Arch Linux Day 3: Switching Over to i3

28 Dec 2015

Tags: linux installation GNOME i3 compton imagemagick

So for some reason or another, I decided that it was a cool idea to switch from GNOME display manager to the i3 window manager. Well, why not?

Installation

sudo pacman -S i3 i3block

Easy enough, right?

Configuration

i3 looks aesthetically unappetizing right out of the box. That’s why I followed this video series to help me configure it. I replaced the default i3status bar below with i3blocks, which seems much easier to configure in my opinion. I added San Francisco font for the overall font, and Font Awesome for the custom icons for some workspaces. I installed feh to help with displaying my background image, and imagemagick to spice up my lock screen. My i3 dot files are here if anyone wants to take a look at them.

ImageMagick Pointers

If you use -font option, make sure that your font is installed in your system. This caused me quite a lot of issues. Run identify -list fonts | grep <fontname> if you want to check if imagemagick can actually see your font.

I’m sure that experienced users of it know this: to pixelate an image, scale the image down to say 10%, then scale it back up. This feature alone got me hooked into investigating the powers of the convert tool.

compton, the Composite Manager

compton is a really cool tool that adds nice transitions between workspaces and stuff! Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist in the default Arch repository - just the Arch Linux User Repository.

cd ~/build
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/compton/
cd compton

makepkg -sri

To enable it, I added the line exec --no-startup-id compton -f in my i3 config file.