Starting with i3wm

Feb 3, 2018

#wm, #i3wm, #i3

Few things have always interested me for no reason - viz., setting up a server - what I really mean is spinning up a new server/VM instance with a new operating system that I haven’t tried yet, trying out a new window manager, stacking a shelf full of books.

As part of that exercise this Saturday has been trying out the i3 window manager. Part of the reason is my nerd curiosity which has been tempting me to try it for a while. But part of it is also the efficiency at which you can get things done. It is super efficient if you want a desktop environment that is less resource intensive. The one I currently use is the mate-desktop - which is already super productive. But i3 looks promising.

For more information, follow the Youtube Screencasts on i3wm by CodeCast.

Below are some shortcuts that can be used wih i3wm - more like notes from the Screencast.

  1. Starting a new terminal - Mod + E.
  2. Moving across the Windows - Mod + Arrow Keys.
  3. Set window tiling to Stacked - Mod + S
  4. Set window tiling to Tab mode - Mod + W
  5. Close the window - Mod + Shift + Q
  6. Resize window - Mod + R. Use the right and left arrow keys to resize now.
  7. Move windows around - Mod + Shift + Arrow Keys
  8. Move around workspaces - Mod + <workspace_Number>
  9. Move windows between workspaces - Mod + Shift + <workspace_Number>
  10. Run dialog - Mod + D
  11. Quit i3 / Logout - Mod + Shift + E


The progress so far has been pretty good. With the exception of following issues -

  1. Dual monitor display profile.
  2. Adjusting display profile upon dock/undock.
  3. File manager integration with GUI (like with Firefox etc). Clicking “open with File Manager” option on apps like Firefox crashes i3.
  4. Task bar integration for
    • Bluetooth
    • Sound
  5. Easy way to connect wifi networks (This I can still achieve via nmcli)

More to follow!