Awesome in Archlinux

awesome v3.5.4

awesome v3.5.4

If you are used to typical graphic environments, perhaps Awesome is not for you, but if your intention is to get the most out of your computer there is nothing better from my point of view.

From the Awesome website:


"Awesome is highly configurable and is the next generation window manager for X. It is very fast, extensible, and is licensed under the GNU GPLv2"

Windows Manager (or window manager) is a program that controls the location and appearance of windows under a window system. Do not confuse window manager with graphical environment.

Gnome! = Metacity

Kde! = Kwin

Xfce! = Xfwm

Putting it a little simpler, it is the way to manage windows in GNU / Linux operating systems, aimed at average and advanced users.

My personal experience with this Windows Manager (window manager) is for a couple of months, at first a bit complicated like all good things, however it is a matter of dedicating a little time, patience and making the most of the resources of the computer.


According to Sebastián Montini, it was written as an experiment in a model other than the usual window management. Try to solve the navigation problem by dividing the screen into mutually non-overlapping frames that try to cover the entire screen. The organization of the frames is dynamic and different in each workspace, the use of the keyboard is convenient, effective and efficient.


  • Tiling system (wmii, dwm, ion, etc)
  • LUA widgets can be configured
  • It is a flexible system (float, tile, fair, max, full, focus)
  • Use a tag system instead of viewports
  • It is quite light
  • It is oriented to the use of the keyboard
  • It is much more customizable than others

According to Wikipedia Awesome is written in Moon, an imperative, structured and fairly lightweight programming language that was designed as an interpreted language with extensible semantics. The name means "moon" in Portuguese.

It is advisable to use a session manager like Slim, KDM, GDM or the one of your preference and add applications (vicious, scrot, notify-osd and xcompmgr)

How is it installed in Archlinux?

# pacman -S awesome

All configuration lies in the file rc.lua located in / etc / xdg / awesome /, it is customary to create a folder called awesome in the path /home/usuario/.config and create a symbolic link of said file.

$ mkdir /home/usuario/.config/awesome

With the folder created, the symbolic link will be created

# ln -s /etc/xdg/awesome/rc.lua /home/usuario/.config/awesome/

If you are interested in changing the Awesome icon or the wallpaper, you must modify the file theme.lua within the route / usr / share / awesome / themes / default /, I usually use the editor dwarf.

# nano /usr/share/awesome/themes/default/theme.lua

Change the icon of awesome

Find the section theme.awesome_icon = and add the path of the image that you want to be the start menu icon. Don't forget to put it in double quotes.

Change the Wallpaper

Find the section theme.wallpaper = and add the path of the image you want as wallpaper. Don't forget to put it in double quotes

How do I improve my Awesome settings?

To improve Awesome, you may be interested in modifying the rc.lua file, you can do it by adding a simple menu, remember that it is LUA programming.


# nano /home/usuario/.config/awesome/rc.lua


Find the section

- {{{Menu - Create a laucher widget and a main menu

And add something like this

myawesomemenu = {{"manual", terminal .. "-e man awesome"}, {"edit config", editor_cmd .. "" .. awesome.conffile}, {"restart", awesome.restart}, {"quit ", awesome.quit}} menugraphics = {{" GIMP "," gimp "," /usr/share/icons/Faenza/apps/22/gimp.png "} mymainmenu = ({items = {{" Awesome ", myawesomemenu}, {" Graphics ", menugraphics},}})

Modify it according to your preferred applications. now you can add widgets, objects that can be added to any Wibox (status bars and title bars) can provide various information about your system, window manager and X clients directly from your desktop.

The widgets are easy to use and offer great flexibility, to add them you must go to the section - {{{Wibox

- Create a textclock widget mytextclock = awful.widget.textclock ()

Later you go to the section - Widgets that are aligned to the righ and you add them as follows


You recharge your awesome with the keys Ctrl + Home + R and you can see how they appear in the upper left part of the screen, you can add the ones you consider pertinent, it is just a matter of reading a little more about the subject in the official pages.

Remember: Every time you modify the rc.lua file use

$ awesome --check

If you throw the message ✔ Configuration file syntax OK. you can rest assured, otherwise check the errors, it may take you a bit unpleasant surprise if it is not configured correctly.

Dare to take minimalism to the extreme with Awesome, as a help I share my configuration of the main files in this link.


