dh_installwm - Linux


dh_installwm is a tool used in Debian packaging for integrating window managers into Debian packages. It generates the necessary files to integrate a window manager into a package by creating specific directories in the package and installing the window manager-related files in those directories.


dh_installwm [wm_package] [options] [dirs...]


  • -s, –skip: Skip generating WM shortcut files.
  • -d, –desktop: Specify the desktop .desktop file to edit.
  • -p, –profile: Specify the profile name to append to the autostart directory.
  • -r, –root: Specify a root directory for prefixing the files instead of /usr.
  • -l, –logs: Set the log directory for X11 window manager.
  • -x, –xsession: Specifies the location of the xsession script.
  • –autostart-path: Set the location for the autostart directory.
  • –new-xsession: Creates a new X session script file.
  • –session-defaults: Creates a "session defaults" file.
  • –user-group: Use a user group instead of root.


  1. Install a Window Manager:

    dh_installwm awesome
  2. Set Log Directory for X11 Window Manager:

    dh_installwm -l /var/log/xsession/window-manager
  3. Set Autostart Directory Location:

    dh_installwm --autostart-path /home/user/autostart

Common Issues

  • Missing Directories: Ensure that the directories specified for the window manager files exist before running dh_installwm.
  • Permission Errors: Check if you have sufficient permissions to write to the specified directories.
  • Duplicate Values: If multiple dirs are specified, the last one will overwrite any previous values.


  • dh_installwm can be used with other packaging tools like dh_make and dpkg-buildpackage to create complete Debian packages.
  • It can also be used in conjunction with window manager configuration tools like xwmconfig and wmctrl to manage window manager settings.

Related Commands

  • dh_auto_install: Automates the installation of dependencies for a Debian package.
  • dh_installdirs: Installs files in specified directories for a Debian package.
  • dpkg-buildpackage: Builds a Debian package from a source directory.