I have just started using the Vimium plugin for Chrome and I am kicking myself for not using it earlier. It is packed with features that make web browsing much easier, and also uses very similar shortcuts to the popular terminal editor Vim (hence the name). One of my favorite features of Vimium is the ability to select a link by pressing f followed by the letters associated to a link. This plugin (along with the link select feature) as gotten me to rely on the mouse much less when doing computer work (which is the goal).

So, I was wondering if there exists a window manager that has a feature similar to the link select feature of Vimium. The majority of my mouse use is for changing focus of windows (which is a waste of time). I understand that there is the Alt-Tab and Alt-Esc shortcuts that can be used to change focus, but that requires me to move through a list and its not always clear which window belongs to which program.

So my question is, what window managers exist that implement a window selection feature similar to the link selection feature of Vimium?

  • Not quite sure what you're looking for, have you considered xmonad? Mar 13, 2016 at 8:00

2 Answers 2



i3 is a tiling window manager. i3 has user-definable modes and VIM inspired keyboard shortcuts.

I like it as it's very well documented and the config is easy to mod (changing key-usage, adding modes, etc.).

I chose it over xmonad almost on a coin flip (both tiling wms), weighted by the fact that xmonad config looks more complex (it's Haskell based). I've not used other tiling wms, but I'm sure they (like xmonad) achieve similar things.

I've found a tiling wm cuts down on mouse use due to the simplification of window placement/selection.

  • But do i3 or xmonad have the feature of pressing/selecting on application's buttons/controls only with keystrokes? For me, that's the killer feature that Vimium gives browsers.
    – butla
    Jun 28, 2020 at 19:32
  • @butla: No. How an application responds to keyboard shortcuts is the responsibility of the application, not the window manager hosting it. The original post asks for a window manager to enable such window selection.
    – eff
    Jul 2, 2020 at 11:12


I haven't used this, but it claims:

A lightweight, tiling X11 window manager that mimics vi by offering operators, motions and modes.

So I think it meets your requirements pretty well. Here is the documentation.

enter image description here

  • As of 2020-06, it looks like there were no new commits since 2018, so the project might be dead (I doubt an active beta wouldn't have new commits for so long).
    – butla
    Jun 28, 2020 at 19:35

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