A tiling window manager for OS X


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Tiling window manager for macOS along the lines of xmonad.


A quick screencast of basic functionality can be found here. (It's rough, and I'd love to see a better one if someone has the skills and inclination to make one.)

Getting Amethyst

Amethyst is available for direct download here or using homebrew cask.

brew cask install amethyst

Note: that Amethyst now is only supported on OS X 10.12+.

Using Amethyst

Amethyst must be given permissions to use the accessibility APIs under the Privacy tab of the Security & Privacy preferences pane as shown below.

Accessibility permissions

Keyboard Shortcuts

Amethyst uses two modifier combinations.

  • mod1 - option + shift
  • mod2 - ctrl + option + shift

And defines the following commands, mostly a mapping to xmonad key combinations.

  • mod1 + space — cycle to next layout
  • mod2 + space - cycle to previous layout
  • mod1 + w - focus 1st screen
  • mod1 + e - focus 2nd screen
  • mod1 + r - focus 3rd screen
  • mod2 + w - move focused window to 1st screen
  • mod2 + e - move focused window to 2nd screen
  • mod2 + r - move focused window to 3rd screen
  • mod2 + [n] - move focused window to nth space
  • mod2 + left - move focused window left one space
  • mod2 + right - move focused window right one space
  • mod1 + h - shrink the main pane
  • mod1 + l - expand the main pane
  • mod1 + , - increase the number of windows in the main pane
  • mod1 + . - decrease the number of windows in the main pane
  • mod1 + j - focus the next window counterclockwise
  • mod1 + k - focus the next window clockwise
  • mod2 + j - move the focused window one space counterclockwise
  • mod2 + k - move the focused window one space clockwise
  • mod2 + h - move the focused window one window counterclockwise
  • mod2 + l - move the focused window one window clockwise
  • mod1 + return - swap the focused window with the main window
  • mod1 + t - toggle whether or not the focused window is floating
  • mod2 + t - toggle globally whether or not Amethyst tiles windows
  • mod1 + i - display the current layout for each screen
  • mod1 + z - force windows to be reevalulated
Setting Up Spaces Support

Spaces are, unfortunately, not supported right out of the box. To enable it you must activate Mission Control's keyboard shortcuts for switching to specific Desktops, as Mac OS X calls them. This option is in the Keyboard Shortcuts tab of the Keyboard preferences pane. The shortcuts will be of the form ctrl + [n]. Amethyst is only able to send a window to the nth space if the shortcut ctrl + n is enabled.

Mission Control keyboard shortcuts


If you would like to see features or particular bugs fixed check out the Trello board here and vote on things. It'll give me a better sense of what people want so I can prioritize.

I love pull requests. If you'd like to contribute please branch off of the development branch and open pull requests against it rather than master. Otherwise just try to stick to the general style of the code.

In order to build Amethyst locally, you'll need to also perform the following steps after cloning the repo:

  • Install carthage and rbenv.
    • These are not installed via the setup script so as to not casually pollute your global environment.
  • Run rake setup, which installs dependencies from Carthage and CocoaPods.
    • Note that by default CocoaPods will be installed and run via bundler. This restricts the version to get around some bugs in the current CocoaPods beta.


If you have questions or feedback you have a plethora of options. You can email me, tweet at me, or get on gitter.


Amethyst is free and always will be. That said, a couple of people have expressed their desire to donate money in appreciation. Given the current political climate I would recommend donating to one of these organizations instead:

And a bunch of technology-oriented ones:

Alternatively, I have a Patreon page set up here. Any proceeds will be donated to one of the above organizations.