Linux Apps

Sway – A Tiling Wayland i3-Compatible Compositor

Sway - Tiling Wayland Compositor
Written by Martins D. Okoi

I have covered window tiling editors/managers previously with apps like herbstluftwm and Tilix so check them out if you haven’t already.

Sway is a free and open source tiling Wayland compositor that is compatible with the i3 window manager, uses the same configuration syntax, and works with most of the software designed for i3.

Sway makes use of all the available space on your screen and automatically adjusts window sizes as you open more apps and you can navigate between apps with your keyboard.

App windows can be arranged horizontally, vertically, stacked, or tabbed and you can change their size as well as split windows into containers of several windows all without touching your mouse. You could, however, use your mouse to rearrange windows and even take windows out of the tiling grid and manipulate them.44

Features in Sway

  • Arrange app windows logically.
  • Arrange windows into a grid by default.
  • Free and open source with source code available on GitHub.
  • Uses Wayland instead of Xorg.
  • Supports most of i3’s features e.g. sway-bar, swaylock, and swaymsg.
  • Sports extras that are not included in i3 e.g. swaygrab.
  • Supports keyboard control.
  • Supports gaps i.e. custom spaces between and around windows.

Take note that Sway is neither an X11 window manager nor does it work as one and you should go through the wiki documentation carefully before installing it. You can access Sway’s wiki here.

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Sway is available in the software center for many distributions and you can refer to the wiki if you don’t find a package for yours. And of course, you can always compile from source.

What’s your take on the Sway project? Worth switching to or would you wait for more features to be added? The comments box is down below.


About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.