What is it?

herbstluftwm is a manual tiling window manager for X11 using Xlib. Its main features can be described with:

  • the layout is based on splitting frames into subframes which can be split again or can be filled with windows (similar to i3/ or musca)

  • tags (or workspaces or virtual desktops or …) can be added/removed at runtime. Each tag contains an own layout

  • exactly one tag is viewed on each monitor. The tags are monitor independent (similar to xmonad)

  • it is configured at runtime via ipc calls from herbstclient. So the configuration file is just a script which is run on startup. (similar to wmii or musca)

How to get it?

Install it via the package manager, download tarballs, or clone the git repository:

git clone https://github.com/herbstluftwm/herbstluftwm

How to use it?

If you are new to herbstluftwm, the tutorial is the best place to start.

There are manpages for herbstluftwm and herbstclient in the doc/ directory. They also can be seen online.

Community & Support

You are welcome to join the IRC channel #herbstluftwm on irc.freenode.net for asking question or simply to hang out with fellow herbstluftwm users and developers. There is also a community on reddit r/herbstluftwm.

Feel free to ask questions on the github issue tracker. For bug reporting open an issue on github or contact the mailing list:


You can subscribe by sending a mail with the subject subscribe to hlwm-request@lists.herbstluftwm.org or by using the Mailman web interface.