Scripting extension for NETWM compliant window managers

pip install orcsome==0.5.0


Orcsome is a scripting extension for NETWM compliant window managers. It can help a lot to customize your work environment.


I'm old awesome user with two year experience. I like it not for tiling but for lua and ability to tune its behavior. But for a very long time some problems stay unsolved:

  • Grey swing windows. I was hoping it will be fixed in java7 but no luck.
  • Input focus for swing windows. Awesome treats such windows as inputless.
  • Random focus problems. For example sometimes evince or opera save dialog are not take focus.

Simply put, awesome sucks as window manager.

I need a robust wm with long devel history, small, fast, candy and scriptable on normal language (hello fvwm). But there are a plenty of robust, small, fast and candy only wm's. There is no any scriptable.

So I decide to write tiny wm helper application which will be compatible with many window managers and allow to configure flexible workflows.


  • Written on python. It means very hackable.
  • Optimization, cpu and memory efficiency are top goals (cffi is used for xlib bindings).
  • Extensive use of python syntax to provide easy and expressive eDSL in configuration script.
  • Supports NETWM standards.
  • Very thin wrapper around X. You can use existing xlib background.


From PyPI

I'm regularly upload packages of new versions. So you can install orcsome with easy_install:

sudo easy_install orcsome

or pip:

sudo pip install orcsome

From source

git clone --depth=1 git://github.com/baverman/orcsome.git
cd orcsome
python setup.py build
sudo python setup.py install

If you often pull changes from master brunch I recommend you following recipe:

  • First install orcsome in develop mode (remove any orcsome dirs in site-packages before that):

    sudo python setup.py develop
  • Then, if you want use latest version from master branch simply do:

    cd cloned/orcsome/dir
    git pull


There is orcsome package in AUR.


Quick start

The most common functionality needed is to bind hot keys to spawn or raise applications.

Edit ~/.config/orcsome/rc.py:

from orcsome import get_wm
from orcsome.actions import *

wm = get_wm()


    spawn_or_raise('urxvtc -name ncmpcpp -e ncmpcpp', name='ncmpcpp'))

    spawn_or_raise('urxvtc -name mutt -e mutt', name='mutt'))

    spawn_or_raise('urxvtc -name rtorrent -e rtorrent-screen', name='rtorrent'))

And start orcsome. That's all.


  • Tests
  • Python3 port
  • API to configure window geometry
  • Layouts (tiling)
  • Multiple screens


You can create issues on github.

Or mail directly to bobrov at vl dot ru.