Are Ubuntu devs finally going to something about the Ubuntu desktop’s rather lacklustre window tiling capabilities?

Word on the street (or rather a tip to my inbox) suggest yes, they are!

I’m told that there are plans to ship Leleat’s Tiling Assistant GNOME Shell extension as part of the default install in either Ubuntu 23.04 or Ubuntu 23.10. As part of the process the extension is going to be renamed ‘Ubuntu Tiling Assistant’.

In recent versions of Ubuntu you can drag an app window to the sides of the screen to snap it to to half of the size vertically, or drag a window to the top of the screen to maximise it fully. You can’t currently drag an app to a screen corner to snap it to 25%, nor drag a window to the top to snap it to only 50% of the available horizontal space.

Those options (and more) are provided by Tiling Assistant.

The add-on “…changes GNOME’s 2 column tiling design to a 2×2 grid (i.e. 4 quadrants)”. Or to put it another way: this extension provides the proper modern window tiling experience users expect, with support for quarter tiling, horizontal half-tiling, and super-simple resizing of tiled groups:

animated gif of advanced window tiling features on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS provided by the tiling assistant gnome extension
Tiling Assistant in action on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

Options to assign/enable keybindings for snapping windows in quadrants, etc are also provided by the extension, with window tiling able to be managed entirely through a keyboard as well as a mouse (though it remains to be seen if Ubuntu would enable these features by default and/or expose them in the Ubuntu Desktop settings panel.

Is More Window Tiling Necessary?

animated gif of tiling extension for ubuntu
Window snapping options in Tiling Assistant

Are additional window snapping options something Ubuntu should offer?

I think so.

Windows (!) offers a better, more intuitive window tiling experience than Ubuntu does at present, and even the no-frill Chrome OS is in on the action. Plus, tiling is an oft-lauded feature of System76’s Pop!_OS, and the latest version of KDE Plasma proves you can provide a killer tiling experience that’s advanced and easy for regular users to use.

So Ubuntu shipping the Tiling Assistant extension by default would be a total slam-dunk decision. I can’t imagine anyone would be hampered by additional tiling options being available out of the box.

Whenever I’ve been asked by Ubuntu devs (since the switch to GNOME Shell in 2017) the words “window” and “tiling” have always been the first things out of my mouth (that and Flatpak support, but we know that’s not going to happen ????).

You don’t have to wait for Ubuntu to adopt this extension (if it does, which isn’t a given) as the Tiling Assistant extension works with GNOME 3.36 (!) and above meaning those of you riding an older LTS release can try it out and benefit from its features without needing to upgrade to a newer release.

Let me know what you think about this possibility down in the comments or over on the omg! Mastodon.



GNOME Extensions

Ubuntu 23.04