For having been using GNOME for quite a long time, I was considering trying some tiling window managers to see what it's like a few weeks ago. Along the way, I found a nice window manager written in Python: Qtile, what interests me most is that it's a hackable window manager, which makes it flexible to extend or change its behaviors.
Well, switching to use a tiling window manager is far simpler than I thought. There are two ways to have it:
- Installing it via the system's package manager, e.g.
- Installing it from the source code repo.
If you just want to give it a try, you can just install it via the package manager, logout the current X session, and re-login with Qtile as your window manager (there are options when you log in), and you're done. It's that simple.
As Qtile is still under active development, I would like to run the bleeding-edge source code to catch up with the main Qtile.
As in the docs, it's quite straight-forward to install it.
git clone git://github.com/qtile/qtile.git cd qtile pip3 install .
But it will pollute the system environment, so I'd rather run it within a virtualenv.
Here are the steps on how to run it within a dedicated virtualenv for a user, say
foo, on Fedora.
Clone the repo
mkdir -p ~/local/ git clone https://github.com/qtile/qtile.git
Create a new virtualenv, and install dependencies there
python3 -m venv ~/local/qtile/qtile-env/ source ~/local/qtile/qtile-env/bin/activate # Install dependencies pip install xcffib pip install --no-cache-dir cairocffi
Make a glue shell script to use the virtualenv
cat > /home/foo/local/qtile/qtile-venv-entry <<EOF #!/bin/bash # This glue shell is only needed when you want to # run Qtile within a virtualenv source ~/local/qtile/qtile-env/bin/activate python ~/local/qtile/bin/qtile $* EOF
Also, make sure to make it executable, that is,
chmod +x /home/foo/local/qtile/qtile-venv-entry
Make a entry desktop file for the display manager
cat > /usr/share/xsessions/qtile-venv.desktop <<EOF [Desktop Entry] Name=Qtile(venv) Comment=Qtile Session Within Venv Exec=/home/foo/local/qtile/qtile-venv-entry Type=Application Keywords=wm;tiling EOF
Pay attention to the
Execdirective, it points to the glue script.
- Log out or reboot your system, then select "Qtile(venv)" as your window manager by clicking the setting icon when logging in.