evilwm usage

Note: this page reflects the current pre-release. If you're using a previous version, consult the man page that came with it.


You can use the mouse to manipulate windows either by click/dragging the 1 pixel border, or by holding down Alt and doing so anywhere in the client window. The controls are:

Button 1
Move window.
Button 2
Resize window.
Button 3
Lower window.

Most keyboard controls are used by holding down Control and Alt, then pressing a key. Available functions are:

Spawn new xterm.
Delete current window.
Lower current window.
H, J, K, L
Move window left, down, up or right (16 pixels). Holding Shift resizes the window instead.
Y, U, B, N
Move window to top-left, top-right, bottom-left or bottom-right of screen.
Show information about current window.
Maximise current window vertically (toggle).
Maximise current window (toggle).
Toggle visible state of docks (e.g., pagers and launch bars).

If compiled with virtual desktop support, these functions are also available:

Fix or unfix current window.
1 - 8
Switch virtual desktop.
Previous virtual desktop.
Next virtual desktop.

In addition to the above, Alt+Tab can be used to cycle through windows on screen.

To make evilwm exit, you have to kill the process.


-display display
specifies the X display to run on.
-term termprog
specifies an alternative program to run when spawning a new terminal (defaults to xterm, or x-terminal-emulator in Debian).
-fn fontname
specify a font to use when resizing or displaying window titles.
-fg foreground colour
frame colour of currently active window.
-fc fixed colour
frame colour of active fixed windows.
-bg background colour
frame colour of inactive windows.
-bw borderwidth
width of window borders in pixels.
-snap num
enable snap-to-border support. num gives the proximity in pixels to snap to.
-mask1 modifiers
-mask2 modifiers
-altmask modifier
override the default keyboard modifiers used to grab keys for window manager functionality. mask1 is used for most keyboard controls (default: control+alt), and mask2 is used for mousebutton controls and cycling windows (default: alt). altmask is used to modify the behaviour of certain controls (default: shift). Modifiers may be separated with + signs. Valid modifiers are shift, lock, control, alt, mod1, mod2, mod3, mod4, mod5.
-app name/class
match an application by instance name and class (for help in finding these, use the xprop tool to extract the WM_CLASS property). Subsequent -geometry, -dock, -vdesk and -fixed options will apply to this match.
-g, -geometry geometry
apply a geometry (using a standard X geometry string) to applications matching the last -app.
specify that application should be considered to be a dock, even if it lacks the appropriate property.
-v, -vdesk vdesk
specify a default virtual desktop for applications matching the last -app.
-f, -fixed
specify that application is to start with a fixed client window (-s is also accepted to be compatible with previous versions).
draw a window outline while moving or resizing.
print version number.

evilwm will also read options, one per line, from a file called .evilwmrc in the user's home directory. Options listed in a configuration file should omit the leading dash. Options specified on the command line override those found in the configuration file.


See the Sourceforge bug-tracking page and the Debian Bug report logs.

Updated 4 Oct 2009