works nicely with the standard awesome settings. In addition, if needed, it provides the mod4 key to other X-programs as well.

Not confirmed, but if recent updates of xorg related packages break mentioned remapping the second line can be replaced by (tested on a DasKeyboard with no left Super key):

keysym Caps_Lock = Super_L Caps_Lock


If Brasero doesn't detect your blank disks when started in Awesome, but works just fine when started in Gnome, try using

$ dbus-launch brasero

Eclipse: cannot resize/move main window

If you get stuck and cannot move or resize the main window (using mod4 + left/right mouse button) edit the workbench.xml and set fullscreen/maximized to false (if set) and reduce the width and height to numbers smaller than your single screen desktop area.

Note: workbench.xml can be found in: <eclipse_workspace>/.metadata/.plugins/org.eclipse.ui.workbench/ and the line to edit is <window height="xx" maximized="true" width="xx" x="xx" y="xx">.

YouTube: fullscreen appears in background

[3] If YouTube videos appear underneath your web browser when in fullscreen mode, add this to your rc.lua

   { rule = { instance = "plugin-container" },
     properties = { floating = true } },

With Chromium add

   { rule = { instance = "exe" },
     properties = { floating = true } },

Starting console clients on specific tags

It does not work when the console application is invoked from a GTK terminal (e.g. LXTerminal). URxvt is known to work.

Redirecting console output to a file

Some GUI application are very verbose when launched from a terminal. As a consequence, when started from Awesome, they output everything to the TTY from where Awesome was started, which tend to get messy. To remove the garbage output, you have to redirect it. However, the awful.util.spawn function does not handle pipes and redirections very well as stated in the official FAQ.

As example, let's redirect Luakit output to a temporary file:

awful.key({ modkey, }, "w", function () awful.util.spawn_with_shell("luakit 2>>/tmp/luakit.log") end),

External Links