Difference between revisions of "I3"

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(Default Keybindings)
m (Add link to new i3status wrapper.)
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* [[dzen]] – often used with [[conky]] to create completely custom status bars
 
* [[dzen]] – often used with [[conky]] to create completely custom status bars
 
* [http://j4status.j4tools.org/ j4status] - j4status provides a status line using several plugin to retrieve information from your computer. j4status is a part of the [http://www.j4tools.org/ j4tools] - tools set to use with i3.
 
* [http://j4status.j4tools.org/ j4status] - j4status provides a status line using several plugin to retrieve information from your computer. j4status is a part of the [http://www.j4tools.org/ j4tools] - tools set to use with i3.
 +
* [[h2status]] - trivial (less than 50 LOC) bash wrapper to i3status that nevertheless allows
 +
to conveniently write custom json entries, handle click events and asynchronously update the status bar.
  
 
==== Panel Alternatives to Status Bar ====
 
==== Panel Alternatives to Status Bar ====

Revision as of 15:23, 24 December 2013

i3 is a dynamic tiling window manager inspired by wmii that is primarily targeted at developers and advanced users.

Clients (windows) are organized in a tree data structure within containers. The tree branches via horizontal or vertical splits, and containers can also be set to tabbed or stacked layouts. Floating windows are available for corner cases that don't mix well with tiling, and remain on a separate layer above the tiled windows.

Installation

Install the i3 package group from the official repositories, which includes: i3-wm, the window manager; i3status, a package to write a status line to i3bar through stdout; and i3lock, an improved screenlocker.

Additional packages are available in the Arch User Repository. Install i3-gitAUR for the development version.

Install i3-gnomeAUR to add GNOME and X-sessions with i3 running as the window manager. An Xsession starting just the window manager is included in i3.

Configuration

Edit your ~/.xinitrc and add:

exec i3

If you want i3 to log its output (useful for debugging), add this line to ~/.xinitrc:

exec i3 -V >> ~/.i3/i3log 2>&1

If you use the Nvidia binary driver <302.17 you need to add the --force-xinerama flag to ~/.xinitrc. A detailed explanation can be found at i3wm.org.

exec i3 --force-xinerama

If you have trouble with mapping keys (ie ; as semicolon), use xorg-xev or see Extra Keyboard Keys.

$ xev | grep -A2 --line-buffered '^KeyRelease' | sed -n '/keycode /s/^.*keycode \([0-9]*\).* (.*, \(.*\)).*$/\1 \2/p'

Status bar

The internal status bar, i3-wsbar, was deprecated and replaced by i3bar in i3 v4.0.

New method: i3bar

Unlike i3-wsbar, which requires dzen2, i3bar does not have any dependencies other than i3-wm. It can be used to view information generated by conky or i3status. For example (as of version 4.1):

~/.i3/config
bar {
    output            LVDS1
    status_command    i3status
    position          top
    mode              hide
    workspace_buttons yes
    tray_output       none
    
    font -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal--13-120-75-75-C-70-iso10646-1

    colors {
        background #000000
        statusline #ffffff

        focused_workspace  #ffffff #285577
        active_workspace   #ffffff #333333
        inactive_workspace #888888 #222222
        urgent_workspace   #ffffff #900000
    }
}

For further information see the Configuring i3bar section of the official User Guide.

Alternatives to i3status

  • i3situation – a pure python 3 replacement with features provided by multithreaded plugins.
  • i3pystatus - extensible i3status replacement with many modules and very flexible configuration. Multi-threaded and lock-up free. (AUR: i3pystatus-gitAUR)
  • py3status – an extensible i3status wrapper written in python
  • dzen – often used with conky to create completely custom status bars
  • j4status - j4status provides a status line using several plugin to retrieve information from your computer. j4status is a part of the j4tools - tools set to use with i3.
  • h2status - trivial (less than 50 LOC) bash wrapper to i3status that nevertheless allows

to conveniently write custom json entries, handle click events and asynchronously update the status bar.

Panel Alternatives to Status Bar

Some users may prefer panels such as those provided by conventional Desktop Environments. This can be achieved within i3 by launching the panel application of choice during startup.

For the XFCE panel, add the following line to ~/.i3/config:

exec --no-startup-id xfce4-panel
Note: Panel features that are specific to the Desktop Environment (e.g., widgets for managing workspaces and sessions) will not work, though the normal i3 functionality will be unaffected.

Disabling i3bar is as simple as commenting out the bar{ } section of ~/.i3/config.

Quickly jumping to open window

  • quickswitch-for-i3 – A Python utility to quickly change to and locate windows in i3
  • i3-wm-scripts – search for and jump to windows with particular names matching regexp
  • winmenupy launches dmenu with a list of clients, sorted after workspaces. Selecting a client jumps to that window.

i3status

First we need to copy over the default configuration files that we will be working with to our home directory.

