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Revision as of 15:22, 7 November 2013 by Tuftedocelot (talk | contribs) (Rules: Formatting error on pipe character)
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bspwm is a tiling window manager that represents windows as the leaves of a full binary tree. It has support for EWMH and multiple monitors, and is configured and controlled through messages.


Install bspwmAUR or bspwm-gitAUR from the AUR. You will also want to install sxhkdAUR or sxhkd-gitAUR, a simple X hotkey daemon used to communicate with bspwm through bspc as well as launch your applications of choice. With commit 948b804, xwinfo-gitAUR is also required by the example configuration files.

To start bspwm on login, add the following to your .xinitrc:

sxhkd &
exec bspwm


Example configuration is found on GitHub.

Copy bspwmrc to ~/.config/bspwm/bspwmrc, sxhkdrc to ~/.config/sxhkd/sxhkdrc and make bspwmrc executable with chmod +x ~/.config/bspwm/bspwmrc.

Documentation for bspwm is found by running man bspwm.

There is also documentation for sxhkd found by running man sxhkd.

These two files are where you will be setting wm settings and keybindings, respectively.


As of 948b804 window-specific rules were externalized. Be sure to take a look in the rules directory for example scripts to set rules. These scripts are required to run the example configuration file.

Rules can be created in a few different ways. Two such methods are below:

  1. Place rulc and ruld in a folder that is in your $PATH and make them executable. This will enable an out-of-the-box method to use the rules in the example scripts.
  2. Create a script that is called in your bspwmrc file that forms the rules. See Stebalien's post for example of how to accomplish this.

If a particular window does not seem to be behaving according to your rules, check the class name of the program. This can be accomplished by running xprop | grep WM_CLASS and seeing what is the second value.


The following environmental variables may need to be defined:


If either of these do not respond with a value, then go to your /etc/profile and add the following lines:

export XDG_CONFIG_HOME="~/.config"
export BSPWM_SOCKET="/tmp/bspwm-socket"

See also