From antiX Linux fan

Herbstluftwm, unlike all other Desktops offered by antiX is a tiling window manager.

It's home page is https://herbstluftwm.org/

On Tiling window managers According to Wikipedia: In computing, a tiling window manager is a window manager with an organization of the screen into mutually non-overlapping frames, as opposed to the more popular approach of coordinate-based stacking of overlapping objects (windows) that tries to fully emulate the desktop metaphor.

If you have never used a tiling window manager it may sound like a strange concept, but something you are used to some degree, if you use mobile devices- every time you start an "app" on this devices, it shows up taking your full screen, without any window decorations (no title bar with icons that allow you to close or minimize it). By default this is the way most apps start in most tiling window managers.

When you open a second application, the screen is then divided in a certain order (usually pre configured by the system or the user): for example: the first app takes up the full screen, but as soon as you open a second app, it occupies the upper half of the screen, and the first app takes up the lower half of the screen, etc... without any space between each window, or only a few pixels separating each window.
Some users consider this the most efficient way to use your screen.


When you first use Herbstluftwm a help text file is displayed, showing you some info on how to use this tiling window manager

Please note: tilling window managers are mainly keyboard centric desktops- you are supposed to use your keyboard, not point and click with your mouse!!!

Mainly: the "mod key" is "mod4" and that is your "windows" key, on your keyboard. So, every time you see mod or mod4, this means your "windows" key

Put is as simply as possible, Herbstluftwm's basics are:

- Starting/opening an application: mod + d - start typing your app's name, and it will show up. Select it and press enter, to start it. (ex: type "firefox")

[This uses Herb's application launcher - it's called "dmenu" and, by default it occupies the first line on the top of your screen, listing all available apps in alphabetical order. You can move right and left using your keyboard arrow keys, and select the app you want with "enter". If you type anything, only applications matching the string you typed are displayed)

- Closing an application: if that application has focus: mod4 + shift +c

- Switching between running applications (cycle between open applications): Mod4 + c

- Toggle full-screen on/off (when you toggle full screen on the window with focus takes up the entire screen, except for the top toolbar): Mod4 + f

- Logging off / turning off your computer: mod + d and then type "exit" and select "desktop-session-exit" (OR mod + return and then type "exit"...)

Then select your option!

(Note: if you can't see all the options because desktop-session-exit's window is too small, just close all other open applications OR toggle full screen on)

Main keybindings:

mod + shift + q - this key combo takes you to the log in screen. From there you can select any other desktop

mod + shift + b - reboot your machine

mod + return - starts the terminal

mod + d - starts dmenu - its an application launcher- start typing your app's name, and it will show up. Select it and press enter, to start it.

mod + o- splits the screen horizontally

mod4 + shift +c - close window

mod4 + 0 trough 6 - use index's 0 trough 6

Mod4+Tab    cycle_all    +1

Mod4+Shift+Tab    cycle_all    -1

Mod4+c    cycle

Mod4+h    focus    left

Mod4+j    focus    down

Mod4+k    focus    up

Mod4+l    focus    right

Mod4+i    jumpto    urgent

Mod4+Shift+h    shift    left

Mod4+Shift+j    shift    down

Mod4+Shift+k    shift    up

Mod4+Shift+l    shift    right

You can read the full help file by opening it. It's available in:


Tip: if you start Herbstluftwm and have no idea how to exit it and return to your usual Desktop: Press Ctrl + Alt + Backspace to go to the login screen. Once there, press the F1 key, until you see your desktop name displayed on the screen (the default desktop is rox-icewm).