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Setting up the sway window manager on Fedora

Sometimes during a critical activity, working with overlapping windows becomes counterproductive. You might find a tiled window manager like sway to be a good alternative.

Sway is a tiling Wayland compositor. It has the advantage of compatibility with an existing i3 configuration, so you can use it to replace i3 and use Wayland as the display protocol.

Installing sway

To setup sway, open a new terminal and type the following command

sudo dnf install sway

Once the installation is completed, log out of your user session. At the login screen, select your user account. Before you enter your password, choose Sway from the menu, as shown in the following image.

After login, your desktop looks like this:

Configuration

To begin configuration, copy the default config into your user directory. Do that using the following commands.

mkdir -p .config/sway
cp /etc/sway/config ~/.config/sway/

Sway is highly configurable. It’s suggested you read the project’s wiki page to fine tune your settings. For example, to change the keyboard layout, open a new terminal and run this command:

$ swaymsg -t get_inputs
[george@mrwhite ~]$ swaymsg -t get_inputs Input device: VirtualPS/2 VMware VMMouse Type: Mouse Identifier: 2:19:VirtualPS/2_VMware_VMMouse Product ID: 19 Vendor ID: 2 Libinput Send Events: enabled Input device: VirtualPS/2 VMware VMMouse Type: Mouse Identifier: 2:19:VirtualPS/2_VMware_VMMouse Product ID: 19 Vendor ID: 2 Libinput Send Events: enabled Input device: AT Translated Set 2 keyboard Type: Keyboard Identifier: 1:1:AT_Translated_Set_2_keyboard Product ID: 1 Vendor ID: 1 Active Keyboard Layout: Portuguese (Brazil) Libinput Send Events: enabled

Copy the identifier keyboard code. Open your ~/.config/sway/config file with your text editor and edit the configuration accordingly:

## Input configuration
input "1:1:AT_Translated_Set_2_keyboard" { xkb_layout br
}

Save the settings. To reload the configurations, press Super+Shift+c. (Typically the Super key is mapped to the logo key on a PC.)

Waybar

Sway’s default status bar may not have all the functions you want. Fortunately Waybar is a good replacement. To install, run the follow commands. (Note, however, that COPR is not an official Fedora repository and not supported by the Fedora Project.)

sudo dnf copr enable alebastr/waybar sudo dnf install waybar 

Open your ~/.config/sway/config file. Edit the bar configuration like this:

bar { swaybar_command waybar
}

Reload the configuration and you’ll now see the waybar in action, as shown below.

To customize the waybar, you can visit this wiki page for more details and ideas.

Alacritty

Alacritty is a terminal emulator that uses the GPU for rendering, and a good replacement for urxvt. To install run the following lines

sudo dnf copr enable pschyska/alacritty
sudo dnf install alacritty

To enable it as default terminal emulator edit your ~/.config/sway/config. Change this line:

set $term urxvt256c-ml

To:

set $term alacritty

Reload your configuration.

When you open a new terminal with Super+C, alacritty will be open as seen in the following image:


Photo by Ivan Vranić on Unsplash.