$ cp /etc/i3status.conf ~/.i3status.conf
Tip: The example configuration file uses eth0 and wlan0 as interface names, see Network Configuration#Device names if they do not match with your system.

Temperature Status

If you would like to add your CPU temperature to the i3status bar simply add these lines to ~/.i3status.conf:

~/.i3status.conf
order += "cpu_temperature 0"
cpu_temperature 0 {
        format = "T: %degrees °C"
    max_threshold = 65
        path = "/sys/devices/platform/coretemp.0/temp1_input"
}

If the temperature column complains that it cannot get the temperature value then change the path line to:

path = "/sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp"

Volume Manager

To enable easy management of your system volume, you can install a volume manager applet such as pa-applet-gitAUR from the AUR. This should also allow you to use your keyboards volume up, volume down, and mute keys as well as using the applet directly to manage your volume. Once it is installed add the following line to your ~/.i3/config to auto start the applet:

exec /usr/bin/pa-applet

Network Manager

If you would like to use network-manager-applet to manage your network connections, follow the instructions in NetworkManager.

Then add the the following line to your ~/.i3/config to automatically start the Network Manager applet in your system tray

exec /usr/bin/nm-applet

Workspace Names

Although it is not required, many people prefer naming frequently used workspaces. First you need to determine which monitor you want the workspace to open to. Simply type xrandr into a terminal and it will show you the available display ports. Some common ones are LVDS1 for laptops or VGA1, HDMI1, HDMI2, etc for external monitors. If you are using Xinerama instead use the outputs xinerama-0, xinerama-1, etc. Add your workspace names to ~/.i3/config You also need to modify the corresponding lines to switch to your workspaces as well as moving focused containers to those workspaces.

# Workspace names
workspace "1:Web" output LVDS1
workspace "2:Mail" output LVDS1
workspace "3:Irc" output LVDS1
workspace "4:Shell" output LVDS1
# switch to workspace
bindsym $mod+1 workspace 1:Web
bindsym $mod+2 workspace 2:Mail
bindsym $mod+3 workspace 3:Irc
bindsym $mod+4 workspace 4:Shell
# move focused container to workspace
bindsym $mod+Shift+1 move container to workspace 1:Web
bindsym $mod+Shift+2 move container to workspace 2:Mail
bindsym $mod+Shift+3 move container to workspace 3:Irc
bindsym $mod+Shift+4 move container to workspace 4:Shell

Launching programs on specific workspaces

To maximize efficiency you can setup certain programs to automatically launch to a specific workspace. This can be accomplished one of two ways. You could use the assign command so when you manually launch a program it is directed to a the workspace you assigned. An example would be:

# Assign URxvt terminals to workspace 2
assign [class="URxvt"] 2

Or if you have renamed the workspaces like the above examples then you must set the new workspace name instead of the number:

# Assign URxvt terminals to workspace 4:Shell
assign [class="URxvt"] 4:Shell
Note: To be able to determine the class, title, instance, etc of an open window you can use the tool xprop by installing the package xorg-xprop from the Extra repository.

Alternatively you can change to your target workspace with i3-msg then have your frequently used programs start automatically with the exec command:

exec --no-startup-id i3-msg 'workspace 1:Web; exec /usr/bin/firefox' 
exec --no-startup-id i3-msg 'workspace 2:Mail; exec urxvt -name Mail -e /usr/bin/mutt'
exec --no-startup-id i3-msg 'workspace 3:Irc; exec /usr/bin/urxvt -name irssi -e /usr/bin/irssi'
exec --no-startup-id i3-msg 'workspace 4:Shell; exec /usr/bin/urxvt'

Desktop Wallpaper

To be able to manage the desktop wallpaper, you need a lightweight image viewer like Feh or Nitrogen. Install feh with the command # pacman -S feh. Then you can set your wallpaper with the following command:

$ feh --bg-scale /path/to/image.file

To have feh set your image to the Desktop Wallpaper add the following line to your ~/.i3/config

exec --no-startup-id sh ~/.fehbg

Terminal Emulator

By default when you press $mod+Return it launches the i3-sensible-terminal which is a script that invokes a terminal. It attempts to start one of these terminals in the following order: $TERMINAL urxvt rxvt terminator Eterm aterm xterm gnome-terminal roxterm xfce4-terminal. You can force it to launch your terminal of choice by modifying the line bindsym $mod+Return exec i3-sensible-terminal

Scratchpad

Having a scratchpad to jot down or paste notes quickly is very handy! i3 has a feature that allows you to move a window to a scratchpad workspace. Basically it will be hidden from view until you recall it with the scratchpad show command. To send a focused window to the scratchpad with $mod+Shift+minus or to recall it with $mod+minus enter these lines into your ~/.i3/config

