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tellwm like on IRIX is a shell front end to invoke the 5Dwm window manager functions. MaXXdesktop's tellwm is also compatible with IRIX's 4DWm

$ tellwm [-t] [-h] [-v] command

The tellwm utility invokes window functions in a cooperating resident window manager program.

Cooperating window managers post the _SGI_TELL_WM property on the root window, containing a list of command strings they support externally. If the command argument given to tellwm matches this published protocol, tellwm forwards the command to the window manager for execution. tellwm exits with a non-zero status if the current window manager does not provide the cooperating property, or if it does not support the requested command. The following options are provided:

-t     Test to determine whether the command can be sent, but don't send it. The exit status of tellwm may be checked to see if the
current window manager and its protocol support the command request given, but the requested command is not actually sent.

-v    Print out version information.


The 5Dwm window manager like 4Dwm are currently the only window managers which supports the _SGI_TELL_WM protocol property. 5Dwm like 4Dwm are publishing the following protocol of supported external commands:

auto_place, auto_save, beep,circle_down, circle_up, end_session, explicit_save, interactive_place, minimize_all, opaque, outline, pack_icons, quit, refresh, restart, restore_all, and save_configuration.

For example, the shell command line

$ tellwm restart

causes 4Dwm to perform the same action as when the Restart item (f.restart) is invoked from the 4Dwm menu. Refer to the 4Dwm
documentation for definitions of these commands.

5Dwm adds the following protocols as extension only available to MaXXdesktop:
debug  and fast_restart .