Window Maker

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Window Maker is a window manager (WM) for the X Window System. It is designed to emulate the NeXT user interface as an OpenStep-compatible environment, and is characterized by low memory demands and high flexibility. As one of the lighter WMs, it is well suited for machines with modest performance specifications.


The latest official release can be found in the windowmaker package. Since the official release is quite old, another package with many bug fixes and small updates has been made, called windowmaker-crm-git. [1]

To install Window Maker:

pacman -S windowmaker-crm-git

Once installed create or edit the file Template:Filename as follows:

exec ck-launch-session wmaker

Before starting Window Maker, take some time to setup GNUstep and the default Window Maker settings. Create a directory for your Window Maker settings. Traditionally, it is in Template:Filename.

makedir ~/GNUstep

Set the GNUSTEP_USER_ROOT variable to your GNUstep settings directory. You can set this variable in a file such as Template:Filename.

export GNUSTEP_USER_ROOT="~/GNUstep"

Run the Window Maker settings installation program to setup the default settings.


To start Window Maker:




All of the settings for Window Maker can be found in the GNUSTEP_USER_ROOT directory, under Template:Filename and Template:Filename. They are saved as simple text files. You can use the Preferences Utility (Template:Filename) GUI application to change the settings, or edit them by hand.

  • Template:Filename - The current Window Maker settings.
  • Template:Filename
  • Template:Filename - The desktop main menu. It uses a simple text format that can be edited by hand. For more details, see the menu editing section in the Preferences Utility application.
  • Template:Filename - Used to restore a Window Maker session.
  • Template:Filename - Individual application and window settings, such as application icon settings and title bar settings. You can also edit this by right clicking on any application or window icon and selecting "Attributes".
  • Template:Filename - Settings for the Preferences Utility.
  • Template:Filename
  • Template:Filename - One of the default locations Window Maker looks for application icons. You can personally save your favorite icons here and use them by changing application or window attributes.
  • Template:Filename - Add applications that you want to automatically start when Window Maker starts. Be sure to run them in the background by using "&".
  • Template:Filename - Same as autostart, but used when exiting.
  • Template:Filename - One of the default locations where Window Maker looks for desktop wallpapers.
  • Template:Filename - One of the default locations where Window Maker looks for styles.


Applications don't always start

Sometimes an application, such as Firefox or Thunderbird, will start, and other times it will fail and no window will appear. If you are using the regular windowmaker, try using the windowmaker-crm-git package instead.

Additional resources