I3

Lnogging in

Logging in with i3 is the same as any other desktop environment, on Fedora

Switching to another Desktop Environment

Before logging in, there is a small cog that can be used to change the desktop environment. If you are already logged in, you can log out as normal or restart to change environment.

Keybindings

I3 is based on the idea of using the keyboard for the primary input with the mouse being a secondary input, you can using I3 without a mouse completely if required. With this in mind, there are a number of pre-defined keys that need to be used to navigate within I3.

  • MOD [Windows/Alt key] Mod (or modifier) is the primary key used when navigating window panes
  • MOD + [0-9] Switch to a different window panel, this will open a new panel if one does not exist at the targeted number
  • MOD + SHIFT+[0-9] Move the currently focused window to another window pane
  • MOD + LEFT/RIGHT Change the focus to the panel on the left or right side respectively.
  • MOD + SHIFT + LEFT/RIGHT Move the focused application left or right (applications can be side by side in the same panel), we can move them side by side and across to adjancent panels.

Functions

  • MOD + D Opens the DMenu, this is a prompt used to start applications in i3, it will auto suggest applications as you type (e.g. google-chrome)
  • MOD + ENTER Opens a terminal (using the preference in the config file)
  • MOD + SHIFT+Q Close the application currently focused
  • MOD + SHIFT+E Quit confirmation prompt - use this to logout of the i3 session
  • MOD + SHFT+R Reload the i3 configuration file (~/.config/i3/config)

This is not an exhaustive list of all the bindings in I3 but should be enough for some one unfamiliar with the environment to get started and be able to navigate and start applications.

For a more detailed list view the i3 documentation https://i3wm.org/docs/userguide.html

Other Notes

Labels

It is very common for i3 users to give their number work spaces different labels instead of numbers, these labels act act as identifiers when shown in the list of workspaces.

Labeled panels are often also bound to a specific monitor so that they are always opened at start up on the same screen.

Labeled panels still correspond to numbers, to see what is bound to what you can view the config file (cat ~/.config/i3/config) or try each workspace number (0-9).