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Setting up the i3 Window Manager


securitybreach
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securitybreach
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A few weeks ago, I started running Linux full time again (specifically, Ubuntu 20.04). I also decided to use the i3 window manager. I haven’t run this setup since college, so I had to re-learn (read: re-google) a lot of the solutions, tips, and tricks I found before that made my experience more pleasant. In this post, I will outline some of the more advanced configuration changes I made and point to some good documentation for getting started. I did all of the following configuration on Ubuntu 20.04, so I cannot speak to other versions/flavors of Linux. I hope that this post consolidates a lot of the information out there and makes it easier for someone to fully setup i3 in one go :)

Why Use i3?

Before we dive in, I think it’s prudent for me to explain why I chose to use i3. The biggest difference between i3 and the default GNOME desktop environment on Ubuntu 20.04 is that i3 is a tiling window manager. If you haven’t heard of tiling window managers, you should check them out. In short, it means that your windows are automatically laid out in such a way that your screen is always full. Open one window, and it’s full screen. Open another window, and each window now takes up half of the screen.

 

I much prefer this style as opposed to dragging and dropping windows around to arrange my desktop how I like. I know there are keyboard shortcuts that snap applications to the side on Windows, but it’s not nearly as powerful. i3 is also very configurable so I have a lot of control over exactly how my applications and workspaces are laid out. This allows me to move much faster via keeping my hands on the keyboard. For me, it’s also a chance to deal more intimately with a lot of the things we take for granted on more polished desktop environments like battery management, monitor management, etc. Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely a blessing and a curse, but it’s fun to learn more about these processes. With that being said, let’s dive into some of the configurations available to us in i3!   ................

 

 

https://bitsbybrad.com/2021-05-05-setting-up-i3/

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9 hours ago, securitybreach said:

Same, Ive been using it for about a decade now.

I think it's been that long for me too....or close to it.  I first gave it a go when I first tried Archbang.  Mr. Green, the fellow that was putting it together had a live version that used i3 as the WM.  It was a stripped down version of Archbang.  He normally used Openbox with the full version of AB (although now I see he's back to using i3).   I tried it, liked AB and using i3, so I ended up doing the full install and added i3.  I don't use Archbang now but that's how I got into using it.  I also used 'spectrwm' for awhile but went back to using i3....

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securitybreach

Well I had previously used XMonad for about 5 years before I finally tried i3wm. Talk about a huge difference, having to learn Haskell just to configure XMonad versus the plain english configuration of i3w.

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30 minutes ago, securitybreach said:

Well I had previously used XMonad for about 5 years before I finally tried i3wm. Talk about a huge difference, having to learn Haskell just to configure XMonad versus the plain english configuration of i3w.

I've heard of XMonad but have not tried it.  I've also used Awesome but not for long, like maybe a week and for kicks, tried Herbstluftwm for about 5 seconds. i3 is easy to configure.  I'm just used to using now...

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securitybreach

Well unless you want to learn the haskell programming language just to configure XMonad, you may want to steer clear.

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2 hours ago, securitybreach said:

Well unless you want to learn the haskell programming language just to configure XMonad, you may want to steer clear.

Oh, I don't wanna learn Haskell and I'm avoiding XMonad like the plague!

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