From Alpine Linux

River is a dynamic tiling Wayland compositor. An introduction to River can be found in this blog post by the developer for the 0.1.0 release.

This wiki was written starting from a fresh install using the Alpine 3.14.2 x86_64 extended .iso. The steps begin from the first reboot after running setup-alpine and performing a sys install to disk.

Many steps below were taken from the wiki entry for installing Sway.


Login as root.

Edit the repositories file and uncomment the community and testing repos. For 3.14.2, we need edge/community to get the correct software versions to support River:

Contents of /etc/apk/repositories

#http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.17/main #http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/v3.17/community http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/edge/main http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/edge/community http://dl-cdn.alpinelinux.org/alpine/edge/testing

Setting up eudev on a desktop system is recommended:

# setup-devd udev

For more details and advanced instructions see Device Manager.

Then install the mesa gallium drivers:

# apk add mesa-dri-gallium

The following links contain guides for setting up the video stack.

Install River and the documentation:

# apk add river river-doc

river-doc is required if you want use the example config.

Install your choice of additional packages:

This list includes icons, fonts, and a terminal emulator named foot which is the default in River's sample init file that we will use later.

# apk add adwaita-icon-theme foot font-dejavu

Install and configure seatd to start automatically.

Logout and log back in as the new user.

Running River

Before running River for the first time, copy the sample init file to ~/.config:

install -Dm0755 /usr/share/doc/river/examples/init -t ~/.config/river

Set XDG_RUNTIME_DIR and then start River:



Following are a few notes that are most certainly not related to River whatsoever but rather discovered while running River so I'm tacking them onto the end of this wiki.

Firefox 89.0.1 complains on launch "glxtest: libpci missing", resolved by:

apk add pciutils-libs

Firefox 89.0.1 complains continuously "Unable to load hand2 from the cursor theme", resolved by:

mkdir -p ~/.icons/default ln -s /usr/share/icons/Adwaita/cursors .icons/default/cursors