I've installed awesome as my windows manager. However, it doesn't seem to respect the power options from lightdm; if I'm at the login screen shutting the lid will trigger suspend.
Once I log into the awesome wm, however, this no longer happens.
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It no longer happens because power management is different between lightdm and the the session you log in to. Each session is expected to handle its own power management, for various reasons, and so you will need to run a power manager with your WM to get this feature to work as you wish.
A good power manager for the task would be
xfce4-power-manager, which you can get in the repos. You can set it to suspend when the lid is closed. Then, just set it to start with your awesome-wm session and you'll be good to go.
pm-utils from the repos, then issue the command
pm-suspend (as root) to suspend the laptop, more info on this link http://goo.gl/emZFUB
apt-get install pm-utils
Also, if your latop has a 'suspend' button or a combination of keys such as
F3 to suspend /hibernate you can use them just make sure you have installed the packages
apt-get install acpi-suport acpi-support-base
With this and some bits of configuration you can achieve to suspend the machine when the lid is closed (or using a button or combination of keys)