With all other programs I've tried mod4 + m will toggle between tiling and maximizing window. This doesn't happen with firefox. Here are the two states that the tags go between when pushing mod4 + m. I normally associate the plus sign w/ the tile being in the maximized state.

State 1:

state 1

State 2:

state 2

2 Answers 2


I was having the same issue (with firefox and other apps).

I found something here : awesome wm - Plus symbol in task bar - Stack Overflow.

But I had to improve a bit on it because after that firefox was starting in floating mode.

This code in my ~/.config/awesome/rc.lua fixes the issue but it should be only a temporary workaround:

{ rule = { class = "Firefox" },
  properties = { opacity = 1, maximized = false, floating = false } },
  • 3
    This temporary fix has been in my ~/.config/awesome/rc.lua since then (we are in October 2019)...
    – Daishi
    Oct 28, 2019 at 10:44
  • Slight modification needed in my case. xprop returned WM_CLASS(STRING) = "Navigator", "firefox" , Note the lowercase f Jan 21, 2020 at 18:02
  • @Daishi still true in Sept 2022 on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. Sep 4, 2022 at 22:48

In the first state, the horizontal and vertical arrows indicate the firefox has been horizontally and vertically maximized in awesome (respectively). The airplane/other symbol indicates that firefox is floating.

In state 2, the (bolded) plus sign indicates that firefox has been maximized.

When opened, firefox tries to maximize itself. Being maximized and horizontally/vertically maximized are different, but it is very common for configs to only deal with one form or the other.

One way to handle this is to make a shortcut that unmaximizes and unfloats. Something like

clientkeys = awful.util.table.join(
    -- among other configuration
    awful.key({ modkey, "Shift" }, "m", -- or any command of your choice
        function (c)
            c.maximized_horizontal = false
            c.maximized_vertical   = false
            c.maximized            = false
            c.floating             = false

With this, typing MODKEY+SHIFT+m will unmaximize the firefox window. Note that various other programs and browsers attempt to both maximize and float themselves as well, and this applies to them too.

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