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River is a dynamic tiling Wayland compositor with flexible runtime configuration.


Archcraft River

Get River From ko-fi And Support Archcraft Development.


Follow the instructions below to install River :

  • Download river.tar.gz file from ko-fi, and save it in a directory.
  • Open a terminal in same directory and run the following command to extract the tar file :
$ tar -xzvf river.tar.gz
  • Once the file is extracted, change to the extracted directory which should be river

On Archcraft, You can simply install the provided package in pkg directory with :

$ sudo pacman -U archcraft-river-X.Y-Z-any.pkg.tar.zst
Archcraft Prime

River comes pre-installed on Archcraft WSE and Archcraft Prime ISOs.


River is pre-configured in Archcraft. In this section, We'll see how the River wayland compositor is configured, what tools and utilities are used to make it look and work like a complete desktop environment.

Config Structure

The configuration structure of River in Archcraft looks something like this:

└── river : river config directory
├── alacritty : alacritty terminal config
├── foot : foot terminal config
├── mako : notification daemon config
│   └── icons : notification icons
├── rofi : rofi config files
├── scripts : various scripts for functionality
├── theme : current theme and pywal themes
├── wallpapers : wallpapers
├── waybar : statusbar config
├── wofi : launcher, Powermenu config
└── init : river init file (main config)


Alacritty is the default terminal. In the River wayland compositor, alacritty is launched with an alternative config file. If you need to change anything, make sure you modify the config files in ~/.config/river/alacritty directory. These are the following config files you can modify to change the behaviour of your alacritty terminal:

~/.config/river/alacritty/alacritty.toml : Main configuration file
~/.config/river/alacritty/colors.toml : Colors configurations
~/.config/river/alacritty/fonts.toml : Fonts configurations

If you need any help with alacritty config, run : man 5 alacritty in terminal.


By Default, alacritty is used But, If you want to use foot as your default terminal, just edit the ~/.config/river/init file and comment the keybindings for Terminal : alacritty and uncomment the bindings for Terminal : foot


When you change the theme, the colors.toml file of alacritty and colors.ini file of foot get overwritten by the theme script.


Mako is used as a notification daemon for notifications in River. In the River wayland compositor, mako is launched with an alternative config file, which is ~/.config/river/mako/config. So, If you need to modify anything, make sure you edit this file.

If you need any help with mako config, run : man 5 mako in terminal.


When you change the theme, the colors in config file get overwritten by the theme script.


swaybg sets the wallpaper in the River. If you want to change the wallpaper, Edit ~/.config/river/scripts/wallpaper script and add your wallpaper here :


When you change the theme, the wallpaper path in wallpaper script get overwritten by the theme script.


Waybar is used as the statusbar in Archcraft's River wayland compositor.

The configurations for waybar can be found inside ~/.config/river/waybar. If you want to modify the waybar settings, or perhaps want to add/remove modules, then you need to edit the following files :

~/.config/river/waybar/config : Main config file
~/.config/river/waybar/modules : Modules config file
~/.config/river/waybar/style.css : CSS file for styling
~/.config/river/waybar/colors.css : CSS colors file

If you need any help with waybar config, run : man waybar


When you change the theme, the colors.css file of waybar get overwritten by the theme script.

Launchers and Applets

Rofi is used for application launchers, command runner and various applets. To modify the rofi config, edit ~/.config/rofi/config.rasi file.

If you need any help with rofi config, run : man rofi in terminal.

The scripts for rofi that are used in River can be found it ~/.config/river/scripts directory. These are the following scripts that uses rofi to provide the launchers and applets in River :

rofi_bluetooth : bluetooth applet to quickly connect to BT devices
rofi_launcher : an application launcher, cmd runner, file manager and task manager
rofi_music : music applet, that controls MPD with mpc
rofi_network : network manager applet
rofi_powermenu : power menu, with confirmation dialog
rofi_runner : quickly lets you run a command
rofi_screenshot : screenshot applet that works with grim

If you want to modify any applet or perhaps want to extend the functionality of the applet, just edit these scripts.

The configuration of each script can be found inside ~/.config/river/rofi directory.

Let's say that you want to modify the looks of launcher, then you need to edit the ~/.config/river/rofi/launcher.rasi file. Same goes for every other applet, Edit the respective file in the same directory.

If you need any help with rofi theming, run : man rofi-theme in terminal.

To change the colors and fonts of the launchers and applets, Edit the ~/.config/river/rofi/shared/colors.rasi and ~/.config/river/rofi/shared/fonts.rasi files.


By default, rofi is used as app launcher. But, If you want to use wofi instead of rofi, Edit the config file ~/.config/river/init and uncomment wofi keybindings (and, comment the rofi bindings).


When you change the theme, the shared/colors.rasi file of rofi and style.css, power.css files of wofi gets overwritten by the theme script.

wayland compositor

The main configuration file of River is ~/.config/river/init. Edit this file for everything, from startup programs to input/output config to keybindings, etc.

If you need any help with river configuration, visit : River Wiki


When you change the theme, colors in init file gets overwritten by the theme script.


