List of software for Wayland

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This page gives brief lists of various desktop related packages for Wayland, such as compositors, application launchers, and so on.

For the basics of Wayland, see Wayland.

Many packages below are found in the overlay wayland-desktop, but not yet merged to the official portage tree.


In Gentoo, many Wayland compositors are found in the category gui-wm.

Window managers can be classified mostly as three kinds below. (Notice Wayland compositors have the role of window managers.)

  • Stacking (aka floating): The traditional mode of how window managers are expected to behave, similar to that of Windows or OS X. Windows act like pieces of paper on a desk, and can be stacked on top of each other.
  • Tiling: Windows are tiled so that none of them overlap. These usually make very extensive use of key-bindings and traditionally have little to no reliance on the mouse. Tiling window managers may be manual, offer predefined layouts, or both.
  • Dynamic: These window managers can dynamically switch between stacking and tiling configurations.
Name Package Type Usability Extra notes
Enlightenment x11-wm/enlightenment Stacking Ok Eye candy compositor part of the Enlightenment desktop environment
Hikari gui-wm/hikari Stacking Ok Simple, clean compositor inspired by OpenBSD's x11-wm/cwm
KWin kde-plasma/kwin Dynamic Ok KDE's compositing window manager/Wayland compositor.
Mutter x11-wm/mutter Stacking Ok GNOME's compositing window manager/Wayland compositor.
Sway gui-wm/sway Tiling Ok x11-wm/i3 clone
Wayfire gui-wm/wayfire Stacking Ok Beautiful, eye candy compositor inspired by Compiz
Cage gui-wm/cage Kiosk Beta Kiosk based compositor for displaying a single fullscreen application (in GURU)
Cagebreak gui-wm/cagebreak Tiling Beta Tiling compositor inspired by RatPoison (in wayland-desktop)
DWL gui-wm/dwl Tiling Unstable DWM clone
Hyprland gui-wm/hyprland Tiling Unstable Dynamic tiling compositor that doesn't sacrifice on its looks
Kiwmi gui-wm/kiwmi Stacking Unstable Fully programmable compositor configurable with Lua (in wayland-desktop)
LabWC gui-wm/labwc Stacking Unstable OpenBox clone (in wayland-desktop)
Liri gui-liri/liri-shell Stacking Unstable QT shell from Liri OS (in wayland-desktop)
Newm gui-wm/newm Tiling Unstable Wayland compositor written with laptops and touchpads in mind (in wayland-desktop). Note that newm has now become unmaintained [1], though a fork of it has been created[2].
River gui-wm/river Tiling Unstable Dynamic tiling compositor, inspired by DWM and BSpWM (in wayland-desktop)
Waybox gui-wm/waybox Stacking Unstable OpenBox clone (in wayland-desktop)
Weston dev-libs/weston Stacking Not for general use reference compositor implementation for developers

Functionality by compositor

Sway is based on wlroots; other compositors based on wlroots include DWL, Hyprland, River and Wayfire. An extension available on Sway might be available on such other wlroots-based compositors as well.

The following tables are based on the information provided at Wayland Explorer; last updated 2023-09-24. A number indicates which version of an extension is supported by a compositor.

Wayland extensions marked 'core'

Extension Latest version KWin Mir Mutter Sway Weston
wl_compositor 6 5 4 5 5 5
wl_shm 1 1 1 1 1 1
wl_data_device_manager 3 3 3 3 3 3
wl_shell 1 1
wl_seat 9 8 8 8 8 7
wl_output 4 4 4 4 4 4
wl_subcompositor 1 1 1 1 1 1

Wayland extensions marked 'stable'

Extension Latest version KWin Mir Mutter Sway Weston
Presentation time 1 1 1
Viewporter 1 1 1 1
XDG shell 6 4 5 4 2 5

Wayland extensions marked 'staging'

Extension Latest version KWin Mir Mutter Sway Weston
Idle notify 1 1 1
Session lock 1 1 1

Wayland extensions marked 'unstable'

Extension Latest version KWin Mir Mutter Sway Weston
XDG decoration 1 1 1
Idle inhibit 1 1 1 1
Primary selection 1 1 1 1 1

Display managers

A display manager (DM), sometimes known as login manager, presents the user with a graphical login screen to start a GUI session.

