XMonad is a minimal window manager, meaning it doesn't set a background, start a status bar, display a splash screen or play a soothing sound effect when it starts up.
Once xmonad has started, the only thing it does is listen for your first command.
Try pressing mod-shift-enter (that is Alt, Shift, and Enter pressed at the same time) to bring up an xterm.
The mod-q action calls the xmonad binary to recompile itself, so if your display manager is starting it with /path/to/xmonad you'll also have to edit your mod-q binding to use the full path and restart X (or in newer versions use 'xmonad --restart') to restart xmonad with the new mod-q full path binding.
If you recently changed ghc versions see #Upgraded GHC and now xmonad xmonad-contrib etc are not found Yes.
Let's assume you've installed xmonad to the Do not forget to purge that evil source code!
Ensure that ghc, and the xmonad executable are both in the environment PATH from which you start X.
If you have installed xmonad using your package manager, then just use it.
The following applies if you have built xmonad from source code (either darcs or stable release).
The simplest way is to create or modify your ~/.xsession file to run xmonad.
If you don't already have a .xsession, the minimal example looks like: This requires that the ghc and the xmonad executable (or a symlink to them) are in a directory in the display manager $PATH environment.
(See mod-q doesn't work section below.) People using 'startx' can use these example xinitrc and run-xmonad scripts. When logging in, select the entry that says "xsession" or "default session" from the menu in order to use your ~/.xsession to start xmonad.
Alternatively, if you want a menu entry specifically for xmonad, create a file named "xmonad.desktop" in your /usr/share/xsessions (location varies by distribution) directory.
Thought has been put into the colors, key bindings, layouts, and supplementary scripts to make life easier.