Sway in experimental

A couple of days ago the 1.0-RC2 version of Sway, a Wayland compositor, landed in Debian experimental. Sway is a drop in replacement for the i3 tiling window manager for wayland. Drop in replacement means that, apart from minor adaptions, you can reuse your existing i3 configuration file for Sway. On the Website of sway you can find a short introduction video that shows the most basic concepts of using Sway, though if you have worked with i3 you will feel at home soon.

In the video the utility swaygrab is mentioned, but this tool is not part of Sway anymore. There is another screenshot tool now though, called grim which you can combine with the tool slurp if you want to select regions for screenshots. The video also mentions swaylock, which is a screen locking utility similar to i3lock. It was split out of the main Sway release a couple of weeks ago but there also exists a Debian package by now. And there is a package for swayidle, which is a idle management daemon, which comes handy for locking the screen or for turning of your display after a timeout. If you need clipboard manager, you can use wl-clipboard. There is also a notification daemon called mako (the Debian package is called mako-notifier and is in NEW) and if you don’t like the default swaybar, you can have a look at waybar (not yet in Debian, see this RFS). If you want to get in touch with other Sway users there is a #sway IRC channel on freenode. For some tricks setting up Sway you can browse the wiki.

If you want to try Sway, beware that is is a release candiate and there are still bugs. I’m using Sway since a couple of month and though i had crashes when it still was the 1.0-beta.1 i hadn’t any since beta.2. But i’m using a pretty conservative setup.

Sway was started by Drew DeVault who is also the upstream maintainer of wlroots, the Wayland compositor library Sway is using and who some might now from his sourcehut project (LWN Article). He also just published an article about Wayland misconceptions. The upstream of grim, slurp and mako is Simon Ser, who also contributes to sway. A lot of thanks for the Debian packaging is due to nicoo who did most of the heavy lifting and to Sean for having patience when reviewing my contributions. Also thanks to Guido for maintaining wlroots!

sway debian