Share your experience with Awesome on R4.1

Did not find a post about someone using Awesome with Qubes R4.1 so I’m making this one.

So don’t hesitate to share your experience, screenshot, tips, recommendation with the use of Awesome on Qubes OS 4.1 here.

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(Updated the title for clarity)


How do I customize my Awesome Menu on Qubes OS?

I’d really like to use the Awesome WM on Qubes 4.1. I’ve read, that Awesome won’t work flawlessly, but there’s one thing, which bothers me a lot.

If it matters: I run Qubes 4 on an Acer Aspire E 15, and installed Awesome WM the recommended way.

Expected behavior:

When I click on the Application-Menu, I see a logout entry which opens a GUI where I am able to logout, shutdown, reboot, suspend and hibernate the system.
Also I see all my VMs (including my TemplateVMs) and dom0 terminal in the application menu.

Actual behavior:

To reboot I had to use Ctrl+Alt+F3, log in using the terminal and command reboot. For logging out or suspend I could not find any alternative.
The TemplateVM entries are missing and only my AppVMs are displayed in the application menu.
My dom0 terminal is gnome-terminal by default, which I cannot start at all, at least not using ‘run’ (Win+R)

In the documentation it says following about the application menu:
Starting from Qubes 4.0 application menu entries specific to AwesomeWM can be put into ~/.config/awesome/xdg-menu/ following the freedesktop standard. The folder might have to be created.

But I could not find any information on how to actually accomplish this.

Kind regards, Azure

PS: I do not know, if this should rather be posted in an Awesome WM forum.

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The current 4.1rc1 awesome default experience is close to not working. That’s why I’d recommend to wait for 4.1rc2 where various fixes are likely to go in. Or merge them in your own configuration [1].
Also the doc refers to 4.0. There’s a PR for 4.1 [2].

To come back to your original question wrt the menu:

The default application menu is generated from ~/.config/menus/applications-merged/*.menu files, so you can look there on how to do it. Anyway I’ll send a PR to remove that menu once the new Qubes menu application is out.

Also, most awesome users rely on the keyboard only and thus don’t care about the menu (at least it’s that way for me). I only cared about it when I was starting with awesome.

So for example when I want to shut down my PC I use either of:

Mod-R (run command) → sd (a small script which shuts down all VMs and runs shutdown -h now) → Return
Mod-Return (opens a terminal) → sd → Return

I also don’t use Qubes manager (too much clicking), but [3] and [4]. You can also define arbitrary hotkeys in the awesome rc.lua.

For common modifications in the rc.lua however please contact the awesome community / consult the awesome doc. The Qubes OS modifications incl. window border colors etc. are just modifications to the rc.lua configuration - that’s how powerful it is. In fact it’s more of a programming framework for your own window manager. And yes, you can also remove all Qubes patches there… Btw since the menu is also defined there, you can also hardcode a different one there. Or make it larger, smaller, huge icons, make it display hangman animations, whatever…

Good luck on your endeavours, you’ll learn a lot.

[1] Misc fixes for Qubes 4.1 by 3hhh · Pull Request #19 · QubesOS/qubes-desktop-linux-awesome · GitHub
[2] awesomewm: updated instructions for awesome 4.3 in Qubes 4.1 by 3hhh · Pull Request #1190 · QubesOS/qubes-doc · GitHub
[3] GitHub - 3hhh/qubes-terminal-hotkeys: keyboard efficient VM management for Qubes OS
[4] GitHub - 3hhh/qubes-conky: a conky configuration for Qubes OS