Scripting extension for NETWM compliant window managers
Python Shell
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aur v0.3.2 Oct 29, 2011
bin remove process name mangling Jul 16, 2016
docs v0.3.2 Oct 29, 2011
orcsome set default kbd group for new windows Oct 28, 2016
.gitignore ignore *.so May 19, 2014
LICENSE Added license Aug 15, 2011 Added license Aug 15, 2011
README.rst Update TODO Apr 20, 2014
setup.cfg cffi branch Apr 18, 2014 remove process name mangling Jul 16, 2016


Orcsome is a scripting extension for NETWM compliant window managers. It can help a lot to customize your work environment.


I'm old awesome user with two year experience. I like it not for tiling but for lua and ability to tune its behavior. But for a very long time some problems stay unsolved:

  • Grey swing windows. I was hoping it will be fixed in java7 but no luck.
  • Input focus for swing windows. Awesome treats such windows as inputless.
  • Random focus problems. For example sometimes evince or opera save dialog are not take focus.

Simply put, awesome sucks as window manager.

I need a robust wm with long devel history, small, fast, candy and scriptable on normal language (hello fvwm). But there are a plenty of robust, small, fast and candy only wm's. There is no any scriptable.

So I decide to write tiny wm helper application which will be compatible with many window managers and allow to configure flexible workflows.


  • Written on python. It means very hackable.
  • Optimization, cpu and memory efficiency are top goals (cffi is used for xlib bindings).
  • Extensive use of python syntax to provide easy and expressive eDSL in configuration script.
  • Supports NETWM standards.
  • Very thin wrapper around X. You can use existing xlib background.


From PyPI

I'm regularly upload packages of new versions. So you can install orcsome with easy_install:

sudo easy_install orcsome

or pip:

sudo pip install orcsome

From source

git clone --depth=1 git://
cd orcsome
python build
sudo python install

If you often pull changes from master brunch I recommend you following recipe:

  • First install orcsome in develop mode (remove any orcsome dirs in site-packages before that):

    sudo python develop
  • Then, if you want use latest version from master branch simply do:

    cd cloned/orcsome/dir
    git pull


There is orcsome package in AUR.


Quick start

The most common functionality needed is to bind hot keys to spawn or raise applications.

Edit ~/.config/orcsome/

from orcsome import get_wm
from orcsome.actions import *

wm = get_wm()


    spawn_or_raise('urxvtc -name ncmpcpp -e ncmpcpp', name='ncmpcpp'))

    spawn_or_raise('urxvtc -name mutt -e mutt', name='mutt'))

    spawn_or_raise('urxvtc -name rtorrent -e rtorrent-screen', name='rtorrent'))

And start orcsome. That's all.


  • Tests
  • Python3 port
  • API to configure window geometry
  • Layouts (tiling)
  • Multiple screens


You can create issues on github.

Or mail directly to bobrov at vl dot ru.