evilwm installation guide


Source repository

A git repository is provided. Apologies to those tracking, the master branch has switched recently.

$ git clone http://www.6809.org.uk/repos/evilwm.git

A set of rules for building Debian packages is also available. From within an evilwm source directory:

$ git clone http://www.6809.org.uk/repos/evilwm/debian.git

make debuild will create a distribution tarball and then call debuild for you to build the Debian package.


evilwm is in the main Debian archive, so you can simply apt-get install evilwm. At the time of writing, Wheezy (stable) has the somewhat buggy, EWMH-lacking 1.0.0, and Jessie (testing) has the latest stable release.


Snapshot builds for Ubuntu LTS are available in a Launchpad Personal Package Archive.


evilwm is part of the NetBSD packages collection, so you can either run pkg_add evilwm or download the NetBSD package for your architecture here.

Documentation for building evilwm from source on a wide range of Operating Systems using pkgsrc is available here. Jonathan Perkin is the primary contact for this package, and he can provide support on building pkgsrc.


To build from source, untar, change directory, check Makefile, make, make install. Example:

$ gzip -dc evilwm-VERSION.tar.gz | tar xvf -
$ cd evilwm-VERSION
$ make
$ make install

Then do the usual things to your .xinitrc. After starting, you should be able to bring up an xterm with Ctrl+Alt+Enter and do stuff!


A sample .xinitrc to play with. Note it doesn't have the WM as the magic process (this is so I don't have to quit X just to try new versions). Also note that I set the cursor shape and background colour with standard X tools.

If you are starting your session from a display manager like gdm, you might find you have better luck installing your startup script as .xsession and giving the file execute permission.

Updated 13 Jul 2015