Wayland is the new better windowing protocol for Linux which is supposed to replace X11 windowing system. It’s still in beta stage. I decided to give it a go on my ThinkPad X200 which runs Parabola GNU/Linux-libre. These instructions will work on Arch GNU/Linux as well since Parabola is based on it.


I tried Sway windows manager and Wayland, and it was awesome!

I started with a fresh installation without any X tools. I installed Wayland and then sway.

sudo pacman -S wayland
sudo pacman -S sway

I just typed in sway, and Sway started on the same tty console. Awesome! :) Welcome to Sway!

Sway is drop-in replacement for the i3 window manager, but for Wayland. It is supposed to work with existing i3 configurations. (But I’m no i3 user, I used to work with awesome.)

System wide sway configuration file is located at /etc/sway/config/, I recommend copying that file to ~/.config/sway/config/ and do necessary changes. And it’s worth installing urxvt terminal emulator as well. sudo pacman -S rxvt-unicode With default sway configuration, Super Key + Enter gives you urxvt. I found Epiphany to be nice web browser on Sway, but had to install couple of fonts to make it look good. So this what I did:

sudo pacman epiphany
sudo pacman ttf-freefont
sudo pacman ttf-dejavu

Epiphany on Sway: Epiphany on Sway/Wayland

I tried out EOG (Eye of GNOME) image browser and mpv media player and everything worked well. EOG: Eye of GNOME on Sway/Wayland

mpv: mpv on Sway/Wayland

Tips & Tricks

  • With default sway configuration, Super Key + Shift + e exits you from Sway.
  • You can have multiple Sway/Wayland sessions by executing sway on multiple tty consoles.
  • swaygrab takes screenshots.
  • Sway comes with bunch of helpful man pages.