Best Free Window Managers

Awesome – window manager

Awesome is a highly configurable, tiling window manager initially based on dwm code. It is extremely fast, small, dynamic and ‘awesome’.

It manages windows in different layouts, like floating or tiled. Each layout can be applied on the fly, optimizing the environment for the application in use and the task performed.

Managing windows in tiled mode assures that no space will be waste on your screen. No gaps, no overlap.

awesome contains a small status bar which displays all available tags, the layout, the title of the focused window, and a status text. A floating window is indicated with an empty circle and a maximized floating window is indicated with a circle square before the windows title.

awesome provides a good environment for multi-screen (Xinerama) support.

This window manager is primarily targeted at power users, developers and any people dealing with every day computing tasks and who want to have fine-grained control over the graphical environment.

Features include:

  • Very stable, fast, small and simple.
  • Multiple and per screen status bars, including a variety of widgets (text and icon boxes, graphs, progress bars etc).
  • Uses the asynchronous XCB library instead of the old synchronous Xlib.
  • No mouse needed: everything can be performed with keyboard.
  • Real multihead support (XRandR, Xinerama or Zaphod mode).
  • Implements many Freedesktop standards including EWMH, XDG Base Directory, XEmbed, System Tray.
  • Real transparency support (using Composite extension and xcompmgr).
  • Does not distinguish between layers: there is no floating or tiled layer.
  • Layout handling: automatically manage your windows placement according to the chosen policy for each tag.
  • Use tags instead of workspaces: allow to place clients on several tags, and display several tags at the same time.
  • Lua extensions to add features: dynamic tagging, widget feeding, tabs.
  • D-Bus support.
  • Customized entirely through editing a configuration file.
  • Each function for manipulating the environment is bindable to keys/ mouse buttons and executable remotely via a socket.

Support: GitHub
Developer: Julien Danjou and contributors
License: GNU General Public License v2.0


Awesome is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Dynamic Window Managers | Return to Window Managers

Popular series
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you to make informed decisions.
ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to Proprietary SoftwareReplace proprietary software with open source alternatives: Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Autodesk, Oracle, Atlassian, Corel, Cisco, Intuit, and SAS.
GamesAwesome Free Linux Games Tools showcases a series of tools that making gaming on Linux a more pleasurable experience. This is a new series.
Artificial intelligence iconMachine Learning explores practical applications of machine learning and deep learning from a Linux perspective. We've written reviews of more than 40 self-hosted apps. All are free and open source.
Guide to LinuxNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Alternatives to popular CLI tools showcases essential tools that are modern replacements for core Linux utilities.
System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
AudioSurveys popular streaming services from a Linux perspective: Amazon Music Unlimited, Myuzi, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal.
Saving Money with LinuxSaving Money with Linux looks at how you can reduce your energy bills running Linux.
Home ComputersHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Linux Around The WorldLinux Around The World showcases usergroups that are relevant to Linux enthusiasts. Great ways to meet up with fellow enthusiasts.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments