Notion is a tiling, tabbed window manager for the X window system:

  • Tiling: you divide the screen into non-overlapping ‘tiles’. Every window occupies one tile, and is maximized to it
  • Tabbing: a tile may contain multiple windows - they will be ‘tabbed’
  • Static: most tiled window managers are ‘dynamic’, meaning they automatically resize and move around tiles as windows appear and disappear. Notion, by contrast, does not automatically change the tiling. You’re in control.

Features include:

  • Workspaces: each workspace has its own tiling
  • Multihead: the mod_xinerama plugin provides very nice dual-monitor support
  • RandR: mod_xrandr picks up changes in the multihead configuration, without the need for restarting Notion.
  • Extensibility: Notion can be extended with lua scripts. Browse through the scripts collection.

Supported platforms:

Notion primarily targets Linux, with version 4.0.0 making its way into distributions now. In the past Notion has also successfully ran on Solaris (Solaris 10, OpenSolaris and OpenIndiana), NetBSD and OSX. This is not currently actively supported, however, so running Notion there might need some code changes.

Get Notion

The preferred way to get Notion is through your distributions’ package manager. We are included in:

If Notion is not yet available for your distribution, or you would like to try a newer version, then you can get the sources from our git repo, either by checking out the latest master or downloading a source package for the latest release.


Check out this quick reference to the keyboard commands

The manual page is a good reference. For an introduction, you may follow the tour

For advanced configuration documentation, see Configuring and extending Notion with Lua

For writing patches and modules, see Notes for the module and patch writer

Support, bugs and feature requests

See Contact.


If you’d like to support Notion, you can donate. I will not spend the donations on myself, as I wouldn’t find that fair to all the other contributors. Rather I’ll use the funds to cover any costs for Notion or other community projects, or pass on the donations to other organizations doing important work in the open source world.

If you’d like to associate your donation with a particular support/documentation request, bug or other goal, you can make a note of that.


Notion is fairly feature complete (and extensible via lua scripting), we mainly expect ‘bugfix’ changes to the source code - though if you have a cool idea for a feature or are missing an extension point for your script, contributions are very welcome.

Wayland support

We would love to see a Wayland compositor that works like Notion.

volare intends to go in that direction.


Likely the best way to approach this would be to start a new codebase: supporting both X11 and Wayland from the same code would increase the complexity, and possibly tempt us into a structure that could cause us miss out on some of the advantages Wayland might bring.

One of the powers of X11 is that it is relatively easy to combine different utilities, for example using Notion with your favourite task bar/switcher. Is this possible on Wayland as well, or would we have to ‘embed’ such tools as libraries? Are there good candidates or would we have to maintain our own?


Notion 3

The current major version of Notion is Notion 4. This release includes a number of changes that are either not backwards compatible, or change the (default) behavior. Those are described in more detail in the migration notes.

The previous major version, Notion 3, is available under a slightly modified LGPL license: in short, the only extra restriction is you cannot release it under the name ‘Ion’ and cannot mix it with GPL code, but read the license itself for details.


Notion was originally a fork of Ion, which has been abandoned by its original author, Tuomo Valkonen.

Former Ion3 users will be glad to hear any changes to configuration will be backwards-compatible, so you can simply drop your ~/.ion3 tweaks into ~/.notion and rename cfg_ion.lua to cfg_notion.lua.


Notion is licensed under the LGPL.