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Picture of Bspwm Installation and Configuration
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Bspwm is a window manager for Linux that arranges windows in a tiling format. Instead of managing your windows with your mouse, you can execute a few keystrokes. This saves time and can help with RSI (repetitive strain injury) due to a reduction in excessive movements between the keyboard and the mouse. From the keybindings to the window borders, everything is customizable. However, it can be daunting to install at first as it is not available in every package manager. This guide will allow you to fully install and understand how to customize your new window manager. The first image above is the end goal for this guide. You can do further tweaks to get to the second image.

Time to Install

  • 1 hour

Space and dependency limitations

  • git
  • ~10mb amount of space on drive
  • Linux distribution

Steps

  1. Clone git repositories
    1. Prerequisite
    2. Program information
    3. Cloning
  2. Go to directory and compile
    1. Navigating to directory
    2. Commands to compile
  3. Copy config files and modify your keybindings
    1. Copy config files
    2. Keybindings
  4. Execute bspwm on startup
  5. Practice Key Bindings and Additional Resources

1. Basic key bindings

2. Additional resources


Step 1: Clone Git Repositories

Picture of Clone Git Repositories
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Prerequisite

You must have git installed. Git is used to fetch files from source. If not, execute the package install command for your Linux distribution.

Ubuntu: https://help.ubuntu.com/lts/serverguide/package-management.html

Arch: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/pacman

The current guide can be done with almost no Linux knowledge, but if you would like to understand what the commands you are entering in your terminal are, consult http://www.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Teaching/Unix/. The provided link will give you most of the knowledge needed to understand what the commands you are typing mean and other essential Linux knowledge.

Program information

bspwm is short for binary space partitioning window manager. You can think of bspwm as a tiling window manager that can make you more productive and allow you to achieve a more streamlined workflow.

sxhkd is short for simple X hot key daemon. sxhkd is used to relay keyboard shortcuts so that the window manager, bspwm, can respond accordingly.

Cloning

We will first clone the git repositories that contain the programs we would like to install (bspwm and sxhkd).

Execute these commands:

git clone <a href="https://github.com/baskerville/bspwm.git" rel="nofollow">https://github.com/baskerville/bspwm.git</a>
git clone <a href="https://github.com/baskerville/sxhkd.git" rel="nofollow">https://github.com/baskerville/sxhkd.git</a>

Interesting. I had never heard of this program before.