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Simple mouse-free tiling window manager

Ratpoison is a simple Window Manager with no fat library dependencies, no fancy graphics, no window decorations, and no flashy wank. It is largely modelled after GNU Screen which still is doing wonders in virtual terminal market.

The screen can be split into non-overlapping frames. All windows are kept maximized inside their frames to take full advantage of your precious screen real estate.

All interaction with the window manager is done through keystrokes. Ratpoison has a prefix map to minimize the key clobbering that cripples Emacs and other quality pieces of software.


See the info manual for more information.

"IRC irc:// " IRC general channel

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LicenseVerified byVerified onNotes
GPLv2orlaterGenium13 January 2017

Leaders and contributors

Shawn Betts Original author and former maintainer. Sickened by the rat and the trend in window managers, he sat down one evening and pulled an all-nighter writing the first version of Ratpoison.
Jeremie Courreges-Anglas Current maintainer.

Resources and communication

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Software prerequisites

Kind Description
Required to build X11 development libraries

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 13 January 2017.


Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the page “GNU Free Documentation License”.

The copyright and license notices on this page only apply to the text on this page. Any software or copyright-licenses or other similar notices described in this text has its own copyright notice and license, which can usually be found in the distribution or license text itself.

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