icewm-session - Man Page

X.Org session manager provider with IceWM


icewm-session [Options]


icewm-session is an implementation of X.Org session manager and can be run from X11 session setup. It runs icewm as default window manager and handles the startup and life cycle control of the WM and all related support applications.


Specific Options

-c, --config=FILE

Let IceWM load preferences from FILE.

-t, --theme=FILE

Let IceWM load the theme FILE.

-i, --icewm=FILE

Use FILE as the IceWM window manager.

-a, --alpha

Use a 32-bit visual for translucency.

-b, --nobg

Do not start icewmbg.

-n, --notray

Do not start icewmtray. This is only applicable if IceWM was explicitly configured to use an external icewmtray process.

-s, --sound

Also start icesound.

General Options

-d, --display=DISPLAY

Use DISPLAY to connect to the X server. If this option is missing then DISPLAY is read from the environment variable DISPLAY.


Use a slower synchronous mode communication with X11 server.

-h, --help

Print a brief usage statement to stdout and exit.

-V, --version

Print the program version to stdout and exit.

-C, --copying

Print copying permissions to stdout for the program and exit.


On startup icewm-session executes the following steps. From the file env in the configuration directory it loads additional environment variables, if that file exists. Then it will start icewmbg to manage root background colors and images. It may also start icesound, if this was enabled at configuration time. Then icewm is started.

If there exists an executable script startup in the configuration directory, it will be executed. It may contain commands to initialize X11 settings with xset, load keyboard configuration, start a compositing manager like compton and load system tray applications.

When icewm exits or is told to exit, icewm-session will execute a shutdown script, if it exists in the configuration directory. When this finishes, icewm-session will terminate icewm, icewmbg and icesound. Finally icewm-session will exit.

If the icewm process crashes then icewm-session will attempt to restart it. If two such crashes occur in a short period, then icewm-session will attempt to popup a dialog using either xmessage, kdialog or zenity.  This dialog asks if the user wishes to continue restarting icewm or abort execution of icewm-session.

See Also

icewm(1), icewm-env(5), icewm-shutdown(5), icewm-startup(5), icewmbg(1).


icewm-session had no known bugs at the time of release.  Please report bugs for current versions to the source code repository at <>.


Brian Bidulock <>.

See --copying for full copyright notice and copying permissions.


IceWM is licensed under the GNU Library General Public License. See the COPYING file in the distribution or use the --copying flag to display copying permissions.

Referenced By

icewm(1), icewmbg(1), icewm-env(5), icewm-shutdown(5), icewm-startup(5).

2020-05-27 icewm 1.6.5 User Commands