How to install the Bluetile tiling window manager in Ubuntu

Bluetile is a tiling window manager for X based systems. It’s originally based on xmonad( It can automatically arrange the windows in such a manner that they tile the screen, maximizing the resources available.


The official list of features is as follows:

  • Designed to integrate with the GNOME desktop environment

  • Hybrid approach: Stacking window layout & tiling layouts available

  • All features accessible from mouse, as well as keyboard

  • Maximizing & minimizing windows in all layouts

  • Good multihead support

  • Proper handling of fullscreen applications


Credits for the video go out to Jan Vorneberger ( from Vimeo.

Installation of Bluetile can be a rather challenging task, since there not being many how-tos on the subject and the project being a rather unknown one. Hopefully, this guide will fix some bits of the former .

Let’s get the dependencies out of the way:

sudo apt-get install build-essential checkinstall libghc6-network-dev libghc6-parsec-dev libghc6-mtl-dev libghc6-zlib-dev libghc6-glade-dev libghc6-gtk-dev ghc


We now need to download and install Gtk2Hs. If you’d like to handle this part yourself, you can get it here (

Otherwise, just paste in the following commands.


Extract the archive the usual way (tar –xvzf ‘archive_name.tar.gz) and navigate to the folder contained within. Execute the commands below:

sudo checkinstall --fstrans=no --install=yes --pkgname=gtk2hs --pkgversion "0:10.1-12ubuntu3" --default

Now, we need to install Haskell’s cabal. Just bring up a terminal and do the following:


Extract it and navigate to the folder contained within. Run the commands below:

sudo ln -s $HOME/.cabal/bin/cabal /usr/local/bin/cabal

All that now remains is using Cabal to install Bluetile itself. Just execute the following:

cabal update
cabal install bluetile

If you need help with using Bluetile, I recommend heading to the Haskell wiki located at ( It’s extremely helpful

Just a fair warning to Natty folks, this isn’t tested on 11.04. Chances are that it won’t work, but you’re welcome to try it out anyways