Here's a list of some important keybinds you need to know for operating River easily. If you want to view, modify or add new keybinds, Edit ~/.config/river/init file.


super + ReturnOpen terminal
super + shift + ReturnOpen floating terminal
super + alt + ReturnOpen fullscreen terminal
super + shift + FOpen file manager (thunar)
super + shift + EOpen text editor (geany)
super + shift + WOpen web browser (firefox)
super + DOpen application launcher
super + ROpen command runner
super + NOpen network manager applet
super + MOpen music applet
super + XOpen powermenu applet
super + SOpen screenshots applet
super + BOpen bluetooth applet

Hardware Keys

PrintTake screenshot
alt + PrintTake screenshot in 5 seconds delay
shift + PrintTake screenshot in 10 seconds delay
super + PrintTake screenshot of selected area
XF86AudioRaiseVolumeIncrease volume
XF86AudioLowerVolumeDecrease volume
XF86AudioMuteToggle mute speakers
XF86AudioMicMuteToggle mute microphone
XF86Audio + Next/Prev/Play/StopMedia controls (MPD)
XF86MonBrightnessUpIncrease display brightness
XF86MonBrightnessDownDecrease display brightness


super + 1..9Focus tag 0 to 8
super + shift + 1..9Tag focused view with tag 0 to 8
super + ctrl + 1..9Toggle focus of tag 0 to 8
super + alt + 1..9Toggle tag 0 to 8 of focused view

Window Management

super + C/QClose focued window
super + Left/RightFocus next/previous view in the layout stack
super + shift + Left/RightSwap focused view with the next/previous view in the layout stack
super + J/KFocus next/previous output
super + shift + J/KSend the focused view to next/previous output
super + EBump the focused view to the top of the layout stack
super + H/LDecrease/Increase the main_factor value of rivertile by 0.02
super + shift + H/LIncrement/Decrement the main_count value of rivertile
ctrl + alt + Left/Down/Up/RightChange layout orientation
super + alt + Left/Down/Up/RightMove floating views
super + ctrl + Left/Down/Up/RightResize views
super + alt + ctrl + H/J/K/LSnap views to screen edges
super + SpaceToggle float
super + FToggle fullscreen

Misc Keys

super + PRun colorpicker
ctrl + alt + LTrigger lockscreen
ctrl + alt + SpaceDismiss notifications
ctrl + alt + DeleteQuit River


If you're on Archcraft and install the provided package, There's nothing else you need to do in order to run it on Nvidia machine. When you install Archcraft on a machine that has Nvidia, It does all the operations (mentioned below) required to run a wayland compositor on such machines. The compositor should work fine.

If you're running any other distribution and want to install this setup on your Nvidia machine, You need to do some tweaking. In this guide, I'm assuing you're using Arch Linux. Follow the steps below to make this wayland compositor work on Nvidia :

  • Install Nvidia Drivers on your system. NVIDIA
  • Edit /etc/mkinitcpio.conf file and add nvidia kernel modules
MODULES="nvidia nvidia_modeset nvidia_uvm nvidia_drm"
  • In the same file, Remove kms hook from hooks array if present.
  • Rebuild your initrd file with : sudo mkinitcpio -P linux
  • Edit /etc/default/grub file and add nvidia_drm.modeset=1 kernel parameter for Nvidia
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nvidia_drm.modeset=1 ..."
  • Update your grub config file with : sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
  • Reboot your Nvidia Machine and login to your wayland compositor, It should work now.

More Information: NVIDIA#Installation, NVIDIA#DRM_kernel_mode_setting



Here's few screenshots of River desktop. These'll give you an idea of the experience of River in Archcraft.

Desktop 1Desktop 2Desktop 3Desktop 4
Desktop 5Desktop 6Desktop 7Desktop 8
Desktop 9Desktop 10Desktop 11Desktop 12
Desktop 13Desktop 14


To Change the theme, Click on Color Palette icon on waybar. To apply a random theme, Left Click on the theme module and To restore the default theme, Right Click on the theme module.

There's only one theme available for River.



How to update my config to new configs?

Download the updated package from ko-fi (for free) and just install it to update to new configs.

Steps to get updates (or re-download files):

  • Login to you Ko-fi account
  • Go to your Ko-fi Payments History
  • Select the purchases you've made
  • Click on View Details
  • Then, Click on View Content to download the updated files.
Why my cursor is not visible?

When using certain graphics drivers (e.g. the VMSVGA graphics controller or the proprietary NVIDIA driver), the cursor is invisible. This can be fixed by using software cursors :

How to change GTK theme, icons and cursor?

To change GTK theme, icons and cursor in River session, Edit ~/.config/river/init file and restart River to apply the changes.

local gsettings = {
['org.gnome.desktop.interface'] = {
['gtk-theme'] = 'Arc-Dark',
['icon-theme'] = 'Arc-Circle',
['font-name'] = "'Noto Sans 9'",
['cursor-theme'] = river_options['xcursor-theme'][1],
['cursor-size'] = river_options['xcursor-theme'][2],
How to manage multiple monitors and resolution in River?

If you use multiple monitors with River wayland compositor, you can manage them as follow:

  1. You can get the names of your outputs with wlr-randr
  2. Edit ~/.config/river/init file and use the information you get by the command above:
local outputs = {
-- Laptop screen, mode: 1920x1080, scale: 1
['eDP-1'] = {
mode = '1920x1080',
pos = '0,0',
transform = 'normal',
scale = '1.000000',
preferred = true,
-- External monitor, mode: 1920x1080, position: right of laptop, scale: 1.5
['HDMI-A-1'] = {
mode = '1920x1080',
pos = '1920,0',
transform = 'normal',
scale = '1.500000',
preferred = true,
Why Alacritty is not working on my computer?

Since Alacritty is a OpenGL based terminal emulator, It may not work on some computer hardwares. You can make it work on such computers by following these methods :

  1. Open alacritty with LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1 variable. Edit the keybindings/script launching alacritty and replace alacritty with LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1 alacritty
  2. Edit /usr/share/applications/Alacritty.desktop desktop file and replace Exec=alacritty with Exec=env LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1 alacritty