Trisquel-Mini with DWM tiling window manager

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Joined: 02/12/2015

Trisquel Mini with the DWM tiling window manager can give you a full desktop-ish experience with less than 150mb of memory used at startup, so it's well worth trying, especially on low-spec pc's.

Here are the steps to set it up:
1. Install Trisquel Mini normally
2. Install dependencies and install abrowser for better web browsing:
sudo apt install libxft-dev libx11-dev libxinerama-dev xinit git abrowser

3. Create a 'git' folder on your home partition and clone the 'dwm', 'dmenu', and 'slstatus' packages from the git site:
mkdir ~/git/
cd ~/git/
git clone
git clone
git clone

4. Make and install each of the packages:

cd dwm/
sudo make install
cd ../dmenu/
sudo make install
cd ../slstatus/
sudo make install

5. Create a .desktop file for dwm so that it shows up as an option in your login manager:
sudo nano /usr/share/xsessions/dwm.desktop

Copy and paste [Ctrl-Shift-V] this text into the file:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=dwm window manager

Close nano by using the Ctrl-o key combination and hitting the Enter button to agree to save the file, and then the Ctrl-x key combination to leave.

6. Log out of LXDE, and when you go to the login screen click on the desktop chooser button (I think it looks like a settings widget, right next to where you enter your name), and select "DWM" as your desktop, and then sign in. You'll be in the DWM window manager. After a reboot, you'll probably be using less than 150mb of ram when you log into DWM, as measured by the 'free -h' command.

If you've never used DWM before, the important things to know are:
1) it is keyboard driven - you won't get any menus with your mouse buttons
2) to start a program, use the Left-Alt-P key combination and start typing the name of your program, hit Enter when you see your program named on the top line of the screen (this is "dmenu")

So, to start a terminal would be:
Left-Alt-P, lxterminal, Enter
To start abrowser:
Left-Alt-P, abrowser, Enter

3) to log out, use the Left-Alt-Shift-Q key combination. That will take you back to the login screen. You can also type 'sudo reboot' or 'sudo halt' in a terminal to reboot or shutdown the computer.

I'll probably write some more info in more posts on this thread on how to customize DWM. But these are the basics to get you started. Try it out, start up a few different programs and see how DWM automatically "tiles" your programs on the screen.

You should watch a couple videos on how to get around in DWM. One of the better ones is Luke Smith's "Suckless's dwm: So easy even a caveman could do it!" from a few years ago: