Frequently Asked Questions¶
Why the name Qtile?¶
Users often wonder, why the Q? Does it have something to do with Qt? No. Below is an IRC excerpt where cortesi explains the great trial that ultimately brought Qtile into existence, thanks to the benevolence of the Open Source Gods. Praise be to the OSG!
ramnes: what does Qtile mean? ramnes: what's the Q? @tych0: ramnes: it doesn't :) @tych0: cortesi was just looking for the first letter that wasn't registered in a domain name with "tile" as a suffix @tych0: qtile it was :) cortesi: tych0, dx: we really should have something more compelling to explain the name. one day i was swimming at manly beach in sydney, where i lived at the time. suddenly, i saw an enormous great white right beside me. it went for my leg with massive, gaping jaws, but quick as a flash, i thumb-punched it in both eyes. when it reared back in agony, i saw that it had a jagged, gnarly scar on its stomach... a scar shaped like the letter "Q". cortesi: while it was distracted, i surfed a wave to shore. i knew that i had to dedicate my next open source project to the ocean gods, in thanks for my lucky escape. and thus, qtile got its name...
When I first start xterm/urxvt/rxvt containing an instance of Vim, I see text and layout corruption. What gives?¶
Vim is not handling terminal resizes correctly. You can fix the problem by starting your xterm with the "-wf" option, like so:
xterm -wf -e vim
Alternatively, you can just cycle through your layouts a few times, which usually seems to fix it.
How do I know which modifier specification maps to which key?¶
To see a list of modifier names and their matching keys, use the
command. On my system, the output looks like this:
$ xmodmap xmodmap: up to 3 keys per modifier, (keycodes in parentheses): shift Shift_L (0x32), Shift_R (0x3e) lock Caps_Lock (0x9) control Control_L (0x25), Control_R (0x69) mod1 Alt_L (0x40), Alt_R (0x6c), Meta_L (0xcd) mod2 Num_Lock (0x4d) mod3 mod4 Super_L (0xce), Hyper_L (0xcf) mod5 ISO_Level3_Shift (0x5c), Mode_switch (0xcb)
My "pointer mouse cursor" isn't the one I expect it to be!¶
Qtile should set the default cursor to left_ptr, you must install xcb-util-cursor if you want support for themed cursors.
How can I get my groups to stick to screens?¶
This behaviour can be replicated by configuring your keybindings to not move
groups between screens. For example if you want groups
"3" on one screen and
"e" on the other, instead
of binding keys to
lazy.group[name].toscreen(), use this:
groups = [ # Screen affinity here is used to make # sure the groups startup on the right screens Group(name="1", screen_affinity=0), Group(name="2", screen_affinity=0), Group(name="3", screen_affinity=0), Group(name="q", screen_affinity=1), Group(name="w", screen_affinity=1), Group(name="e", screen_affinity=1), ] def go_to_group(name: str) -> Callable: def _inner(qtile: Qtile) -> None: if len(qtile.screens) == 1: qtile.groups_map[name].toscreen() return if name in '123': qtile.focus_screen(0) qtile.groups_map[name].toscreen() else: qtile.focus_screen(1) qtile.groups_map[name].toscreen() return _inner for i in groups: keys.append(Key([mod], i.name, lazy.function(go_to_group(i.name))))
To be able to move windows across these groups which switching groups, a similar function can be used:
def go_to_group_and_move_window(name: str): def _inner(qtile): if len(qtile.screens) == 1: qtile.current_window.togroup(name, switch_group=True) return if name in "123": qtile.current_window.togroup(name, switch_group=False) qtile.focus_screen(0) qtile.groups_map[name].toscreen() else: qtile.current_window.togroup(name, switch_group=False) qtile.focus_screen(1) qtile.groups_map[name].toscreen() return _inner
If you use the
GroupBox widget you can make it reflect this behaviour:
groupbox1 = widget.GroupBox(visible_groups=['1', '2', '3']) groupbox2 = widget.GroupBox(visible_groups=['q', 'w', 'e'])
And if you jump between having single and double screens then modifying the visible groups on the fly may be useful:
@hook.subscribe.screens_reconfigured async def _(): if len(qtile.screens) > 1: groupbox1.visible_groups = ['1', '2', '3'] else: groupbox1.visible_groups = ['1', '2', '3', 'q', 'w', 'e'] if hasattr(groupbox1, 'bar'): groupbox1.bar.draw()
Where can I find example configurations and other scripts?¶
Please visit our qtile-examples repo which contains examples of users' configurations, scripts and other useful links.
Where are the log files for Qtile?¶
The log files for qtile are at
Why do I get an
AttributeError when building Qtile?¶
If you see this message:
AttributeError: cffi library 'libcairo.so.2' has no function, constant or global variable named 'cairo_xcb_surface_create'
when building Qtile then your Cairo version lacks XCB support.
If it happens, it might be because the
were installed in the wrong order.
To fix this:
uninstall them from your environment: with
pip uninstall cairocffi xcffibif using a virtualenv, or with your system package-manager if you installed the development version of Qtile system-wide.
re-install them sequentially (again, with pip or with your package-manager):
pip install xcffib pip install --no-cache-dir cairocffi
See this issue comment for more information.
If you are using your system package-manager and the issue still happens,
the packaging of
cairocffi might be broken for your distribution.
Try to contact the persons responsible for
on your distribution, or to install it from the sources with
How can I match the bar with picom?¶
You can use
"QTILE_INTERNAL:32c = 1" in your picom.conf to match the bar.
This will match all internal Qtile windows, so if you want to avoid that or to
target bars individually, you can set a custom property and match that:
mybar = Bar(...) @hook.subscribe.startup def _(): mybar.window.window.set_property("QTILE_BAR", 1, "CARDINAL", 32)
Why do get a warning that fonts cannot be loaded?¶
When installing Qtile on a new system, when running the test suite
or the Xephyr script (
you might see errors in the output like the following or similar:
xterm: cannot load font "-Misc-Fixed-medium-R-*-*-13-120-75-75-C-120-ISO10646-1" xterm: cannot load font "-misc-fixed-medium-r-semicondensed--13-120-75-75-c-60-iso10646-1"
---------- Captured stderr call ---------- Warning: Cannot convert string "8x13" to type FontStruct Warning: Unable to load any usable ISO8859 font Warning: Unable to load any usable ISO8859 font Error: Aborting: no font found -------- Captured stderr teardown -------- Qtile exited with exitcode: -9
If it happens, it might be because you're missing fonts on your system.
On ArchLinux, you can fix this by installing
sudo pacman -S xorg-fonts-misc
Try to search for "xorg fonts misc" with your distribution name on the internet to find how to install them.
I've upgraded and Qtile's broken. What do I do?¶
If you've recently upgraded, the first thing to do is check the changelog and see if any breaking changes were made.
Next, check your log file (see above) to see if any error messages explain what the problem is.
If you're still stuck, come and ask for help on Discord, IRC or GitHub.