Has anyone succeeded in installing Awesome WM on Raspbian? If yes, how do you switch between LXDE and Awesome?

I know that Arch will likely allow installation of Awesome WM as a window manager, but I find Debian and hence Raspbian easier to use, moreover I am fairly comfortable with Debian having used it on x86.

  • 1
    Lua runs really well on the Pi, so Awesome shouldn't be any issue. Just install it via your package manager.
    – Jivings
    Commented Nov 11, 2012 at 21:22
  • 1
    @Jivings I did install it using apt-get but still have not figured out how to switch to it; startx still invokes LXDE and just typing awesome at the command line produces an error.
    – haziz
    Commented Nov 11, 2012 at 21:27
  • Ah right, got it. I'll post you an answer.
    – Jivings
    Commented Nov 11, 2012 at 21:38

2 Answers 2


You need to edit your ~/.xinitrc file, removing or commenting this line:

exec ck-launch-session startlxde

and adding this line:

exec awesome

Then run startx as usual. The .xinitrc file defines the commands that execute when X is started.

  • 1
    What if ~/.xinitrc does not exist?
    – Botspot
    Commented Oct 27, 2019 at 22:31

If ~/.xinitrc does not exist, then you have to edit the file


comment the line

. /etc/X11/Xsession

and add the line

exec awesome

Then run startx.

Details found at the end of the debian manpage for startx https://manpages.debian.org/buster/xinit/startx.1.en.html.

  • This is essentially the same as the accepted answer, only instead of ~/.xinitrc you are suggesting to edit /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc, which may lead to problems is this file is later updated by apt. Commented Jul 10, 2020 at 12:20

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