Manual Page Search Parameters

CWM(1) General Commands Manual CWM(1)

a lightweight and efficient window manager for X11

cwm [-c file] [-d display]


cwm is a window manager for X11 which contains many features that concentrate on the efficiency and transparency of window management. cwm also aims to maintain the simplest and most pleasant aesthetic.

The following notation is used throughout this page:

Left mouse button.
Middle mouse button.
Right mouse button.

cwm is very simple in its use. Most of the actions are initiated via key bindings. The current key bindings are described below; their functionality is described in more detail later.

Spawn a new terminal.
Lock the screen.
Hide current window.
Lower current window.
Raise current window.
Search for windows.
Search for applications.
Label current window.
Cycle through currently visible windows.
Reverse cycle through currently visible windows.
Delete current window.
Select group n, where n is 1-9.
Select all groups.
Toggle group membership of current window.
Cycle through active groups.
Reverse cycle through active groups.
Toggle freezing geometry of current window.
Toggle full-screen size of current window.
Toggle vertical maximization of current window.
Toggle horizontal maximization of current window.
Spawn “exec program” dialog.
Spawn “ssh to” dialog. This parses $HOME/.ssh/known_hosts to provide host auto-completion. ssh(1) will be executed via the configured terminal emulator.
Spawn “exec WindowManager” dialog; allows you to switch from cwm to another window manager without restarting the X server.
Reload configuration.
Quit cwm.

The mouse bindings are also important, they are:

Move current window.
Toggle group membership of current window.
Resize current window
Lower current window.
Hide current window.

The options for cwm are as follows:

Specify the config file to use. Defaults to ~/.cwmrc.
Specify the display to use.

The pointer can be moved with the use of the keyboard through bindings. C-[Up|Down|Left|Right] moves the pointer a small amount, while CS-[Up|Down|Left|Right] moves the pointer a larger amount. For example, to move the pointer to the left by a small amount, press C-Left. To move the pointer down by a larger amount, press CS-Down.

cwm windows can be moved with the use of the keyboard through vi-like bindings. M-[hjkl] moves the current window a small amount, while MS-[hjkl] moves the current window a larger amount. For example, to move the current window to the left a small amount, press M-h. To move the current window down by a larger amount, press MS-j.

Similarly, windows may be resized with the same key bindings with the addition of the Control key. CM-[hjkl] resizes the window a small amount and CMS-[hjkl] resizes by a larger increment.

cwm features the ability to search for windows by their current title, old titles, and by their label. The priority for the search results are: label, current title, old titles in reverse order, and finally window class name. cwm keeps a history of the 5 previous titles of a window.

When searching, the leftmost character of the result list may show a flag:

The window is the currently focused window.
The window is hidden.

The following key bindings may be used to navigate the result list:

or M-j
Select the next window in the list.
or M-k
Select the previous window in the list.
or C-h
Clear the input.
Focus the selected window.
Whenever there are no matching windows, list every window.

cwm has the ability to group windows together, and use the groups to perform operations on the entire group instead of just one window. Currently, the only operation that is supported is to hide and unhide the grouped windows. Together with the sticky option, this can be used to emulate virtual desktops.

To edit groups, use the group selection commands to toggle membership of a group. A blue border will be shown briefly on windows added to the current group, and a red border will be shown on those just removed.

Menus are recalled by clicking the mouse on the root window:

Show list of currently hidden windows. Clicking on an item will unhide that window.
Show list of currently defined groups. Clicking on an item will hide/unhide that group.
Show list of applications as defined in ~/.cwmrc. Clicking on an item will spawn that application.

cwm starts on this display unless the -d option is given.



cwm was developed by Marius Aamodt Eriksen ⟨marius@monkey.org⟩ with contributions from Andy Adamson ⟨dros@monkey.org⟩, Niels Provos ⟨provos@monkey.org⟩, and Antti Nykänen ⟨aon@iki.fi⟩. Ideas, discussion with many others.

cwm was originally inspired by evilwm, but was rewritten from scratch due to limitations in the evilwm codebase. The from-scratch rewrite borrowed some code from 9wm, however that code has since been removed or rewritten.

cwm first appeared in OpenBSD 4.2.

May 7, 2011 OpenBSD-5.1