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WMFS (Window Manager From Scratch) is a lightweight and highly configurable tiling window manager for X. It can be configured with a configuration file, supports Xft (Freetype) fonts and is compliant with the Extended Window Manager Hints (EWMH) specifications. It's still under heavy development


wmfs is available from the unsupported [AUR] . Due the high development rate its recommended to use the git version.

You can install it with an AUR helper, or build it yourself.

To configure WMFS to your liking, you will need to create a config file Template:Filename. If Template:Filename doesn't exist, create it:

mkdir -p ~/.config/wmfs

A default file is located in your XDG directory, normally in /etc/xdg/wmfs, called wmfsrc. Copy it to your newly created Template:Filename folder and you can begin to modify it.

cp /etc/xdg/wmfs/wmfsrc ~/.config/wmfs

To use wmfs as windowmanager, add it to your Template:Filename:

echo "exec wmfs" >> ~/.xinitrc


Config file

The config file is well commented. Make small changes cumulatively and reload WMFS (default key to restart is Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress.

By default two different mod keys are used for keybindings (Template:Keypress and Template:Keypress) which may conflict with your pre-exisitng set-up. These can be changed in Template:Filename. For example, if you want to use the win-key instead of Alt, replace "Alt" by "Super" or "Mod4" in the config file, e.g:

[key] mod = { "Super" } key = "p" func = "launcher" cmd = "launcher_exec" [/key]

Or in a single command

sed --in-place=.bak 's/"Alt"/"Mod4"/' wmfsrc

Statusbar configuration

The text shown in the status bars (or infobars) is set on a running wmfs instance using the "wmfs -s" command. You can set a different bar for each tag. The bars can also be positioned at the top or bottom of each screen in the configuration file. For example

wmfs -s "hello world, I am visible on all screens"
wmfs -s 5 "hello world, I am visible on screen five only"  (not working, bug?)

Colors may be encoded like this:

wmfs -s "This text is \#ff0000\red, \#00ff00\green and \#0000ff\blue"

Rectangles may be drawn like this:

wmfs -s "<--look rectangles \b[700;9;14;5;#00ff00]\ \b[715;4;14;10;#00ff00]\ \b[730;3;14;11;#ff0000]\ "

The format is \b[xx;yy;ww;hh;#cccccc]\ where xx and yy are absolute (not relative) x and y positions, ww and hh are width and height, and cccccc is a color. This feature could be used to create CPU barcharts, volume displays and the like. Note: the absolute positioning makes it difficult to accurately interleave text and graphics.

To pipe data to the bar, write a bash script with the relevant data you wish to display and source it in your Template:Filename. WMFS will call it at the interval you specify:

status_path = ".config/wmfs/wmfs-status"
status_timing = 5

Note that the output in the status.sh is as explained before.

wmfs -s "What ever you want to be displayed"

Some example status scripts are on the WMFS website.


You can use Conky to pipe output to wmfs' statusbar with the command:

conky | while read -r; do wmfs -s -name "$REPLY"; done


The keybinding Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress starts a launcher in the titlebar (similar to dmenu). It supports tab-completion and command-line parameters. Multiple presses of the tab key iterate through possible completions.

WMFS can be controlled from the command line with commands such as

wmfs -V :ln

which selects the next layout. Equivalently press Template:Keypress+Template:Keypress followed by ":ln". Type "wmfs -V help" to see the full list.


  • WMFS website
  • [1] WMFS Forum Thread