Claude's Tab Window Manager

The Window Manager for Smart Windows

The official CTWM website.

CTWM is a window manager created by Claude Lecommandeur (Claude.Lecommandeur@Epfl.Ch). It has been rather popular for many years, but until beginning of 2003 there had been no official website. Dan Lilliehorn maintained a site dedicated to CTWM between September 14 1999 and 2003. At the beginning of 2003, Claude has retired from developing and maintaining CTWM, passing it to Richard Levitte, who oversaw it until 2014.

This homepage has a new URL: http://www.ctwm.org/.
It's essentially a copy of Dan Lilliehorn's page, at least for now.

Currently, this site contains the following:

This website was created and maintained for a long time by Richard Levitte (levitte@lp.se), and now handled by Matthew Fuller (fullermd@over-yonder.net). Feel free to comment, critize or suggest improvements.



Current release: 3.8.2

Note on platform support: ctwm has historically supported (to some extent at least) a gigantic list of platforms. But most of them are now defunct, and have been for many years. In the interest of streamlining development, in the post-3.8.2 time frame we're no longer worrying much about breaking older systems. If you're using ctwm on something significantly different from a reasonably modern *nix system, there's a fair chance it'll break at some point.

We'd be happy to hear from you on the mailing list if that does happen, and if you're willing to help test and shepherd the platform longer term, we're happy to work with you to keep it going. But platforms out of the ordinary that lack an active voice in the community are probably going to be left behind. Sorry.

Source repository:

The CTWM source is managed using Bazaar. The repository is hosted on launchpad, with the main branch being lp:ctwm See the project page on launchpad for more.

Here is a crash course describing how to use bzr for working on ctwm.

Old releases:


CTWM Documentation

The official CTWM mailing list.

This is the main discussion list, where improvements to CTWM are discussed and news announced.
To subscribe, send an email to minimalist@ctwm.org with the following subject line:
subscribe ctwm
List archive at gmane.org
Archive at mail-archive.com

CTWM Themes

As you probably know, CTWM is a highly configurable window manager. Spending hours configuring CTWM is among the most fun one can have, if you ask me. But it's always nice to have something to start from. Thus, this section contains "themes" from CTWM.

Themes are a well-known concept with most window managers, but not really with CTWM. What I refer to as a theme in this section is the following: a .ctwmrc-file (of course), an .xinitrc-file (if needed to make the right impression) and the pixmaps one might need to get the right look. If you supply a theme for this site, you should also supply a screenshot in jpeg-or png-format.

(Instead of the rudimentary theme-system introduced below, you might want to use the "CTWM Themes System" by Reivax. Follow the link in the links-section.)

A good idea if you want to use many different themes on your computer is to make ctwm-themes a subdirectory of your $HOME and to put your themes in subdirectories according to their name. Put all relevant files in there. Example:

totalt 79
drwxr-xr-x   2 dali     101          1024 Sep  6 09:05 .
drwxr-xr-x   4 dali     101          1024 Sep  6 07:49 ..
-rw-r--r--   1 dali     101         24747 Sep  6 09:01 .ctwmrc
-rwxr-xr-x   1 dali     101          1549 Sep  3 13:00 .xinitrc
-rw-r--r--   1 dali     101         44972 Sep  6 09:05 blue4.xpm
-rw-r--r--   1 dali     101           478 Sep  6 09:00 kill.xpm
-rw-r--r--   1 dali     101           485 Sep  6 09:00 winmaximize.xpm
-rw-r--r--   1 dali     101           485 Sep  6 09:00 winminimize.xpm
-rw-r--r--   1 dali     101           475 Sep  6 09:00 x.xpm

Available themes:

Theme install script

To avoid having to move and link to the right .ctwmrc and .xinitrc every time you want to change theme, put this script in your path (suggested name ctwmtheme):

mv .ctwmrc .ctwmrc.old
mv .xinitrc .xinitrc.old
ln -s ctwm-themes/$1/.ctwmrc .
ln -s ctwm-themes/$1/.xinitrc .

The script takes a theme name as its only argument. Example:

# ctwmtheme win98

(this would make win98 become the theme next time I start ctwm.)

CTWM links

CTWM Buttons:

Want to link to this site? Use these buttons:


Example HTML code for the link:

<a href="http://www.ctwm.org/"><img src="http://www.ctwm.org/ctwm-button.png" border="0" alt="[Visit CTWMs Website]" /></a>

Valid XHTML 1.0!

Check it again, I dare you :-)