This page explains how Qtile's API works and how it can be accessed. Users who just want to find a list of commands can jump to the API commands page.

Qtile's command API is based on a graph of objects, where each object has a set of associated commands, combined with a number of interfaces that are used to navigate the graph and execute associated commands.

This page gives an overview of the command graph and the various interfaces accessible by users. The documentation also contains details of all the commands that are exposed by objects on the graph.


While users are able to access the internal python objects (e.g. via a qtile instance), this is not part of the "official" API. These objects and method are not currently included in the documentation but can be viewed by looking at the source code on github. Changes to commonly-used internal objects will be kept to a minimum.

The graph and object commands are used in a number of different places:

  • Commands can be bound to keys in the Qtile configuration file using the lazy interface.

  • Commands can be called from a script using one of the various available interfaces to interact with Qtile from Python or shell scripts.

A couple of additional options are available if you are looking for more interactive access:

If the explanations in the pages below seems a bit complex, please take a moment to explore the API using the qtile shell command shell. The shell provides a way to navigate the graph, allowing you to see how nodes are connected. Available nodes can be displayed with the ls command while command lists and detailed documentation can be accessed from the built-in help command. Commands can also be executed from this shell.