According to Wikipedia, "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". Configurability and presence of simple session management places IceWM between simplest DEs and feature-rich WMs.
IceWM is available in [extra] and therefore easily installable:
# pacman -S icewm
Alternatively, the latest version from the testing branch (AUR. These versions add new features and bugfixes (due to slow development they are often equal with extra/icewm).AUR) and CVS version ( AUR) are available from the
Running as stand-alone WM
To run IceWM as a stand-alone window manager, append the following to
If you want mounting, tray icons, desktop background and session stuff to work use
exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch icewm-session
(try to determine yourself which part is optional and how to use icewmbg to set desktop background)
icewm-session will run icewm, icewmbg and icewmtray, so appending the following to
~/.xinitrc implements basic session management:
IceWM as a WM for desktop environments
Actions required to use IceWM with DE are basically same as ones for Openbox (and probably any other WM).
Although IceWM configuration is originally text-based, there are GUI-based tools available, notablyin [community]. However these tools are relatively old and most users prefer to simply edit the text configuration files. Configuration changes from defaults can be made either system wide (in /etc/X11/icewm/) or on a user-specific basis (in ~/.icewm/).
To change your icewm configuration from the default, simply copy the default configuration files from
~/.icewm/, for example:
$ mkdir ~/.icewm/ $ cp -R /usr/share/icewm/* ~/.icewm/
preferencesis the core configuration file for IceWM.
menucontrols the contents of the IceWM application menu.
keysallows the user to customize keyboard shortcuts
toolbarrow of launcher icons on the taskbar
winoptionsbehavior of individual applications
startupscript or command (must be executable) executed on startup
shutdownthe same for shutdown
- from [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
- Another tool written in perl is the :
# xdg_menu --format icewm --fullmenu --root-menu /etc/xdg/menus/arch-applications.menu > ~/.icewm/menu
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.