evilwm is a minimalist window manager for the X Window system. It is minimalist in that it omits unnecessary stuff like window decorations and icons. But it is very usable in that it provides good keyboard control with repositioning and maximize toggles, solid window drags, snap-to-border support, and virtual desktops. Its installed binary size is only 0.07 MB.
Install the AUR package.
evilwm with xinit.
evilwm does not control the desktop background or mouse cursor, so you may want to use.
evilwm can read options via command line switches. Some examples:
-fg color(Frame color of currently active window)
-bw n(Width of window borders in pixels)
-term term(Specifies a program to run when spawning a new terminal; default is xterm)
-snap n(enables snap-to-border support and specifies the proximity in pixels to snap to)
-mask1 modifier(override the default
-nosoliddrag(draw a window outline while moving or resizing, rather than drawing the entire window)
A full list of the evilwm options can be found in.
By default, evilwm draws a one pixel gold border around the currenly active window. An example of the use of switches to change this would be a
~/.xinitrc file such as:
exec evilwm -snap 10 -bw 2 -fg red
This would enable
- snapping to a border within 10 pixels,
- a border width of 2 pixels,
- red for the currently active window border.
- evilwm will also read options, one per line, from a file called
.evilwmrcin the user's home directory. Options listed in a configuration file should omit the leading dash. Options specified on the command line override those found in the configuration file.
After starting evilwm you will see nothing but a mouse cursor and a black background (or other background if you specified it as above). To open a terminal, use the key combination
Ctrl+Alt+Enter. Programs can then be run from the terminal using
Using the keyboard combination of
Ctrl+Alt plus a third key gives you these functions:
Enter– spawns new terminal
Escape– Deletes current window
Insert– Lowers current window
l– Move window left, down, up, right 16 pixels
n– Move window to top-left, top-right, bottom-left, bottom-right corner
i– Show information about current window
=– Maximize current window vertically (toggle)
x– Maximize current window full-screen (toggle)
By holding down the
Alt key, you can perform these functions with the mouse:
Button 1– Move window
Button 2– Resize window
Button 3– Lower window
Using the keyboard combination of
Ctrl+Alt plus a third key gives you these virtual desktop functions:
8– Switch virtual desktop
Left– Previous virtual desktop
Right– Next virtual desktop
f– Fix or unfix current window
To move a window from one virtual desktop to another, fix it, switch desktop, then unfix it.
Alt+Tab can also be used to cycle through windows on the current desktop.
Tips & Tricks
Horizontal window maximize
The key combination of
Ctrl+Alt+= will maximize a window vertically. To maximize a window horizontally, use
Ctrl+Alt+= to maximize it vertically, then
Ctrl+Alt+x to maximize it horizontally (as opposed to just using
Ctrl+Alt+x to maximize it full-screen).
Exit evilwm by ending a program
By default, evilwm has no quit option. To exit, simply kill X with Ctrl+Alt+Backspace. If you wish, you can exit evilwm by closing a specific program. Instead of using
exec evilwm in your
~/.xinitrc file, you can transfer exec to another program. Killing this program will then exit evilwm. For example:
#!/bin/sh evilwm -snap 10 -bw 2 -fg red & exec xclock
Resize windows using the keyboard
Although not mentioned in the man-page, you can resize windows with the keyboard as well as the mouse. Using the same key-combinations for moving a window, just add the
Shift key to the mix to resize a window.
l - Resize window smaller horizontally, larger vertically, smaller vertically, larger horizontally
You can make life easier by using Xbindkeys for more details.to run commands in evilwm. See
evilwm does not start
When you run evilwm, Xorg presents error messages in the log file and/or on the screen and exits. The messages may vary from system to system. Commonly, or is missing. Install either font to solve the problem.
See the following forum thread.
If the default
/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc successfully starts Twm but your
~/.xinitrc fails to start evilwm and
.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log contains a warning about a missing or invalid file
/usr/share/fonts/misc/, follow the advice below the warning and run
$ mkfontdir /usr/share/fonts/misc/
to create that file.
See also Fonts#Older applications