Running a Patched DWM on GNU Guix

June 12, 2023 • Sarthak Shah

If like me you use a lot of patches with dwm, you probably use dwm-flexipatch for configuring dwm. You probably also have an existing build of dwm with a lot of customizations in config.def.h. Research online might lead you to the conclusion that you need to set up a git repository and a guix channel with your dwm folder to make it work, but that's not necessary at all. In this post I'll go over how I got my dwm-flexipatch build to work on GNU Guix without any of that.

We want to start by making a directory for our dwm folder and build file.


Next, copy your dwm folder here.

cp -r /path/to/dwm DWM_MODULE/

Now, this step is very important: run make clean once in the dwm folder, otherwise guix will run into a RUNPATH error during the build phase.

make clean
cd ..

And finally, inside the DWM_MODULE directory create a file named USER-dwm.scm, where USER can be your username or anything else. Then put this in the file:

(define-module (USER-dwm))
(use-modules (gnu packages suckless)
             (gnu packages xorg)
             (gnu packages image)
             (guix gexp)
             (guix packages))

(define-public USER-dwm
    (inherit dwm)
    (name "USER-dwm")
    (inputs (modify-inputs (package-inputs dwm)
              (append libxcb)
              (append imlib2)))
    (source (local-file "dwm" #:recursive? #t))))


Here I have added libxcb and imlib2 to inputs as I have patches requiring them. If you are using a patch requiring some other library, you can add it by putting another (append libname) statement in the modify-inputs expression. The source expression searches for a folder named dwm in the file's pwd and uses its contents as the package's source. Running guix package -f USER-dwm.scm will now install your flexipatched dwm. If you want to add this to your system configuration, modify your config.scm like this:

(use-modules (USER-dwm) ...)

  (packages (list USER-dwm ...)))

And now, reconfigure the system with the following command:

guix system reconfigure /path/to/config.scm -L $HOME/DWM_MODULE

If you don't want to run the reconfigure command with -L every time, add $HOME/DWM_MODULE to GUIX_PACKAGE_PATH.

Here's a customary screencap: dwm-screenshot.png