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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Desktop
i3 - an improved tiling window manager
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Joined: 03 Jun 2012
Posts: 128
Location: Philippines

PostPosted: Sat 29 Sep 2012, 10:35    Post subject:  i3 - an improved tiling window manager
Subject description: compiled on Dpup Exprimo 5.X.3.4.10

i3 window manager
version i3-wm_4.2.1

"i3 improved tiling wm".

Compiled on Dpup Exprimo 5.X.3.4.10

For experimenters! This is not a ready-to-be-used window manager program. Some things have to be taken care of before it runs. It seems to be rather flexible and the documentation on the above site is quite useful. Unfortunately there is no forum but one can contact the developers through IRC or email. Not much activity though, it seems.

I decided to experiment with i3 after I had a look at alternatives wmii (couldn't not get it to work properly) and awesome (compiling problems). After a bit of library hunting, i3 compiled without problems and worked right from the start without issues (or have not yet discovered them yet).

My intention is to use i3 for some very specific purposes where I use a fixed screen layout with few and simple keystroke commands.

Since it works OK (so far), I thought to share it and share experiences.

I packed several items in the attached archive. I decided for this to keep transparency to a maximum, at least for me, anyway.

There are 8 pets to be installed:
- i3-wm_4.2.1 is the main program
- 7 libraries

Two more items to install:
- i3.png:
Copy to /usr/share/pixmaps
- wmswitcher_i3 (added i3 option):
Rename /usr/sbin/wmswitcher to /usr/sbin/wmswicher.bak, copy wmswitcher_i3 in its place and rename to wmswitcher.

Some libraries and symlinks end up in /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu. However, /usr/lib is expected while running i3. Therefore add to /etc/profile.local:

if [ -d /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu ]; then

The whole thing takes less than 1Mb so it can easily coexist with other window managers.

A few remarks:
i3 is not limited to tiling alone. Mixed with stacking and floating is possible.
The configuration file is in /root/.i3/config.
Version 4.3 is released (19 Sep). Some compiling problems with that one.
I hope to come back on it soon.

Let me now if I missed anything in the package.
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Joined: 16 Mar 2010
Posts: 65
Location: Montevideo

PostPosted: Sat 27 May 2017, 16:19    Post subject: tahrpup 6.0.6
Subject description: my experience with i3wm

It´s an old topic but I think it is important to add experiencies for others.
Eeepc 1000H, 2GB ram (made for winxp), Tahrpup 6.0.6 32 bit, full install on an ext2 partition (the best and fastest way to work with Pupi Linux, my preferred os on this machine). I didn´t "downstrip" Tahrpup and just updated Palemoon browser and Flash Player.
I installed a Ubuntu deb package i3-wm found on the internet and from pupi package manager libxc_xinerama0_1.10, libxcb_cursor0_0.1.1-3, libev4_4.15-3 as dependencies.
The Win-key is important on i3wm and should be mapped before the first run of i3wm: On JWM desktop with the Mouse and Keyboard wizard / advanced configuration / options / AltWin key behaviour / "altwin;super_win Super is mapped to the Win-keys (default)". Apply and it changes the xorg.conf file.
I backed up the original .xinitrc file inside a directory called xinitpupi and made a new .xinitrc file with just the string "exec /usr/bin/i3" without quotation marks and stored it inside a directory called xiniti3. For starting to the desired environment, I copy one of the .xinitrc file to /root, exit to prompt and start with the command "startx" or reboot the noteboot. A script for changing .xinitrc can be made but I was too lazy until now.
When you start i3wm for the first time it asks for the use of the alt or the winkey. In case someone regrets his decision, the file /root/.i3/config must be deleted and i3wm restarted.

Behaviour of i3wm:
Usage of ram, ( using "free -m" on terminal, just opening the graphic interface): With JWM 130MB, with i3wm 90 MB, buffers included.
The same Tahrpup, frugal install on an ext3 partition: 360MB.
The programs installed in puppi can be started via the terminal inside i3wm, for example the rox filer with the command "rox". There is the possibility of creating a directory with the most important executables and to use it as a menu if you don´t want to install dmenu. I installed Midnight Commander (a command line file manager) from the pupi repos for this task. For installing dmenu the deb package suckless-tools has to be installed. It adds 10 mb of ram use, so the difference between JWM and i3wm with dmenu is only 30 mb.
For my pupose -streaming online videos- the jwc desktop with full install on an ext2 partition does the job well, i3wm doesn´t improve the performance of the computer (in my case) compairing it with JWM.

Here is a link to an example of configuration of i3wm.

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