Manjaro i3 Window Manager Tips

Manjaro i3 is a community edition of Manjaro Linux that features the i3 window manager, a tiling window manager known for its minimal resource usage and keyboard-driven workflow. The i3 window manager is highly configurable and extensible, making it a popular choice for users who prefer a lightweight and efficient desktop environment. In this article, we’ll explore some essential tips and tricks for getting the most out of Manjaro i3, helping you create a more productive and enjoyable workflow.

  1. Learn Important i3 Keybindings

The i3 window manager is designed to be keyboard-driven, which means that mastering keybindings is crucial for an efficient workflow. Some essential i3 keybindings include:

  • Super + Enter: Open a terminal
  • Super + D: Launch dmenu (application launcher)
  • Super + Shift + Q: Close the focused window
  • Super + Arrow Keys: Change focus between windows
  • Super + Shift + Arrow Keys: Move the focused window
  • Super + V/H: Split windows vertically/horizontally
  • Super + F: Toggle fullscreen mode for the focused window

Remembering these keybindings will significantly improve your productivity and navigation within the i3 environment.

  1. Customize i3 Configuration

The i3 configuration file, located at ~/.config/i3/config, allows you to customize various aspects of the i3 window manager, including keybindings, appearance, and behavior. You can use a text editor to edit the configuration file and apply your desired changes. For example:

  • Change default terminal: Modify the line that starts with “bindsym $mod+Return” and replace the terminal command with your preferred terminal emulator.
  • Customize workspace names: Modify the “set $ws1” to “set $ws1 ‘1: <workspace_name>'” and replace <workspace_name> with your desired workspace name.
  • Adjust gaps between windows: Add “gaps inner <size>” and “gaps outer <size>” to the configuration file, replacing <size> with the desired gap size in pixels.

Remember to save your changes and reload the i3 configuration using the Super + Shift + R keybinding for the changes to take effect.

  1. Use i3blocks for Status Bar Customization

Manjaro i3 includes i3blocks, a highly customizable status bar for i3 that can display various types of information, such as time, date, battery status, and more. You can customize i3blocks by editing the configuration file located at ~/.config/i3blocks/config. To add, remove, or modify blocks, you can change the corresponding lines in the configuration file, save your changes, and restart i3blocks.

  1. Utilize i3 Workspaces

i3 workspaces allow you to organize your open applications and create a more focused working environment. By default, i3 provides ten workspaces, and you can switch between them using the Super + [1-0] keybinding. Assigning specific tasks or applications to individual workspaces will help you stay organized and minimize distractions.

  1. Configure Autostart Applications

To automatically start applications when you log in to your Manjaro i3 session, you can add the corresponding commands to the i3 configuration file. Add “exec –no-startup-id <command>” to the end of the configuration file, replacing <command> with the command required to launch your desired application.


Manjaro i3 offers a lightweight and efficient desktop environment for users who value minimalism and productivity.


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