Awesome Archlinux


Widgets in Awesome

Awesome Installation Guide

Presentation of Sebastían Montini at Jornadas del Sur 2009 Awesome: a different WM

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  1.   r @ y said

    awesome wallpaper 😉

    1.    elav said


  2.   George said

    How interesting, I'll try it right now.

  3.   Rock Neurotiko said

    I love awesome-wm, from my point of view the best window manager, and far above the graphical environments.

    Of course, every programmer (or lover of linux and speed) should test it at least two months thoroughly 🙂

    PS: Here is my configuration, which is a modification of one that I found a long time ago 🙂

  4.   philosophers said

    Yup, 5 for awesome!
    I've been with awesome for about 1 year and I recognize that it is what I have been looking for for a long time, it is very stable, configurable and above all light, there are always forums and configs on the internet that can be adapted.

  5.   Jamin samuel said


    Gnome doesn't use Metacity… .. who uses Metacity is Unity.

    Gnome uses Mutter

    1.    philosophers said


    2.    debish said

      It actually depends on the version of Gnome you are using (in Debian with Gnome 3.8.4 they still put metacity by default) ...

      And at the end of the day Mutter is an evolution of Metacity, so it is not that much of a difference either.

      1.    Statick said

        Thanks for the answers, effectively gnome uses Mutter, but as debish says Metacity is an evolution of Mutter and Gnome 3 still uses metacity on operating systems like Debian


  6.   eliotime3000 said

    This tutorial is better synthesized than @Helena_ryuu. In any case, this type of tutorial is appreciated, and now I do understand how to configure Awesome without having to go through an ordeal.

    Let's see if I can make an Awesome desktop like the one in Crunchbang (without Openbox, of course).

    1.    Statick said

      As I said in the post, it is only a matter of patience and a little practice in daily tasks, I use it from time to time, but when my netbook is taken by someone who does not know much about it, I usually end the slim service (# systemctl stop slim.service) and start kde (systemctl start kdm.service), most of the time 98% I usually work in Awesome, I still have a lot to learn since I am not a programmer yet, but even for me it has been very easy to configure the widgets, the best of all is that little or no use of the mouse, only when I use Inkscape or Gimp


    2.    juancamilo_2000 said

      Helena's post only works for an old version of awesome, 3.4, so that tutorial is a bit out of date.

  7.   Euphoria said

    They could share the desktop background 😀

    In the absence of testing, what advantage compared to openbox? And poison is not better to take advantage of the performance? (I used that a little but it is more complicated)


    1.    Statick said

      At the end I leave a link with the settings and the default files.


      1.    Euphoria said

        That happens to me for not reading 🙁

        Thank you!

  8.   Trooper said

    Statick, could you tell me where you got the wallpaper from please?

    1.    Statick said

      If you mean the one with the sexy teacher, I found it googling


      1.    thisnameisfalse said

        The desktop background has succeeded more than the tutorial itself:

  9.   illukki said

    Very good tuto. As someone out there says: finally I am going to install it since you show how to configure it in a simple way.
    Thank you.

  10.   Juanra20 said

    I will try this WM when I know how to elbow in Lua, apparently it offers a lot of customization and that more than anything calls my attention 🙂
    I have the doubt that if Awesome has opaque colors haha, it is that I have always seen that black color

    1.    Diego Saavedra (@Statick_linux) said

      Not necessarily, it is the configuration that I like (dark colors), you would have to try it to know the scope it has and it is not necessary a lot of knowledge, as I explain it in the tutorial, I personally do not know how to program, but I know one or another trick in programming and using logic with an example I have made the modifications of the different gadgets, I still have a lot to customize but for now I am happy with my awesome


  11.   Jose Fernando Ayala placeholder image said

    question is it useful for my fluxbox ?????

    1.    Statick said

      A thousand apologies I have not used fluxbox

  12.   Sebastian said

    how to activate the wifi in awesome? I already installed the driver, loaded the module and configured everything. The wifi icon appears and shows me the wifi networks but it won't let me connect to any, I click on any network and nothing happens, it just shows them to me. Thanks in advance for your collaboration

    1.    let's use linux said

      Hi Sebastian!

      I think it would be better if you ask this question in our question and answer service called Ask FromLinux so that the whole community can help you with your problem.

      A hug, Pablo.

  13.   Donillan said

    A somewhat carefree way to have a very good AWN is to install awesome and then install , it's very good and makes things much easier