What is Qtile?

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Qtile is a tiling window manager that is written, configured and automated in Python

What is a Tiling Window Manager?

If you are not familiar with tiling window managers, I created a presentation for my local LUG using Sozi.


In essence, windows do not overlap on the screen and are forced into a grid like pattern. The windows are then managed by the user via keyboard commands.

This means that you only need to touch the mouse for applications that need it thus reducing RSI, and actually speeding up your work-flow (once you are acclimatised). It also makes working with multiple monitors much easier.

So, Back to Qtile

I have been using Qtile as my primary window manager at home since 2010 (there about).

I originally started trying out Tiling window managers because using the mouse all day every day was starting to become too painful, and I initially chose Qtile as I was determined to get better at hacking about with Python.

There are a number of other factors that have kept me using Qtile, primarily the Community around it.

A bit of history

Aldo Cortesi (the author of Qtile) is probably my first direct contact with an Open Source project lead. He was exceptionally help-full and keen to help people use and improve his project.

Since then he had to put the project on hold due to life, business etc. So for a while a number of users started maintaining their own forks, adding whatever features they wanted.

One of those users took it upon himself to aggregate all of those changes in his fork on github

I hung around in the IRC channel and watched as the community of users gradually grew thanks to talks like this one.

When a bunch of users discussed maintaining the project as a community, Aldo was happy to hand over control of the project to a couple of willing contributors.

Since then we have migrated documentation to sphinx, merged in everybody's changes, and made additional changes. We are well on our way to our second release since the handover.

What is Qtile to me?

  1. I have tuned my configuration to do what I want it to do.
  2. I have committed various changes and fixes.
  3. I have collaborated with others to improve Qtile.
  4. I have been able to help others get started with Qtile.
  5. The code is pretty easy to get into once you get started.
  6. The community is so small, that everyone's input makes a difference.
  7. Qtile has been the first project to which I have considered myself to be a contributor.

Qtile is my pet project

In my next post on this subject I will start to cover some the fundamentals of installing and configuring qtile.

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