Notes for bspwm and sxhkd


Alpine Linux is a security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution based on musl libc and busybox.
bspwm is the binary space tiling window manager.
sxhkd is the simple X hotkey daemon.

I’m running Alpine, bspwm, and sxhkd on my main laptop with great success and satisfaction.


These are sort of “notes to self”, not a step by step guide.

adduser sodface
addgroup sodface wheel
addgroup sodface audio
addgroup sodface video
addgroup sodface input
apk add sudo && visudo
apk add rng-tools && rc-update add rngd boot
sudo setup-xorg-base sxhkd bspwm bspwm-doc xf86-input-synaptics brightnessctl ttf-dejavu firefox feh xclock
install -Dm755 /usr/share/doc/bspwm/examples/bspwmrc ~/.config/bspwm/bspwmrc
install -Dm644 /usr/share/doc/bspwm/examples/sxhkdrc ~/.config/sxhkd/sxhkdrc

You’ll want to add a terminal. Currently I’m using xfce4-terminal but it does bring in a lot of dependencies.

sudo apk add xfce4-terminal
startx /usr/bin/bspwm


The default config files were installed to ~/.config/bspwm/bspwmrc and ~/.config/sxhkd/sxhkdrc.

Config statements I’ve added to ~/.config/bspwm/bspwmrc are:

bspc rule -a XClock:*:* state=floating
feh --bg-center ~/gt-wp.jpg

Where gt-wp.jpg is my desktop wallpaper. The xclock rule floats xclock in the middle of the screen and is used in conjunction with a hotkey (see below).

Config statements I’ve added to ~/.config/sxhkd/sxhkdrc are:

## my adds

# laptop screen brightness up
        brightnessctl -q s +10%

# laptop screen brightness down
        brightnessctl -q s 10%-

# small digital clock - see bspwmrc config for rule to center float
alt + c
        xclock -digital -brief -twelve -face 'arial black-36:bold' -fg green -bg black

# kill the clock window on key up
alt + @c
        killall xclock

The alt+c command pops up a small xclock in the middle of the screen on keydown and then kills it on key up.