Installing Qtile

Distro Guides

Below are the preferred installation methods for specific distros. If you are running something else, please see Installing From Source.

Installing From Source

First, you need to install all of Qtile’s dependencies (although some are optional/not needed depending on your python version, as noted below).


Qtile uses xcffib as an XCB binding, which has its own instructions for building from source including building several Haskell packages, but is available from PyPi via:

sudo pip install xcffib


Qtile uses cairocffi with XCB support via xcffib. The latest version on PyPi has these features once xcffib is installed:

sudo pip install cairocffi


Qtile uses the asyncio module as introduced in PEP 3156 for its event loop. Based on your Python version, there are different ways to install this:

  • Python >=3.4: The asyncio module comes as part of the standard library, so there is nothing more to install.

  • Python 3.3: This has all the infastructure needed to implement PEP 3156, but the asyncio module must be installed from the Tulip project. This is done by calling:

    sudo pip install asyncio

    Alternatively, you can install trollius (see next point).

  • Python 2 and <=3.2 (and 3.3 without asyncio): You will need to install trollius, which backports the asyncio module functionality to work without the infastructure introduced in PEP 3156. You can install this from PyPi:

    sudo pip install trollius


  • Python <=2.6 you will need to install importlib from PyPi:

    sudo pip install importlib


Until someone comes along and writes an asyncio-based dbus library, qtile will depend on python-dbus to interact with dbus. This means that if you want to use things like notification daemon or mpris widgets, you’ll need to install python-gobject and python-dbus. Qtile will run fine without these, although it will emit a warning that some things won’t work.


With the dependencies in place, you can now install qtile:

git clone git://
cd qtile
sudo python install