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Revision as of 14:53, 5 December 2007 by Abhidg (talk | contribs) (Using dwm with a login manager: add info on gdm, slim)
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This is a howto for the dwm window manager. dwm is a dynamic window manager for X and is extremely light weight and extremely fast. Note, it is not for novice users as almost, if not, all of the extras of KDE and Gnome that you are used do not exist in dwm.

Getting Started

Since dwm is not currently available through pacman, you have to compile it yourself through the Arch Build System or ABS. If you have not setup ABS on your machine yet, then you should go here first. As this is not the place to teach you how to use ABS. If you already know how to use ABS, you can check out the PKGBUILD script for it here.

Post Installation

After you have downloaded and installed dwm using the ABS and pacman you go ahead and get started using it. It should be noted that currently dwm is configured through its source. If you simply download and install it, then you'll be given the default setup.

Fire up your favorite text editor and add dwm to your xinitrc script:

nano -w /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

Your's should look something like this:

# $XConsortium: xinitrc.cpp,v 1.4 91/08/22 11:41:34 rws Exp $


# merge in defaults and keymaps

if [ -f $sysresources ]; then
    xrdb -merge $sysresources

if [ -f $sysmodmap ]; then
    xmodmap $sysmodmap

if [ -f $userresources ]; then
    xrdb -merge $userresources

if [ -f $usermodmap ]; then
    xmodmap $usermodmap

# start some nice programs
exec dwm

When I installed it on my laptop I had to use the following line:

DISPLAY=my_host:0 exec dwm

instead of

exec dwm

Finally, now all you need to do is


at the command line.


Using dwm with a login manager

If you are using the [[[SLIM]]] login manager, then there's no need to worry, as SLiM reads .xinitrc by default. For GDM, copy your .xinitrc to .Xclients and select "Run XClient Script" from the Sessions menu.

Outside Resources

HowTo by Snake

Add more info here