Twm (Italiano)

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This wiki page details installation and configuration of the twm window manager under Arch Linux.


Twm is a window manager for X11. It is a small program, being built against Xlib rather than using a widget library, and as such it is very light on system resources. Though simple, it is highly configurable; fonts, colours, border widths, titlebar buttons etc can all be set by the user.

Twm creation and name

Twm was written by Tom LaStrange, a developer who was frustrated by the limitations of uwm (Ultrix Window Manager)[[1], the only window manager around when X11 was first released. Twm supplanted uwm as the default window manager supplied with X11 from the X11R4 release in 1989[2].

Twm has stood for Tom's Window Manager, Tab Window Manager and more recently Timeless Window Manager[3].


Twm is part of the Arch extra repository[4]. To install twm, as root type:

pacman -S xorg-twm

Start twm with X

In order for twm to be run as your window manager, edit the file ~/.xinitrc so the final line is:

exec twm

If you now type:


at the command prompt, X will start using twm for its window manager.

If you would like to configure X (and twm) to start on boot (or when you login) read the wiki page Start X at boot to find out how.

Configuration (editing your .twmrc)

By default, twm looks very dated and unintuitive. By editing the file ~/.twmrc you can customize twm to make it more friendly.


  • The twm man page gives full details of the commands which can be used in your .twmrc file. It can be viewed online[5] or accessed once twm is installed by typing the following at a command prompt:
man twm
  • Many .twmrc files have been posted online[6]. The site xwinman[7] has several .twmrc files with screenshots which might provide inspiration. A Google search for twmrc can be used to find new ideas[8].
  • More information about twm can be found on the twm Wikipedia page[9].


  1. Proffitt, Brian. "From the Desktop: Tom LaStrange Speaks!", LinuxPlanet, February 6, 2001. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  2. "UWM (computing)", Wikipedia. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  3. "Twm", Wikipedia. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  4. "Pkg: xorg-twm - Arch Linux Package Details", Arch Linux package search. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  5. "Twm man page", Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  6. "Sample .twmrc file", Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  7. "Window Managers for X: TWM/VTWM", Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  8. "Google search for twmrc", Google. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  9. "Twm", Wikipedia. Retrieved October 22, 2009.