Do any any minimal WMs, like scrotwm or xmonad (OR any others), support drag and drop between windows out of the box? If so which? If not, is there a way to enable such functionality?

A classic example would be to have a file manager in one window, from which you drag a file into an open application in another window to open it, etc. etc.

4 Answers 4


In X11, drag and drop is something that the application must support, it has nothing to do with the window manager. For example: you cannot drag'n'drop anything in a xcalc window, even with the Compiz window manager.

The X11 drag and drop protocol is called XDND: see http://www.newplanetsoftware.com/xdnd/ for more information.

  • Wait... X11 apps must support drag and drop, yet xcalc cannot do it? Is xcalc an exception or the rule????
    – hpy
    Dec 12, 2010 at 3:23
  • It's coded into the app from what I can tell. It's a really painful process to support drag and drop, as I tried it with my QT application.
    – Blender
    Dec 12, 2010 at 4:48
  • Also check this out github.com/mwh/dragon, for drag and drop using terminal programs like ranger.
    – Student
    Aug 11, 2020 at 15:16

Im using dwm (5.8.2 atm) and when i try to drag n drop anything from program A to program B, it works. You cant change workspace while draging files so you need to use the same workspace.

I just tried so it actually works ;))


Awesome supports drag and drop between windows. There is a catch: you can't change tags¹ while dragging, but you can show two tags at the same time (with all their windows) and then drag and drop.

¹something similar to a workspace, but more flexible


I use DWM and sometimes I want to just D&D a file from a terminal app into e.g. the browser, or create a screenshot with scrot and drop it there.

Maybe this little script, which does that (using dragon) is useful for some of you: The sequence for the latter use case is simply: hotkey to start -> select shot area -> click on the drop target -> done.


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