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Autostart Applications using Awesome Window Manager

This post is going to be short but i decided to write it after checking the Awesome Window Manger wiki. There were four or five solutions to the autostart problem but only one of them worked for me so I decided to make a quick post about it for when I forget how to do it in a few weeks.

The application that I was trying to autostart was the wicd-client, Wicd is a network-manager which I use to connect to wifi. Since this is my laptop I wanted the wifi to start automatically. There is also a wicd-daemon but that starts with the normal init.d scripts so that was fine. In Gnome, KDE and Xfce4 there is a autostart directory but in some of the tiling window managers there is no such thing.

Awesome Window Manger is a very fast and highly scalable window manager and is controlled completely by a rc.lua script.

This script is located in you users home directory in .config/awesome/rc.lua


  1. r00t@666:~$ ls .config/awesome/
  2. rc.lua

If the file is not there you can copy it from the default location. This is always a good idea to do so if you mess up the file you can copy back over the original.


  1. r00t@666:~$ cp /etc/xdg/awesome/rc.lua ~/.config/awesome/

So now if there are any applications we need to autostart we can add them to the very end of our rc.lua file.

The syntax that worked for me is : awful.util.spawn_with_shell(“name of program here”)

So in my situation I just issued the following command:


  1. echo 'awful.util.spawn_with_shell("wicd-client")' >> ~/.config/awesome/rc.lua

Once I did that and rebooted I had the wicd-client widget in my task bar and I was auto connecting to the internet like I wanted.

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