Frequently Asked Questions


ModMask = Control Shift Mod1 doesn’t work

This usually happens when something else is still holding a grab on the key combinations you want to use.

The most common culprit is the Grid plugin for the Compiz window manager. To resolve the conflict, disable the Grid plugin (or just the offending keybindings) in CCSM and then log out and back in to ensure that the changes get applied.

To help in diagnosing this problem, QuickTile will attempt to report failure to grab hotkeys when you start it with --daemonize in a terminal.

WARNING: Failed to bind key. It may already be in use: <Ctrl><Alt>KP_5

(However, this isn’t 100% reliable because it is possible for your compositor to implement global hotkeys by intercepting events before they reach XGrabKey)

QuickTile resizes windows but doesn’t move them

Some window managers can be set to ignore requests by applications to move your windows. This used to be a problem before QuickTile started announcing itself to the system as a window-management utility, but it shouldn’t be any longer.

If you are still experiencing this, please report it so the cause can be investigated. While you wait, you can work around it by disabling the misbehaving application protection in your window manager.

Under GNOME 2’s Metacity WM, this was accomplished using the following command:

gconftool-2 --set "/apps/metacity/general/disable_workarounds" false --type bool

Terminator animates to zero width/height when resized

This is a bug in Terminator that both QuickTile and Xfwm’s more limited built-in tiling support can trigger.

Right-click your Terminator window, select Preferences, and then uncheck “Window geomtry hints” in the Global tab.

It is my hope that QuickTile will become immune to it when I find time to implement full support for taking windows’ requested size restrictions into account when calculating destination shapes.

Tiled windows are misaligned on a Compiz-based desktop

This is apparently a symptom of a conflict between QuickTile and the Compiz Grid plugin.

Make sure you’ve disabled the Grid plugin in CCSM. If the problem persists, log out and back in to ensure that the changes have taken effect.

Tiled windows have huge margins on Elementary OS

This happens because, from QuickTile’s perspective, the pretty shadows are part of the window decorations.

I don’t know of a proper fix, but you can work around this by removing them. To do so, open /usr/share/themes/elementary/gtk-3.0/gtk-widgets.css and make the following change:

decoration {
    border-radius: 4px 4px 0 0;
        0 0 0 1px @decoration_border_color,
        0 14px 28px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.35),
        0 10px 10px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.22);
    margin: 12px;
decoration {
        box-shadow: none;
        border: none;
        padding: 0;
        margin: 1;

Firefox windows have huge margins

As with Elementary OS, this is a bug related to how windows draw shadows.

I haven’t narrowed down the specific conditions which trigger it yet, but it can be worked around by disabling Firefox’s support for using CSD to put the tabs in the titlebar. To do so:

  1. Choose Customize from the context menu for any toolbar or tab widget which does not define a custom context menu.

  2. Uncheck the Title Bar checkbox in the bottom-left corner.

  3. Click the Done button.

(Be aware that, when I enabled CSD for test purposes, it reset all my Firefox window positions to my center monitor. I’m not sure if this is because it is my primary monitor or if it’s because it was the monitor containing the active window.)

You can then recover the ability to have the top-most row of pixels on your screen pass mouse events to the tab bar by disabling window decorations and relying on Alt and the left and right mouse buttons to move and resize your Firefox windows in situations where you want mouse-based window manipulation.

Under KDE, this can be accomplished through the Window Rules control panel, accessible through the titlebar context menu (Alt + F3) as More Actions ‣ Special Window Settings….

For Openbox-based desktops, the equivalent can be achieved by making this modification to your Openbox configuration file:

  <!-- ... -->
    <!-- ... -->
    <application name="Firefox" title="*Mozilla Firefox*">

As a more generic solution, the Devil’s Pie or Devil’s Pie 2 utilities can retrofit window rules onto any window manager. (Devil’s Pie 2 replaces the original Devil’s Pie’s syntax with an embedded Lua runtime.)

The following script will serve the purpose for Devil’s Pie:

if (is (application_name) "Firefox") and (contains (window_name) "Mozilla Firefox")

I get an error when I try to run QuickTile

You probably either lack a dependency or have bits of a previous installation lying around. Follow the Removal instructions, make sure you have all required dependencies installed, and try installing again.

If this does not fix it, try running QuickTile via ./ or or python3 -m quicktile instead.

If that works, then your setuptools is breaking when asked to install packages which declare console_scripts.

If it does not work, then open an issue and I’ll try to help you.

Other Questions

When will you support Wayland?

Never. Wayland’s security model makes it impossible to move and resize windows belonging to other applications unless you are the compositor itself.

You’ll have to poke the creators of your compositor to improve tiling support or switch to a different compositor.

Depending on how your compositor works, running QuickTile under XWayland may or may not allow it to see other X11 applications running under XWayland.

Does QuickTile run on macOS?

It’s not a primary target, since I don’t have a Mac to test with, but if SpectrWM can run via, QuickTile isn’t out of the question.

The GTK+ 2.x version of libwnck failed to retrieve the active window and development of a workaround [1] [2] stalled when I fell out of contact with the person who wanted it and no longer had anyone to test changes.

I don’t know whether the GTK 3.x version of libwnck is any better, but, if not and you’re willing to test rapid-fire changes to the code, macOS support isn’t out of the question.

A list of shareware alternatives with official OSX support is also available on StackOverflow

QuickTile doesn’t meet my needs. What can I do?

You could contribute code or file a feature request and wait.

If that’s not good enough, Wikipedia’s Tiling window manager page does contain a section listing other tools that might meet your needs. (Ones for other platforms like Windows too, for that matter)

Another useful place for Windows users to look is the alternativeTo page for WinSplit Revolution.