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This is a port of OpenBSD's excellent cwm[0] to Linux and other Unices.

    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.

This port requires pkg-config, Xft, Xinerama and Xrandr.  The included Makefile
should work with both GNU make and BSD make.  It has been built successfully on
OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OS X 10.9 and Linux.

This version actively tracks changes in the OpenBSD CVS repository.
Releases are roughly coordinated.

The revision controlled version is at
Releases can be found at

You are welcome to join the IRC channel ##cwm on Freenode to talk about cwm.


2012-05-02: First public release 5.1 of portable cwm.

2014-04-13: Second public release 5.5 of portable cwm.

User visible changes (for a full list including smaller bug fixes, see ff.)

Changes made between OpenBSD 5.1 and 5.2
* Fixed cwm(1) atom (WM_PROTOCOLS) style handing; closing a window will no
  longer close entire application if the client supports CLIENT_PROTO_DELETE.
* Re-implement atom handing for more consistent separation of cwm(1) and
  Extended Window Manager Hints.
* cwm(1) better integrated into the Window Manager
  Specification Project.

Changes made between OpenBSD 5.2 and 5.3
* Set the initial cwm(1) group to "1".
* Added cwm(1) per-group vert/horiz tiling support with new bind commands
  "vtile" and "htile."
* Made cwm(1) screen font an Xft(3) font.
* Specific last match for autogroup in cwmrc(5).
* Tab completion support for cwm(1) menus.
* Allow cwm(1) clients to be resized from a max state.
* Multibyte input to cwm(1) menu code now possible.

Changes made between OpenBSD 5.3 and 5.4
* Added support for mouse based group {,r}cycle to cwmrc(5).
* Allow mouse button4 and button5 in cwmrc(5).
* Made cwm(1) check for, and honour, CWStackMode and CWSibling change requests
  during a ConfigureRequest event.
* Honour PATH search order for cwm(1)'s exec.

Changes made between OpenBSD 5.5 and 5.4
* Only set the cwm(1) urgency flag if the client is not active.
* Allow the cwm(1) config parser continue parsing even after encountering an
* cwm(1) now follows the EWMH spec: if the cardinal returned is 0xFFFFFFFF (-1)
  then the window should appear on all desktops.
* Made cwm(1) supply a more useful title for windows launched via the ssh(1)
  command menu ("[ssh] ").
* Allowed cwm(1) to accept _NET_WM_DESKTOP and _NET_CURRENT_DESKTOP
* Implemented cwm(1) support for _NET_WM_STATE_FULLSCREEN hint, with keybinding
  changes: CM-f "fullscreen", CM-m "maximize".
* Instead of using the work area, use the Xinerama area for cwm(1) snap
* Save-set when cwm(1) is re-exec'ing so as to not lose State on our hidden
* Added cwmrc(5) support for XUrgency and matching
  _NET_WM_STATE_DEMANDS_ATTENTION ewmh hint, with configurable urgencyborder.
* Prepend the group shortcut in the cwm(1) client search menu;
  prepend shortcut in unhide menu.
* If not hidden during an UnmapNotify event, cwm(1) will now un-manage the
* Like "gap", made cwm(1) "snapdist" per-screen.
* Removed cwmrc(5) option to bind a key by keycode with brackets, which never
  worked. Users should be using keysym names not keycodes.
* Re-added cwm(1) support for WM_TAKE_FOCUS. Solves keyboard input focus loss
  for java apps.
* For cwm(1) clients that support WM_TAKE_FOCUS in their WM_PROTOCOLS property,
  send a ClientMessage event.

2015-01-24: Third public release 5.6 of portable cwm.

* Support building on FreeBSD and OS X.
* Support for sticky windows (_NET_WM_STATE_STICKY).
* Internal cleanups and bug fixes.

Changes made between OpenBSD 5.6 and 5.7
* Implemented _NET_WM_STATE_STICKY in cwm(1). Allows client to "stick"
  to all desktops or groups.
* Ensure cwm(1) client that wants to be in nogroup stays in nogroup
  (thus stays in view), even when (re)reading NET_WM_DESKTOP. 

Changes made between OpenBSD 5.7 and 5.8
* In cwm(1), introduce "groupsearch" for group menu search. 
* In cwm(1), show an empty "ssh to" menu if the known_hosts file is missing. 
* In cwm(1), replace screen region info gathering with XRandR
  equivalent of Xinerama queries. 

Changes made between OpenBSD 5.8 and 5.9
* Don't allow freeze operations on fullscreen.

2017-10-17: Fourth public release 6.2 of portable cwm.

Changes made between OpenBSD 6.2 and 6.3
* Fix blocking bug during moving or resizing.
* window-snap-* commands to move windows to edges and corners.
* Add support for re-exec'ing with SIGHUP.

2018-05-14: Fifth public release 6.3 of portable cwm.

2020-01-04: Sixth public release 6.6 of portable cwm.

Changes made between OpenBSD 6.4 and 6.5
* Added a configtest flag (-n) to cwm(1).
* Introduced 'group-close-[n]' action to cwm(1) to close all windows
  within a specified group.

2020-05-22: Seventh public release 6.7 of portable cwm.

Changes made between OpenBSD 6.6 and 6.7
* Allowed cwm(1) configuration of window size based on percentage of
  the master window during horizontal and vertical tiling actions.
* Allowed use of window-htile and window-vtile with the "empty" group
  clients in cwm(1).

--Leah Neukirchen <>



portable version of OpenBSD's cwm(1) window manager



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