AwesomeWM: about title bars and toggling them

The default rc.lua from Awesome 4.0 turns title bars on. Here I show how you can turn them off, and also how I enable them only for floating clients.

Note: the following works with AwesomeWM v4.0. I used v4.0-105-gbfb35349.

Removing the title bars

Users of awesome 3.5.x are surprised that suddenly all clients have a title bar.

This is because the rules file in the default rc.lua contains those lines:

-- Add title bars to normal clients and dialogs
{ rule_any = {type = { "normal", "dialog" }
  }, properties = { titlebars_enabled = true }

So removing the title bars is as easy as changing the true to false.

Removing the title bars only for non-floating clients

However, now no title bar will ever created. If you want to show a title bar for a floating client, you cannot do that: there exists none. So let’s change the false back to true.

Now title bars will be created in the signal handler for the signal request::titlebar. At the end of the handling function, add this code:

        layout = wibox.layout.align.horizontal
    -- Hide the menubar

This hides the newly created title bar. Or, maybe we want to hide the title bar only sometimes, then use:

        layout = wibox.layout.align.horizontal
    -- Hide the menubar if we are not floating
    local l = awful.layout.get(c.screen)
    if not ( == "floating" or c.floating) then

And now you can still toggle the title bar, e.g. with this binding:

clientkey({ modkey, "Control" }, "t",
   {description = "Toggle title bar", group = "Clients"})

(See my blog post about keybindings to learn about the clientkey() function.)

Turning title bars on when a client is floating

Or you can show/hide the title bar automatically whenever you toggle the floating attribute if you add this property signal handler:

client.connect_signal("property::floating", function (c)
    if c.floating then

A possible binding might be:

clientkey({ modkey, "Control" }, "o",
   function (c) c.floating = not c.floating end,
   {description = "Toggle floating", group = "Clients"})

Turning on the title bars when the layout is floating

But what is when I don’t set a single client to floating mode (e.g. via rules, or via a keybinding), but when I use the floating layout suit? As often, a signal handler can help here:

awful.tag.attached_connect_signal(s, "property::layout", function (t)
    local float = == "floating"
    for _,c in pairs(t:clients()) do
        c.floating = float