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Sway

Sway is a tiling Wayland compositor and a drop-in replacement for the i3 window manager for X11. It works with your existing i3 configuration and supports most of i3's features, plus a few extras.

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Archcraft Sway

Get Sway From ko-fi And Support Archcraft Development.

Installation

Follow the instructions below to install Sway :

  • Download sway.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 sway.tar.gz
  • Once the file is extracted, change to the extracted directory which should be sway

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

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

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

Configuration

Sway is pre-configured in Archcraft. In this section, We'll see how the Sway 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 Sway in Archcraft looks something like this:

~/.config
└── sway : sway 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
├── wlogout : wlogout config
│   └── icons : session icons
├── wofi : launcher config
├── config : main sway config
├── sway-idle : sway idle config
├── sway-input : sway input config
├── sway-modes : sway mode config
├── sway-output : sway output config
└── sway-theme : sway theme config

Terminal

Alacritty is the default terminal. In the Sway 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/sway/alacritty directory. These are the following config files you can modify to change the behaviour of your alacritty terminal:

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

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

tip

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

warning

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

Notification

Mako is used as a notification daemon for notifications in Sway. In the Sway wayland compositor, mako is launched with an alternative config file, which is ~/.config/sway/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.

warning

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

Wallpaper

swaybg sets the wallpaper in the Sway. If you want to change the wallpaper, Edit ~/.config/sway/sway-output file and add your wallpaper here :

## Set wallpaper on all monitors
output * bg /path/to/your/wallpaper fill
warning

When you change the theme, the wallpaper path in sway-output file get overwritten by the theme script.

Statusbar

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

The configurations for waybar can be found inside ~/.config/sway/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/sway/waybar/config : Main config file
~/.config/sway/waybar/modules : Modules config file
~/.config/sway/waybar/style.css : CSS file for styling
~/.config/sway/waybar/colors.css : CSS colors file

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

warning

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 Sway can be found it ~/.config/sway/scripts directory. These are the following scripts that uses rofi to provide the launchers and applets in Sway :

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/sway/rofi directory.

Let's say that you want to modify the looks of launcher, then you need to edit the ~/.config/sway/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/sway/rofi/shared/colors.rasi and ~/.config/sway/rofi/shared/fonts.rasi files.

tip

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

warning

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

wayland compositor

The configuration of Sway is available in ~/.config/sway. To configure Sway wayland compositor, these are the files that are used :

config : main configuration file for general settings, keybindings and window rules
sway-idle : idle configuration, what happen when system goes in idle state
sway-input : input configuration, keyboard and mouse/touchpad settings
sway-modes : mode keybindings like resize, move and gaps
sway-output : output configuration, wallpapers and monitors
sway-theme : theme configuration, colors, borders, gaps, titlebars, etc.

If you need any help with sway configuration, run : man 5 sway in terminal.

warning

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

Keybindings

Here's a list of some important keybinds you need to know for operating Sway easily. If you want to view, modify or add new keybinds, Edit ~/.config/sway/config and ~/.config/sway/sway-modes files.

Applications

KeysAction
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)
KeysAction
alt + F1Open application launcher
alt + F2Open command runner
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

KeysAction
PrintTake screenshot
alt + PrintTake screenshot in 5 seconds delay
shift + PrintTake screenshot in 10 seconds delay
ctrl + PrintTake screenshot of currently focused window
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

Workspaces

KeysAction
super + 1..10Switch to respective workspace
super + shift + 1..10Move focused container to respective workspace

Window Management

KeysAction
super + C/QClose focued window
super + H/VSplit in horizontal/vertical orientation
super + GToggle Split Mode
super + shift + SSet stacking layout
super + shift + TSet tabbed layout
super + shift + DSet default layout
super + shift + LToggle between stacking/tabbed/split
super + shift + VToggle between horizontal/vertical
super + OSticky floating windows
super + FToggle fullscreen
super + SpaceToggle floating/tiling
super + shift + SpaceToggles focus between floating/tiling containers
super + Left/Right/Up/DownSets focus to the nearest container in the given direction
super + shift + Left/Right/Up/DownMove focused window in the given direction
super + YChanging border style
super + ASets focus to the parent container
super + ZSets focus to the child container
super + TabAutomatically sets focus to the adjacent container
super + alt + CMove floating container to the center of all outputs
super + alt + PMove floating container to the current position of the cursor
super + alt + Left/Right/Up/DownResizing containers/windows
super + MinusMake the currently focused window a scratchpad
super + shift + MinusShow the first scratchpad window
super + shift + RToggle Resize mode
super + shift + MToggle Resize mode
super + shift + GToggle Gaps mode
super + shift + OToggle Opacity mode

wayland compositor

KeysAction
super + shift + CReload Sway
super + shift + QQuit Sway

Misc Keys

KeysAction
ctrl + alt + LTrigger lockscreen
super + PRun colorpicker

Nvidia

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

Screenshots

Desktop

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

Desktop 1Desktop 2Desktop 3Desktop 4
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Desktop 5Desktop 6Desktop 7Desktop 8
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Desktop 9Desktop 10Desktop 11Desktop 12
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Desktop 13Desktop 14Desktop 15Desktop 16
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Themes

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 Sway.

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FAQs

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 :

$ export WLR_NO_HARDWARE_CURSORS=1
How to change GTK theme, icons and cursor?

To change GTK theme, icons and cursor in Sway session, Edit ~/.config/sway/sway-theme file and restart Sway to apply the changes.

gsettings set $gnome-schema gtk-theme 'Manhattan'
gsettings set $gnome-schema icon-theme 'Luv-Folders-Dark'
gsettings set $gnome-schema cursor-theme 'Qogirr'
gsettings set $gnome-schema font-name 'Noto Sans 9'
How to manage multiple monitors and resolution in Sway?

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

  1. You can get a list of output names with: swaymsg -t get_outputs
  2. Edit ~/.config/sway/sway-output file and use the information you get by the command above:
# Laptop screen (internal monitor), mode: 1920x1080
output eDP-1 resolution 1920x1080 position 0,0

# External monitor, right of laptop screen, mode: 1920x1080
output HDMI-A-1 resolution 1920x1080 position 1920,0

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