Seebrise is a desktop environment for power users and professionals, and it is highly customised. It has evolved around the need for a desktop environment that is not getting in the way when concurrently: programming on different projects, doing multiple statistical analysis, reading scientific papers, writing technical reports or articles, and, well, doing research. It is for people, who like to optimise workflows (and maybe spending a little too much time in optimising, too), and it is for people, who take the tautology: “a window manager should manage my windows” seriously, and for people, who care about screen real estate maybe a little too much, too, if this is at all possible.

It consists basically of a collection of configuration files and scripts (mostly written in Python) that build on top of the marvellous window manager herbustluftwm yielding a fruitful touch-typing environment. It aims to give a smooth transitions between terminal emulators, editors, web, and document browsers.

It is heavily keyboard driven and key bindings are optimised for the use with a grid keyboard (i.e., a keyboard that is non-staggered). Seebrise also assumes that you are using the Dvorak variant Katzenpfote.

It centres around:

Seebrise follows a common theme for key strokes and short cuts, which makes it smooth to work with. It also provides a common colour scheme for herbstluftwm, vim, gvim, st, tmux, dzen2, and dmenu, which makes it pleasing for the eye, too.

Some Notes


If you have a freshly installed vanilla Ubuntu / Debian / MINT Linux on your system, then install the following packages.

# apt-get install xterm git vim-gtk zsh tmux herbstluftwm dmenu dzen2 feh sxiv mupdf xdotool unclutter silversearcher-ag

Or, if you prefere aptitude.

# aptitude install xterm git vim-gtk zsh tmux herbstluftwm dmenu dzen2 feh sxiv mupdf xdotool unclutter silversearcher-ag

I do like the cinnamon screensaver which is why Seebrise sets its default keybinding to invoke it. If you like it too, then install it.

# aptitude install cinnamon-screensaver

Clone the files of this repository and create all the necessary links.

% git clone ~/.config/seebrise
% cd ~/.config/seebrise
% ./create-links
% ln -s ~/.config/seebrise/herbstluftwm ~/.config/herbstluftwm

Add Seebrise to the list of X sessions

# cp ~/.config/seebrise/seebrise.desktop /usr/share/xsessions/

Make zsh your primary login shell

If you find yourself in the position that copy and paste into the terminal window with the middle mouse does not work, pressing SHIFT and the middle mouse resolves the issue. I forgot why this is or was the case but it has something to do with tmux.

% which zsh
% chsh

As you are working in the terminal a lot:

# aptitude install dtrx tree htop

Get a working python3 environment running

All scripts have been written in python3. So this is kind of obligatory.

Compile st (optional)

Seebrise is using st by default. In contrast to st’s README, I needed to install the following packages in Ubuntu in order to compile its source code:

# apt-get install libx11-dev libxft-dev libxext-dev

Then clone the source code of st and compile:

% git clone git://
% cd st
% make
% make install

Change your default terminal emulator to st:

% sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator

Set the wallpaper

Use feh to set the background to something you like.

feh --bg-fill /usr/share/backgrounds/linuxmint-serena/mstaudenmann_unveiled.jpg

This will create a file ~/.fehbg and Seebrise will used it to set the wallpaper during the next start up.


Seebrise is German for sea breeze. The default tag names are sailing boats.