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Subtle is a manual tiling window manager with a rather uncommon approach of tiling: Per default there is no typical layout enforcement, windows are placed on a position (gravity) in a custom grid. The user can change the gravity of each window either directly per grabs or with rules defined by tags in the config.


Currently there are two different packages available:

The stable version is in community and can be installed with pacman, the developer snapshot is in AUR and needs either a special tool like yaourt, clyde or packer or can be installed manually.


On start subtle will check if a config file is available in the typical XDG paths and use it. A local config is preferred over a system wide. (See Template:Codeline)

Then it will have a look for sublets in the XDG paths too and load them accordingly. (See Template:Codeline)

No system wide sublets will be loaded per default.

  • To create a user config just create $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/subtle and copy the latest config from the dist folder into it. To do this, type the following command into the console:


  • To enable sublets create $XDG_DATA_HOME/subtle/sublets and create symlinks to the sublets. (Load order is alphabetically)

Always compare your existing config with the one of the repository/tarball to get the latest options.

This and more info can be found on the subtle website.

Note: The default keybindings use the numeric keypad for selecting window size-positions ("gravities") which is awkward on a laptop where NumLock will be required, so laptop users will want to rebind these functions - the default config contains an alternate methods for this.


The appearance of subtle, that is, the colors of the panels, subtlets and other such elements are configured according to what is set in the *Colors* section (in subtle stable) and in the *Styles* section (in subtle-hg). Note that theme configurations for subtle stable and subtle-hg are different.

In the Template:Filename for subtle stable, look for lines that look similar to what is shown below to change the appearance of the panels, etc.: Template:File

In the Template:Filename of the subtle-hg build, look for the lines below: Template:File


If you have problems, suggestions or just want to talk about subtle feel free to join #subtle on or drop a mail to _unexist_ at _dorfelite_ dot _net_.