Wayland Desktop Landscape

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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.

Notice: 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 (in GURU)
Hyprland gui-wm/hyprland Tiling Unstable Dynamic tiling compositor that doesn't sacrifice on its looks (in wayland-desktop)
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)
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

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)
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

External resources