Below are the preferred installation methods for specific distros. If you are running something else, please see Installing From Source.
.. toctree:: :maxdepth: 1 Arch <arch> Fedora <fedora> Funtoo <funtoo> Ubuntu/Debian <ubuntu> Slackware <slackware> FreeBSD <freebsd> NixOS <nixos>
Installing From Source
We aim to always support the last three versions of CPython, the reference Python interpreter. We usually support the latest stable version of PyPy as well. You can check the versions and interpreters we currently run our test suite against in our tox configuration file.
There are not many differences between versions aside from Python features you may or may not be able to use in your config. PyPy should be faster at runtime than any corresponding CPython version under most circumstances, especially for bits of Python code that are run many times. CPython should start up faster than PyPy and has better compatibility for external libraries.
Here are Qtile's core runtime dependencies and the package names that provide them in Ubuntu. Note that Qtile can run with one of two backends -- X11 and Wayland -- so only the dependencies of one of these is required.
|Dependency||Ubuntu Package||Needed for|
|CFFI||python3-cffi||Bars and popups|
|cairocffi||python3-cairocffi||Drawing on bars and popups (if using X11 install xcffib BEFORE installing cairocffi, see below)|
|libpangocairo||libpangocairo-1.0-0||Writing on bars and popups|
|dbus-next||--||Sending notifications with dbus (optional).|
|X server||xserver-xorg||X11 backends|
|xcffib||python3-xcffib||required for X11 backend|
|wlroots||libwlroots-dev||Wayland backend (see below)|
|pywlroots||--||python bindings for the wlroots library|
|pywayland||--||python bindings for the wayland library|
|python-xkbcommon||--||required for wayland backeds|
Qtile uses cairocffi for drawing on status bars and popup windows. Under X11, cairocffi requires XCB support via xcffib, which you should be sure to have installed before installing cairocffi; otherwise, the needed cairo-xcb bindings will not be built. Once you've got the dependencies installed, you can use the latest version on PyPI:
pip install --no-cache-dir cairocffi
With the dependencies in place, you can now install the stable version of qtile from PyPI:
pip install qtile
Or install qtile-git with:
git clone https://github.com/qtile/qtile.git cd qtile pip install .
As long as the necessary libraries are in place, this can be done at any point, however, it is recommended that you first install xcffib to ensure the cairo-xcb bindings are built (X11 only) (see above).
There are several ways to start Qtile. The most common way is via an entry in
your X session manager's menu. The default Qtile behavior can be invoked by
creating a qtile.desktop file in
A second way to start Qtile is a custom X session. This way allows you to
invoke Qtile with custom arguments, and also allows you to do any setup you
want (e.g. special keyboard bindings like mapping caps lock to control, setting
your desktop background, etc.) before Qtile starts. If you're using an X
session manager, you still may need to create a
custom.desktop file similar
qtile.desktop file above, but with
create your own
~/.xsession. There are several examples of user defined
xsession s in the qtile-examples repository.
If there is no display manager such as SDDM, LightDM or other and there is need
to start Qtile directly from
~/.xinitrc do that by adding
exec qtile start at the end.
In very special cases, ex. Qtile crashing during session, then suggestion would be to start through a loop to save running applications:
while true; do qtile done
Finally, if you're a gnome user, you can start integrate Qtile into Gnome's session manager and use gnome as usual.
.. toctree:: :maxdepth: 1 without-dm gnome
Qtile can be run as a Wayland compositor rather than an X11 window manager. For this, Qtile uses wlroots, a compositor library which is undergoing fast development. Be aware that some distributions package outdated versions of wlroots. More up-to-date distributions such as Arch Linux may package pywayland, pywlroots and python-xkbcommon. Also note that we may not have yet caught up with the latest wlroots release ourselves.
The currently supported wlroots and pylwroots versions are 0.15.x.
With the Wayland dependencies in place, Qtile can be run either from a TTY, or within an existing X11 or Wayland session where it will run inside a nested window:
qtile start -b wayland
See the :ref:`Wayland <wayland>` page for more information on running Qtile as a Wayland compositor.