Layouts are text files that define an arrangement of Zellij panes and tabs.

You can read more about creating a layout

Looking for the YAML configuration docs for versions <0.32.0? Look no further!


A basic layout can look like this:

// layout_file.kdl

layout {
    pane split_direction="vertical" {
        pane command="htop"

Which would create the following layout:


Applying a Layout

A layout can be applied when Zellij starts:

$ zellij --layout /path/to/layout_file.kdl

Or by setting it up in the configuration.

A layout can also be applied into a new tab in a running session:

$ zellij action new-tab --layout /path/to/layout_file.kdl

For more info, see: Controlling Zellij through the CLI.

Layout default directory

By default Zellij will load the default.kdl layout, found in the layouts directory (a subdirectory of the config directory [config/layouts]).

If not found, Zellij will start with one pane and one tab.

Layouts residing in the default directory can be accessed by their bare name:

zellij --layout [layout_name]

Layout Configuration Language

Zellij uses KDL as its configuration language.