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xfwm is the window manager for the Xfce environment.


Install the xfwm4 package.


Run xfwm4 with xinit.


Most xfwm settings can be accessed through xfwm4-settings, for window behavior and shortcuts, xfwm4-tweaks-settings, for advanced settings and compositing, and xfwm4-workspace-settings, for the number of workspaces and their names.

Composite manager

  • This compositor may cause video tearing in applications, see #Video tearing.
  • From Xfwm 4.12 onward, the compositor is enabled by default.

To enable or disable the Xfwm compositor and adjust its settings, go to Window Manager Tweaks:

$ xfwm4-tweaks-settings

Alternatively, it can be enabled with --compositor or using xfconf. For example:

exec xfwm4 --compositor=on
$ xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/use_compositing -s true

Window roll-up

Double clicking the titlebar, or clicking roll window up in the window menu, causes the window contents to disappear leaving only the titlebar. To disable this functionality with xfconf, run:

$ xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/mousewheel_rollup -s false

Window tiling

Xfwm can "tile" a window automatically when it is moved to an edge of the screen. It does so by resizing it to fit the top half of the screen. To enable or disable this behaviour with xfconf, run:

$ xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/tile_on_move -s false
$ xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/tile_on_move -s true

Alternatively, (un)check Window Manager Tweaks > Accessibility > Automatically tile windows when moving toward the screen edge.

Extra settings provided by the Xfce settings manager

Install the xfce4-settings package.

Note: Installing xfce4-settings may change the default applications for certain tasks. See xdg-open to set the default applications to your liking.

Additional themes

Install the xfwm4-themes package.

The themes installed will be shown in the xfwm4-settings window.

Tips & Tricks

Hide the titlebar when window is maximized

Go to Accessibility and check Hide title of windows when maximized.

Note: Install xfce4-windowck-pluginAUR if you want to put the titlebar of the currently maximized window on your panel.


No icons shown in browser for downloaded items

This is fixed by installing the xfce4-settings package.

Number of workspaces changes unexpectedly

Keep in mind Xfwm assigns shortcuts to adding and removing workspaces. By default these are Alt+Delete and Alt+Insert, respectively.

If the number of workspaces resets at login, change the amount after Xfwm is started. This is ensured by the sleep command. [1]

(sleep 3 && xfconf-query -v -c xfwm4 -p /general/workspace_count -s number) &
exec xfwm4

or, from xfce4-session:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=sh -c "sleep 3 && xfconf-query -v -c xfwm4 -p /general/workspace_count -s number"

See also: Logout alters workspaces

Video tearing

If you experience video tearing, you could try to change the --vblank mode option of xfwm (glx, xpresent or off), try it with this command[2]:

$ xfwm4 --replace --vblank=glx &

in order to save it:

$ xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/vblank_mode -s glx

If you use Intel graphics and you have already enabled "TearFree" option in Xorg as described in Intel graphics#Tearing, then disable Synchronize drawing to the vertical blank option.

If this does not fix the tearing, consider disabling Xfwm's compositor and using an alternative composite manager.

Horizontal line above dock windows

Xfwm may incorrectly render shadows above some dock windows (e.g.Plank). This would result in a horizontal line across the screen. A workaround is to disable Show shadows under dock windows under Settings > Window Manager Tweaks > Compositor.

See also