# Make the currently focused window a scratchpad
bindsym $mod+Shift+minus move scratchpad

# Show the first scratchpad window
bindsym $mod+minus scratchpad show

You can start your favorite editor (ie Gedit, vim, nano, etc) on startup and have it automatically moved to the scratchpad workspace to quickly recall it when needed. The following example when placed in ~/.i3/config shows how you can start the urxvt terminal, have it launch the nano editor, and then move it to the scratchpad:

# starting a specially named term automatically 
exec --no-startup-id urxvt -name scratchpad -e /usr/bin/nano
# move this to scratchpad, if active
for_window [class="URxvt" instance="scratchpad"] move scratchpad

Shutdown, Reboot, Lock Screen

As there are no Shutdown, Reboot, or Lock Screen buttons, we can add some hotkey combinations to help us out. First we need to create this script and save it as i3exit. Remember to make it executable with chmod +x and to place it somewhere in your $PATH.

#!/bin/sh
lock() {
    i3lock
}

case "$1" in
    lock)
        lock
        ;;
    logout)
        i3-msg exit
        ;;
    suspend)
        lock && systemctl suspend
        ;;
    hibernate)
        lock && systemctl hibernate
        ;;
    reboot)
        systemctl reboot
        ;;
    shutdown)
        systemctl poweroff
        ;;
    *)
        echo "Usage: $0 {lock

Now add the following lines to your ~/.i3/config Once completed you will be presented with a prompt whenever you press $mod+pause.

set $mode_system System (l) lock, (e) logout, (s) suspend, (h) hibernate, (r) reboot, (Shift+s) shutdown
mode "$mode_system" {
    bindsym l exec --no-startup-id i3exit lock, mode "default"
    bindsym e exec --no-startup-id i3exit logout, mode "default"
    bindsym s exec --no-startup-id i3exit suspend, mode "default"
    bindsym h exec --no-startup-id i3exit hibernate, mode "default"
    bindsym r exec --no-startup-id i3exit reboot, mode "default"
    bindsym Shift+s exec --no-startup-id i3exit shutdown, mode "default"  

    # back to normal: Enter or Escape
    bindsym Return mode "default"
    bindsym Escape mode "default"
}
bindsym $mod+Pause mode "$mode_system"

Screensaver and Power Management

You can use DPMS to blank your screen or to suspend/poweroff your monitor. Adding the following line to your ~/.i3/config will suspend your monitor after 10 minutes.

exec --no-startup-id xset dpms 600

With xss-lockAUR you can register a screenlocker for your i3 session. xss-lock subscribes to the systemd-events suspend, hibernate, lock-session, and unlock-session with appropriate actions (run locker and wait for user to unlock or kill locker). It also reacts to the X screensaver and runs or kills the locker in response to the x-server signals. Start xss-lock in your autostart like this:

xss-lock -- i3lock -i background_image &

Usage

See the official documentation on this subject for more information: i3 User’s Guide

In i3, commands are invoked using a modifier key, which is referred to as $mod. This is the Alt key (Mod1) by default, with the Windows key (Mod4) being a popular alternative.

Default Keybindings

(Many thanks for Funtoo Linux team foor the excellent wiki (http://www.funtoo.org/I3_Tiling_Window_Manager))

Key Command
$mod + Enter Open terminal
$mod + A Focus Parent
$mod + S Stacked Layout
$mod + W Tabbed Layout
$mod + E Default Layout
$mod + SpaceBar Focus tiling/floating
$mod + D dmenu
$mod + H Split Horizontal
$mod + V Split Vertically
$mod + J Left
$mod + K Down
$mod + J Up
$mod + ; Right
$mod + Shift + Q Kill window
$mod + Shift + E Exit i3
$mod + Shift + C Reload i3config without restarting
$mod + Shift + R Restart i3 (reloads i3config without exiting i3)
$mod + Shift + J Move left
$mod + Shift + K Move down
$mod + Shift + L Move up
$mod + Shift + : Move right
$mod + Shift + SpaceBar Toggle tiling/floating

Application launcher

i3 currently uses dmenu as a application launcher, which is bound by default to $mod+d.

By default i3-dmenu-desktop is used as a wrapper for dmenu. i3-dmenu-desktop creates a list of all installed applications via their .desktop files. There is a rewrite of this perl script called j4-dmenu-desktop-gitAUR, which is a near-drop-in replacement for the script shipped with i3, but much faster.

Clipboard (copy & paste issues)

By default, when you close a window, the buffer with the clipboard info will disappear. You have to use a clipboard manager like clipit to avoid that.

See also

Arch Linux Forums