Manjaro Sway | Tiling WM For Wayland

Manjaro Sway is a drop in replacement for the i3 tiling window manager intended to be used on Wayland. This image is designed specifically for use on the Raspberry Pi 4. I decided to check it out on my Raspberry Pi 400. I downloaded the latest available image and flashed it to a 32GB SD card.

The first time you boot up Manjaro Sway on the Raspberry Pi you’ll have some initial setup to do before you get to the desktop. This setup includes things like your setting your keyboard layout, time zone, user account etc. Once this process has complete the system will reboot and plant you at the login screen.

Once you’ve logged in it should feel instantly familiar to users that have used the i3 tiling window manager. You have your panel at the topic which includes some indicators such as sound and network connections. Here you will also find the workspaces where you can run up to 10 workspaces and switch between them using the modifier (ALT) key and pressing the corresponding number.

Manjaro Sway includes a handy little dialogue at the bottom with some commonly used keyboard shortcuts to help get you off your feet. One the the shortcuts I found particularly useful was the built in screen recorder which will slow you to record your screen and output the file to your Videos folder. 

To access the application launcher (Wofi) you can use the keyboard shortcut if your modifier key plus D. This will bring up a rofi like application launcher in the centre of your screen where you can search for and launch applications.

On a fresh boot my system was using roughly 360MB of RAM. Interacting with the system and using applications felt fast and smooth and I didn’t experience any out of the ordinary hang ups or crashes. Media playback works out of the box thanks to MPV Media Player and watching 1080P videos on YouTube was issue free. Some of the applications included out of the box on Manjaro Sway for the Raspberry Pi 4 are;

  • Pamac Manager
  • Firefox 
  • Thunar 
  • Ranger
  • Neovim
  • Foliate
  • MPV Media Player

Overall I’m extremely impressed with how well Manjaro Sway performed on my Raspberry Pi 400. If you’re looking for a relatively lightweight distribution to run on your Raspberry Pi and have an affinity for i3 like tiling window managers give this one a shot. If you would like to check Manjaro Sway out for yourself click here to head over to their downloads page. 

What do you think of Manjaro Sway? Let me know in the comments below!

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