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Nikhil Kumar

A stylish blog on my code

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i3 tiling window manager

Why did I switch to a tiling window manager?

I am not going to say that a minimalistic environment such as i3 is better than a desktop manager such as KDE, GNOME, MATE, or Xfce, but a minimalistic environment has helped me improve my tactics. After switching to a tiling window manager, I have found myself more focused on my task at hand and more efficient with my screen usage. Before using a tiling window manager, I would often clutter up my windows on one workspace, even when I had workspace switching as an option.

i3

I choose i3 tiling window manager. According to the i3 webpage:

i3 is a tiling window manager, completely written from scratch. The target platforms are GNU/Linux and BSD operating systems, our code is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) under the BSD license. i3 is primarily targeted at advanced users and developers.

Installing i3

1
sudo pacman -S i3 

Caution: If you are using startx, make sure to edit your ~/.xinitrc and add the line exec i3. I am using KDM, the login manager for kde to start i3.

Neat keybindings for i3

i3 has a special $mod key which you would use anytime when you are using i3’s special keybindings. You can decide which key this $mod is. It is usually alt or the windows key. Some of the most common used key bindings are:

  • $mod + Enter                    Open terminal
  • $mod + D                            Opens the dmenu
  • $mod + Shift + Q          Kills the current window
  • $mod + Shift + E          Exits i3
  • $mod + Shift + R          Restarts i3
  • $mod + #                            Goes to the # workspace