created_at2016-03-10 22:24:20.760864
updated_at2018-11-22 17:48:52.371595
descriptionCustomizeable Wayland compositor written in Rust
Preston Carpenter (Timidger)



Way Cooler Crates.io Downloads Build Status Gitter License

Way Cooler is a customizable tiling window manager written in Rust for Wayland and configurable using Lua.

It is heavily inspired by the tiling of i3 and the extensibility of awesome.

While Lua is used for the runtime configuration (like in awesome), extensions for Way Cooler are implemented as totally separate client programs using D-Bus. Currently we support 3 official extensions:

  • way-cooler-bg: Draws the background for Way Cooler.
  • wc-grab: Allows the user to take pictures of a screen.
  • wc-lock: Locks Way Cooler and requires their password to be entered to unlock.


Way Cooler is currently in beta. The core features have been added and it is in a usable state, but there will be backwards-incompatible changes in future versions that might require some user intervention.

Once Way Cooler reaches 1.0, we will guarantee backwards compatibilty for both the configuration files and the D-Bus interfaces.

Here are some pictures of what Way Cooler looks like today:


We wanted to get experience with Rust and we found current X11 window managers to not have all the features we wanted.

Currently there are very few fully-featured tiling window managers in the Wayland ecosystem, as most of the effort has been porting Gnome and KDE over. Although Wayland is still in early-stage development and is not backwards compatible with existing X11 tools, we wanted to put our stake in and provide for current tiling window manager users in the future.

Current Features

  • i3-style tiling
    • Horizontal/Vertical layouts
    • Tabbed/Stacked layouts
    • Nest containers with different layouts
    • Floating windows per workspace
  • Client application support via the D-Bus IPC
    • See an example application here. It displays the tree in a somewhat organized format, and is actually really helpful for both debugging the tree and understanding how subcontainers work.
    • Enables dynamic configuration at runtime, without having to reload a configuration file
    • Allows extensions of the window manager to exist as separate programs talking over the IPC
  • A Lua 53 environment designed to make extending Way Cooler simple and easy
    • Lua is the configuration format, allowing the user to enhance their window manager in any way they want.
    • Utilities library included to aid communicating with Way Cooler
  • X programs supported through XWayland
  • Borders around containers
  • Gaps between containers
  • Basic X11 bar support (e.g lemonbar, polybar)
  • Screen grabber / screen shot taker
  • Lock screen

Planned Features

  • Notification support
  • AwesomeWM compatibilty (see this issue for more info)
  • A dedicated status bar
    • The status bar should be swappable, such that a user can implement their own or use a different one.
  • More customization settings

Follow the development of these features in our issues section or checkout our contribution guidelines if you want to help out.


On the AUR

@vinipsmaker and @timidger maintain our AUR packages:




@miltador mantains our NixOS package.


@jubalh maintains our openSUSE package. Install with:

zypper ar -f obs://X11:windowmanagers windowmanagers
zypper in way-cooler

Installation Script

For users who are not using the above mentioned Linux distributions, we have provided a simple install script that you can run in the terminal in order to install Way Cooler.

Please go to the download page on our site in order to download Way Cooler.

Build from source

You will need the following dependencies installed on your machine to install Way Cooler:

  • Wayland
    • Including the server and client libraries
  • wlc
  • Weston (optional)
    • The init file defaults to using weston-terminal as the default terminal emulator
  • Cargo
    • The package manager / build system used by Rust
  • Cairo

Finally, to install Way Cooler simply run the following cargo command:

cargo install way-cooler

You can try it out while running in an X environment, or switch to a TTY and run it as a standalone.

Init File

All keyboard shortcuts are configurable through the init file. The recommended strategy is to copy the default configuration file to $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/way-cooler/init.lua and edit from there.


Way Cooler was started by @Timidger and @SnirkImmington, but these fine people have helped us:

  • @Dcelemeno for creating the logo
  • @platipo for creating the official backgrounds
  • @vinipsmaker created (and maintains) AUR packages
  • @miltador created NixOS package
  • @starfys created way-cooler desktop file
  • @toogley fixed a link
  • @paulmenzel fixed a typo
  • @thefarwind made kill way-cooler command rebindable
  • @bluss for updating our use of PetGraph to use StableGraph
  • @Abdillah
  • @hedning fixed an unsigned underflow in the tiling code
  • @jubalh created the openSUSE package

And of course, thanks to the Rust community and the developers of wlc.


Check out Contributing for more information.

If you find bugs or have questions about the code, please submit an issue or ping us on gitter.

Commit count: 3052

cargo fmt