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dwm is a dynamic window manager for X. It manages windows in tiled, monocle and floating layouts.

This guide covers:

  • Installing dependencies for the suckless tools and installing firefox
  • Installing from source dwm (dynamic window manager), dmenu (dynamic menu), st (simple terminal)
  • Configuring the new profile to run dwm at login.


Installing dependencies


git make gcc g++ libx11-dev libxft-dev libxinerama-dev ncurses is needed to install suckless tools from source.

dbus-x11 is needed for the dbus system (enables firefox running in dwm to open in a tile)

The last three adwaita-gtk2-theme adwaita-icon-theme ttf-dejavu are optional, but recommended for a nicer looking firefox.

The command to install the dependencies:

# apk add git make gcc g++ libx11-dev libxft-dev libxinerama-dev ncurses dbus-x11 firefox-esr adwaita-gtk2-theme adwaita-icon-theme ttf-dejavu

Installing suckless tools dwm, dmenu, and st from source

Change to the /tmp directory.

$ cd /tmp

then execute:

# git clone https://git.suckless.org/dwm

Once downloaded, go to the dwm directory

# cd dwm

To install, run:

# make clean install

Next, go up one directory level

# cd ..

to install dmenu:

# git clone https://git.suckless.org/dmenu

# cd dmenu

# make clean install

Finally, go up one more directory level

# cd ..

to install st:

# git clone https://git.suckless.org/st

# cd st

# make clean install

Setting up your profile

Change to your home directory:

$ cd /home/<yourusername>

Create .xinitrc:

$ vi .xinitrc

Add this line:

Contents of ~/.xinitrc

exec dwm

Save the file and exit vi.

Next, create .profile.:

$ vi .profile

Add this line:

Contents of ~/.profile

Note: If you install additional programs that call your `$SHELL` with the POSIX `-l` login flag, you'll need to make launching `startx` conditional, otherwise X will attempt to launch every time your shell is called with the login flag.

Contents of ~/.profile

if [[ -z $DISPLAY ]] && [[ $(tty) = /dev/tty1 ]]; then startx fi

Log out or reboot. dwm will run the next time you log in. Press alt+p to launch dmenu. Type firefox then press enter. Firefox will load and run in tile 9.

See Also