For the full article and available DMs, see display manager.

Application launchers

Name Package Usability Extra notes
bemenu dev-libs/bemenu Ok dmenu clone
Fuzzel gui-apps/fuzzel Ok Application launcher similar to rofi's 'drun' mode (in wayland-desktop)
j4-dmenu-desktop x11-misc/j4-dmenu-desktop Ok i3-desktop-menu replacement
lavaLauncher gui-apps/lavalauncher Ok simple, static, launcher
nwg-launchers gui-apps/nwg-launchers Ok GTK based static-bar + logout + grid (in GURU)
rofi-wayland gui-apps/rofi-wayland Ok A window switcher, run dialog and dmenu replacement - fork with wayland support (in GURU)
Wofi gui-apps/wofi Ok rofi clone (in GURU)

Clipboard managers

Name Package Usability Extra notes
wl-clipboard gui-apps/wl-clipboard Ok Simple command-line programs

Desktop notifications

Name Package Usability Extra notes
Dunst x11-misc/dunst Ok Customizable and lightweight notification-daemon
Mako gui-apps/mako Ok Lightweight wayland notification daemon
Notification Daemon x11-misc/notification-daemon Ok Notification daemon from GNOME project
Tiramisu gui-apps/tiramisu Ok Minimalistic desktop notifications provider (in GURU)

Status bars

Name Package Usability Extra notes
i3status-rust x11-misc/i3status-rust Ok Very resource friendly and feature-rich replacement for i3status (in GURU)
SFWBar gui-apps/swfbar Ok Sway Floating Window Bar (in GURU)
Waybar gui-apps/waybar Ok Highly customizable Wayland bar for Sway and Wlroots based compositors
Yambar gui-apps/yambar Ok Modular status panel for X11 and Wayland, inspired by polybar (in wayland-desktop)

Terminal emulators

Name Package Usability Extra notes
Alacritty x11-terms/alacritty Ok GPU-accelerated terminal emulator
Kitty x11-terms/kitty Ok A modern, hackable, featureful, OpenGL-based terminal emulator
Mlterm x11-terms/mlterm Ok A multi-lingual terminal emulator
foot gui-apps/foot Ok A fast and lightweight terminal emulator for Wayland (in GURU)

Wallpaper managers

Name Package Usability Extra notes
Azote gui-apps/azote Ok Wallpaper and color manager for X and wlroots based compositors (in GURU)
MPVPaper gui-apps/mpvpaper Ok Video wallpaper program for wlroots based compositors (in GURU)
Oguri gui-apps/oguri Ok Wallpaper daemon supporting animated wallpapers for Wayland compositors (in wayland-desktop)
SwayBG gui-apps/swaybg Ok Wallpaper utility for all Wayland compositors

Screenlock and idle management

Name Package Usability Extra notes
Swayidle gui-apps/swayidle Ok Idle management daemon for all wayland compositors
Swaylock gui-apps/swaylock Ok Screen locker for all wayland compositors
Swaylock-effects gui-apps/swaylock-effects Ok Swaylock fork with fancy effects (in GURU)

Multiple display configurators

Name Package Usability Extra notes
Kanshi gui-apps/kanshi Ok Dynamic display configuration, like autorandr, for all wayland compositors
wdisplays gui-apps/wdisplays Ok GUI display configurator for all wayland compositors (in GURU)
wlr-randr gui-apps/wlr-randr Ok Xrandr clone for all wayland compositors (in GURU)

Screenshots and recording

Name Package Usability Extra notes
Grim gui-apps/grim Ok Screen image grabber for all wayland compositors
Slurp gui-apps/slurp Ok Screen region selector for all wayland compositors
Swappy gui-apps/swappy Ok Screenshotting and editing tool for all wayland compositors, inspired by OS X snappy
wf-recorder gui-apps/wf-recorder Ok Screen recorder for all wayland compositors

Remote access

Name Package Usability Extra notes
Wayvnc gui-apps/wayvnc Beta VNC server for wlroots based compositors
Waypipe gui-apps/waypipe Unstable Transparent proxy for all wayland compositors

See also

External resources