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 icewm-session - X.Org session manager provider with IceWM


icewm-session [OPTIONS]


icewm-session is an implementation of a X.Org session manager and can be run from a X11 session setup. It runs icewm as default window manager and controls the life cycle of related support applications.



Let IceWM load preferences from FILE.
Let IceWM load the theme FILE.
Use FILE as the IceWM window manager.
Redirect all output to FILE.
Use a 32-bit visual for translucency.
Do not start icewmbg.
Do not start icewmtray. This is only applicable if IceWM was explicitly configured to use an external icewmtray process.
Also start icesound.


Use DISPLAY to connect to the X server. If this option is missing then DISPLAY is read from the environment variable "DISPLAY".
Use a slower synchronous mode communication with the X11 server.
Give a list of all supported options and exit.
Print the program version and exit.
Print copying permissions and exit.


Let "/usr/bin/valgrind" run icewm. Thoroughly examines the execution of icewm.
Let "/usr/bin/catchsegv" run icewm. Gives a backtrace if icewm segfaults.


On startup icewm-session executes the following steps. From the file env in the configuration directory it loads additional environment variables, if that file exists. Then it will start icewmbg to manage root background colors and images. It may also start icesound, if this was enabled at configuration time. Then icewm is started.

If there exists an executable script startup in the configuration directory, it will be executed. It may contain commands to initialize X11 settings with xset, load keyboard configuration, start a compositing manager like compton and load system tray applications.

When icewm exits, icewm-session will execute a shutdown script, if it exists in the configuration directory. When this finishes, icewm-session will terminate icewm, icewmbg and icesound. Finally, icewm-session will exit.

If the icewm process crashes then icewm-session will attempt to restart it. If two such crashes occur in a short period, then icewm-session will attempt to popup a dialog using either yad, xmessage, kdialog or zenity. This dialog presents a choice between restarting icewm, starting a terminal, or abort execution of icewm-session.


A space separated list of options which will be added to the command line invocation of icewm. This can be set in the env file.


icewm(1), icewm-env(5), icewm-shutdown(5), icewm-startup(5), icewmbg(1).


Please report bugs at <>.


Brian Bidulock <>.

See --copying for full copyright notice and copying permissions.


IceWM is licensed under the GNU Library General Public License. See the COPYING file in the distribution or use the --copying flag to display copying permissions.

2023-02-05 icewm 3.3.1