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w9wm(1x) w9wm(1x)


w9wm - 8-1/2-like Window Manager for X


w9wm [ -grey ] [ -version ] [ -font fname ] [ -nokeys ] [ -nostalgia ] [ -debug ] [ -pass ] [ -term termprog ] [ -virtuals n ] [ exit | restart ]


w9wm is a window manager for X which attempts to emulate the window management policies of Plan 9's 8-1/2 window manager but adds some candy stuff like virtual screens and keyboard shortcuts.

The -grey option makes the background light grey, as does 8-1/2. Use this option for maximum authenticity. -font fname sets the font in w9wm's menu to fname, overriding the default. -nokeys option inhibits keyboard shortcups (Ctrl+Tab and Shift+Ctrl+Tab) -nostalgia applies some useless modifications to w9wm look & feel (windows border and cursor appearance) -debug triggers debug mode -pass uses click-to-focus-passes-through-click, which means that clicking on a nonactive window with whatever mouse button activates it and follows click to this window -term termprog specifies an alternative program to run when the New menu item is selected. -virtuals n set the number of virtual screens used -version prints the current version on standard error, then exits.

To make w9wm exit, you have to run w9wm exit on the command line. There is no ``exit'' menu item.

w9wm is click-to-type: it has a notion of the current window, which is usually on top, and always has its border darkened. Characters typed at the keyboard go to the current window, and mouse clicks outside the current window are swallowed up by w9wm. To make another window the current one, click on it with button 1 or type Ctrl+Tab (this shortcut is not ``stable'', which means that I could change it in case it would eventually be annoying). Unlike other X window managers, w9wm implements `mouse focus': mouse events are sent only to the current window.

A menu of window operations is available by pressing button 3 outside the current window. The first of these, New, attempts to spawn a 9term process (or xterm if 9term is not available). The new 9term will request that its outline be swept using button 3 of the mouse, by changing the cursor. (xterm defaults to a fixed size, and thus wants to be dragged; pressing button 3 places it.)

The next four menu items are Reshape, Move, Delete, and Hide. All of the operations change the cursor into a target, prompting the user to click button 3 on one of the windows to select it for the operation. At this stage, clicking button 1 or 2 will abort the operation. Otherwise, if the operation was Resize, the user is prompted to sweep out the new outline with button 3. If it was Move, the user should keep the button held down after the initial click that selected the window, and drag the window to the right place before releasing. In either case, button 1 or 2 will abort the operation.

If the Delete operation is selected, the window will be deleted when the button is released. This typically kills the client that owns the window. The Hide operation just makes the window invisible. While hidden, the window's name appears on the bottom of the button 3 menu. Selecting that item brings the window back (unhides it). This operation replaces the iconification feature provided by other window managers.

A menu is provided to switch from a virtual screen to another. This popup is triggered by using the button 2, which displays a menu looking like the previous one but with four entries, One, Two, Three, and Four. Selecting one of these entries will switch to another virtual screen.

There is also a menu to run programs using button 1. Hold both "shift" and "left ctrl" keys and press button 1. w9wm will then display a menu that allows you to exec programs specified in the $HOME/.w9wmrc file. Put each command in one line. w9wm does not yet support args for these commands, write a one-line shell script if you need this.q


Is not completely compatible with 8-1/2.

There is a currently a compiled-in limit of 32 hidden windows.

Also, you cannot put more than 32 commands in your .w9wmrc file


9term(1), 9wm(1), 9menu(1), xterm(1).