AfterStep (1) X11 window manager


The following is the list of command line options supported by all AfterStep modules and applications.

-v | --version

Display version information and stop.

-c | --config

Display Config information and stop.

-h | --help

Display uasge information and stop.


Debugging: Run in Synchronous mode.

-s | --single

Run on single screen only.

-r | --restart

Run as if it was restarted. Same as regular startup, only runs RestartFunctioninstead of InitFunction.

-d | --displayval

Specify what X display we should connect to. Overrides $DISPLAY environment variable.

-f | --config-fileval

Read all config from requested file. Use it if you want to use .steprc instead of standard config files.

-p | --user-dirval

Read all the config from requested dir. Use it to override config location requested in compile time.

-g | --global-dirval

Use requested dir as a shared config dir. Use it to override shared config location requested in compile time.

-V | --verbosity-levelval

Change verbosity of the AfterStep output. 0 - will disable any output; 1 - will allow only error messages; 5 - both errors and warnings(default).


Internal Use: Window in which action occurred. Interface part which has triggered our startup.


Internal Use: Context in which action occurred. Interface part which has triggered our startup.


Read look config from requested file. Use it if you want to use different look instead of what was selected from the menu.


Read feel config from requested file. Use it if you want to use different feel instead of what was selected from the menu.


Read theme config from requested file. Use it if you want to use different theme instead of what was selected from the menu.

-l | --logval

Save all output into the file (instead of printing it to console).

-L | --localeval

Set language locale. To be used while displaying text.


Overrides module name. Will be used while parsing config files and reporting to AfterStep.


Overrides module's geometry.


Overrides module's gravity.

AfterStep has been almost entirely rewritten in this new incarnation. Here is the short list of new architectural changes:

1.1. New high performance and high quality image handling engine has been developed to fulfill GUI needs. It includes different image transformations, such as scaling, tiling, cropping, blurring, blending of arbitrary number of layers, in-memory image compression, support for 12 different file formats, including its own parser/writer of XPM files, capable of achieving much better performance then default libXpm. Supported image formats are :

XPM, PNG, JPEG, XCF(GIMP image format), PPM, PNM, BMP, ICO, CUR, GIF, TIFF, and XML scripts. Where XML scripts allow for user to create script of transformations to be performed on the image at the time when it gets loaded./para> libAfterImage also provides support for TTF fonts ( using libfreetype ) and smoothed standard X raster fonts.

1.2. Window hints handling has been rewritten and reorganized, and most of the Extended WM specs has been incorporated, as well, as better support for Motif, ICCCM and old GNOME hints has been implemented.

1.3. All the GUI rendering code has been aggregated into libAfterStep and now all the GUI elements are rendered using consistent approach in every module and every part of the AfterStep proper. From now on interface is build from so called TBars. TBar is rectangular area that may be focused(hilited) or unfocused and pressed or unpressed. Each TBar has the following structure :

- the background of the TBar, which is defined by MyStyle and state of the bar - there are two MyStyles assigned to each TBar - one for focused and one for unfocused state.

- tiles of the TBar. Tiles are smaller features that gets arranged inside the bar according to its size, alignment, position and order. Tiles could be static icons ( cannot be pressed ); blocks of buttons - each having two shapes - pressed and normal; Text labels; Empty space tiles.

There could be up to 256 tiles, each residing on one of the cells in 16x16 grid. Several tiles could reside in single cell, in which case they get superimposed on top of each other.

- bevel of the TBar. When TBar is rendered all of its tiles are superimposed on top of its background, and resulting image will have a 3D bevel drawn on it, using colors from same MyStyle as used for background. Bevel could be switched off partially or entirely. Respective configuration options has been added where appropriate. When TBar is pressed - its bevel is inverted.

When TBar is rendered all of its elements gets superimposed on top of each other using one of 13 blending methods supported by libAfterImage, with default being simple alphablending. See MyFrame configuration for more details. This is refrred to as "Composition Method".

1.4. Due to the fact that AfterStep is using compression to store images in memory - there is no need to have separate root background handler, and so asetroot has been discontinued and afterstep proper now does all the root background loading. You could simply copy-and-paste your asteroot config into your look file. This has an added advantage of simplifing theme support for root backgrounds.

1.5. Significant work has been done to create libAfterConf which provides easy means for reading configuration options, and facilitates implementation of any configuration tool.

1.6. Some work has been done to improve support for themes. AfterStep proper and modules now load configuration files is this order :

#1 - base config; #2 - look, feel, menu, database, autoexec and module specific config; #3 - theme file; #4 - theme override file;

Theme override file is needed so that user may have a list of critical options that he/she does not want to be changed by any theme. What is missing here is a comprehensive theme building tool.

1.7. AfterStep now make extensive use of X shaped extensions ( where available ) Everything could be shaped now - titlebars, Pager, Wharf, etc. To make some element shaped - MyStyle with BackPixmap type 125 or 126 should be used.

1.8. Menus are now treated same as regular windows. They could be configured in database file using preset Style "ASMenu" to have different titlebar buttons, frame decorations, stickiness, etc. MenuPinOn has been changed to be just another titlebar button, with PinMenu function assigned to it.

1.9. AfterStep no longer uses fixed scheme of 5 titlebar buttons on each side, and order of buttons could be configured in look. There is still limitation to have no more then 10 buttons total.