Awesome actually lives up to its name. Short and sweet, here’s why you should try it:
- It’s instantaneous. Always.
- Exactly one word which is confusing to newbies: “Tags”, collections of windows, marked on top of the screen with numbers 1 through 9. Think of them as Delicious/Flickr/Twitter tags for your windows, because that’s exactly what they are. These are central to the genius of Awesome.
- Automatically resizes windows to fit the screen without overlap. This is a truly powerful little time saver.
- Intuitive keyboard shortcuts:
- Windows + f to toggle fullscreen.
- Windows + m to toggle maximize.
- Windows + number to show only that tag number.
- Windows + Left and Windows + Right to switch tags. And yes, it rolls around.
- Windows + Enter to run a command.
- Many more for those who want to use the keyboard.
- Intuitive mouse controls:
- Left click a tag to show the windows with that tag.
- Right click a tag to toggle a tag. This means that in a single click you can show or hide the browser window when working with your editor.
- Windows + left click on a tag to move the current window there.
- Windows + right click on a tag to add/remove the current window there.
- Windows + left click and drag to move windows.
- Windows + right click and drag to resize windows. This is extra cool with many windows, since they all resize at the same time.
- One set of tags per monitor. Of course you can drag windows between them.
Even so, as a beginner a few tricks are worth keeping in mind:
- Lua code means enormous flexibility, but can be daunting if you’re not a programmer. However, Lua is relatively easy to learn.
- Verify your changes work by running
awesome --checkbefore restarting Awesome. Don’t worry, if it doesn’t work you’ll just get the default configuration (unless you created an infinite loop :).
- You don’t have to log out to try a new configuration; simply press Windows + Ctrl + r.
- The wiki has lots of tips and tricks.
- The evolution of a working configuration can be instructive (even if it’s from a newbie).
- The keyboard and mouse buttons have unfamiliar names in the documentation, for historical and technical reasons. A glossary:
- Button1 = Left mouse
- Button2 = Right mouse
- Button3 = Middle mouse
- Mod4 = Windows