Adding a Compositor Those of you interested in ricing your window manager will no doubt have seen all the fancy looking desktop on r/unixporn which have a transparent/blurring effect behind app windows. This can really add a modern look to your desktop. This can be achieved by using a compositing manager. The Awesome window manager doesn’t have one built-in, so you’ll have to add one if you want window effects, like shadows, transparency and blurring.
Wallpapers When customising your desktop, the thing that stands out the most is your wallpaper. It takes up the most pixels on your screen after all, and when it comes to setting a wallpaper on Linux on a normal desktop environment, you have more than a few options. When using a window manager, however, I find these methods easier. Nitrogen If you wish to set a specific wallpaper image for each screen you have, you can use a program called “Nitrogen”.
In part three of the “Awesome Window Manager Guide”, we covered, how to add a “run launcher” for searching and loading apps, adding a “hotkey daemon” for launching your favourite apps and taking screenshots, how to create an “autostart script” which automatically launches apps when Awesome starts up. In part four, we’ll look at setting a screen resolution using xrandr Display Settings The way in which you manage your screen resolutions when using a window manager differs slightly from what you’re used to when using Xfce.
In part two of the “Awesome Window Manager Guide”, we looked at: Editing the default Awesome configuration file in the “Home” folder, setting the default terminal emulator and text editor, installing a third-party theme named awesome-copycats/powerarrow-dark performing tweaks to the theme code. Continuing in part three, we’ll look at adding a “run launcher” called “Rofi” and “hotkey daemon” called “sxhkd”. We’ll also create an “AutoStart” script, which will allow us to launch applications, scripts and systray applets when Awesome starts up.
On of many things I love about Linux, is that fact that you can change almost everything about the OS. Unlike Mac or Windows where you’re forced to use the graphical user interface which comes with the OS - Linux allows unparalleled flexibility and freedom when it comes to customization. Installing and learning how to configure a window manager is just one of the ways to experience this first hand.
Like most “Linux tinkerers” who like to customize their OS, I’ve spent a bunch of time over the last few weeks looking on in awe at all the highly customized, yet minimal “Tiling window manager” environments submitted over at r/unixporn. I wanted to get in on the action. So, after some initial trepidation and a bit of reading up on what a window manager would offer me, I decided to take the plunge and give one a try.