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Xmonad is a tiling window manager for X window system. Xmonad is completely written in Haskell(Functional programming language). Xmonad, just like many other tiling managers tiles the windows in non-overlapping fashion to maximise the usage of screen space available.


The installation of Xmonad on any linux systems is fairly easy. You can install Xmonad on your Ubuntu running machine by entering the following command.

sudo apt-get install xmonad

This installs a version of xmonad with basic and essential functions. You can install many other tools provided for use with xmonad and customise your xmonad with already available tools. You can also download the installer packages or source tar ball of Xmonad from here.

Using Xmonad

Starting Xmonad

Xmonad is not your default display manager. To use xmonad as display manager, choose xmonad as your display manager while logging in.
The basic controls of xmonad are almost similar to other tiling managers. Some of the basic xmonad commands and controls are listed here.

  • Starting a new terminal - Alt + Shift + Enter
  • closing the focused window - Alt + Shift + c
  • Logging out of Xmonad - Alt + Shift + q
  • Navigating through Windows - Alt + j and Alt + k
  • Moving focused window to master pane - Alt + Enter
  • Changing the layout of windows on the screen - Alt + Space

Confguring Xmonad

Since Xmonad is written in Haskell, The lazy nature of Haskell programming language makes the configuraton of Xmonad very easy. The configuration for Xmonad is stored in a haskell script in your home directory. You can find the script at:


In most of the cases, this file doesn't exist already. You can yourself create this file and start configuring your xmonad. Here is a basic configuration script for Xmonad:

import XMonad
main = xmonad $ defaultConfig {
    borderwidth = 3
    , terminal = "urxvt"
    , normalBorderColor  = "#cccccc"
    , focusedBorderColor = "#cd8b00"

External References

Xmonad official Website