cwm is an X11 window manager with a focus on getting out of your way so you can be productive. It was originally derived from evilwm, but the codebase has since been re-written from scratch.
cwm is developed as part of the OpenBSD base system. A “portable” version which runs on Linux is also available.
cmw is configured by editing
~/.cwmrc. There is no default
cwmrc file; all defaults – including the keybinds – are defined in conf.c. cwm(1) lists the default keybinds; cwmrc(5) lists all configuration directives.
You can remove all default keybinds with
unbind-key all and
unbind-mouse all though.
cwm lacks traditional ‘workspaces’; instead you can assign windows to a group. This is a more flexible approach, as two or more groups can be displayed at the same time, and is similar or identical to the workspace feature of many tiling window managers.
For example one might put a chat/irc application in group 4, and then assign a key to toggle the visibility of that group (
bind-key <k> group-toggle 4) to display that group in addition to whatever other windows/groups might be displayed.
You can also use
bind-key <k> group-only <n> to show only windows from that group, hiding everything else.
The default for new windows is to not put them in any group, meaning they will always be displayed (what many WMs call ‘sticky’ windows). However by enabling “sticky group mode” with
sticky yes windows will be assigned the currently selected group by default.
You can also use the
autogroup directory to automatically group windows.
There is no action to move windows to pre-defined locations; but you can get around this with xdotool; put this
cwm-w-mv script in your
#!/bin/sh # Move a window to the side of a screen. case "$1" in "left") xdotool getactivewindow windowmove 0 y ;; "top") xdotool getactivewindow windowmove x 0 ;; "right") screen_width=$(xwininfo -root | grep Width | cut -d: -f2 | tr -d ' ') win_width=$(xdotool getactivewindow getwindowgeometry --shell | grep WIDTH | cut -d= -f2) xdotool getactivewindow windowmove $(( $screen_width - $win_width )) y ;; "bottom") screen_height=$(xwininfo -root | grep Height | cut -d: -f2 | tr -d ' ') win_height=$(xdotool getactivewindow getwindowgeometry --shell | grep HEIGHT | cut -d= -f2) xdotool getactivewindow windowmove x $(( $screen_height - $win_height )) ;; *) echo "Unsupported: \"$1\"" exit 1 esac
And then bind it in cwm with something like:
bind-key 4-h cwm-w-mv left # Move window to side of the screen. bind-key 4-j cwm-w-mv bottom bind-key 4-k cwm-w-mv top bind-key 4-l cwm-w-mv right bind-key 4-Left cwm-w-mv left bind-key 4-Down cwm-w-mv bottom bind-key 4-Up cwm-w-mv top bind-key 4-Right cwm-w-mv right
This will make Mod4 (‘Windows key’) plus hjkl or the arrow keys move the window to the side.
- OpenBSD source
- Portable version
- Example cwmrc: 
- Absolute OpenBSD contains an introduction to cwm.