From ArchWiki
Revision as of 09:20, 1 January 2012 by AlexanderR (talk | contribs) (added themes note)
Jump to: navigation, search

This template has only maintenance purposes. For linking to local translations please use interlanguage links, see Help:i18n#Interlanguage links.

Local languages: Català – Dansk – English – Español – Esperanto – Hrvatski – Indonesia – Italiano – Lietuviškai – Magyar – Nederlands – Norsk Bokmål – Polski – Português – Slovenský – Česky – Ελληνικά – Български – Русский – Српски – Українська – עברית – العربية – ไทย – 日本語 – 正體中文 – 简体中文 – 한국어

External languages (all articles in these languages should be moved to the external wiki): Deutsch – Français – Română – Suomi – Svenska – Tiếng Việt – Türkçe – فارسی

In Unix computing, IceWM is a window manager for the X Window System graphical infrastructure, written by Marko Maček. It was coded from scratch in C++ and is released under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. It is relatively lightweight in terms of memory and CPU usage, and comes with themes that allow it to imitate the UI of Windows 95, OS/2, Motif, and other graphical user interfaces. (Source: Wikipedia)


IceWM is available in [extra] and therefore easily installable:

# pacman -S icewm

Alternatively, the latest version from the testing branch (Template:Package AUR) and CVS version (Template:Package AUR) are available from the AUR. These versions add new features and bugfixes (due to slow development they are often equal with extra/icewm).


Although IceWM configuration is originally text-based, there are GUI-based tools available, notably Template:Package Official in [community]. However these tools are relatively old and most users prefer to simply edit the text configuration files.

To change your icewm configuration from the default, simply copy the default configuration files from /usr/share/icewm/ to ~/.icewm/, for example:

Note: Do this as a regular user, not as root.
$ mkdir ~/.icewm/
$ cp -R /usr/share/icewm/* ~/.icewm/

Template:Filename is the core configuration file for IceWM. Template:Filename controls the contents of the IceWM application menu. Template:Filename allows the user to customize keyboard shortcuts.


  • MenuMaker (available in [community]) is a Python script that automatically populates your applications menu based on what is installed in your system. Although this may result in a menu filled with many unwanted applcations, it may still be preferable to manually editing the menu configuration file. When running MenuMaker, use the -f flag to overwrite an existing menu file:
# mmaker -f icewm
# xdg_menu --format icewm --fullmenu --root-menu /etc/xdg/menus/ > ~/.icewm/menu


Some themes are included by default, much larger selection is available in the Template:Package Official package in the repository, but even the best of them have a spartan, 'old Windows' feel. Much better examples (like [1], [2] or [3]) can be found at

File Managers

It should be noted that IceWM is a window manager only and therefore does not include a file manager. PCManFM and Rox Filer enable desktop icons, but iDesk can also be used to achieve this functionality.

Note: For a greater listing of file managers, examine the File managers category listing.

Related Articles

External Resources