Blog | Diogo Peralta Cordeiro

Passionate about the surrounding nature.

I'm now using i3wm!

November 04, 2017 — Diogo Peralta Cordeiro

Through time I've used many graphical interfaces. I started with Gnome 2 and was happy with it. But with the release of Gnome 3 it became clear to me that I would have either to continue with Gnome 2, despite being discontinued, or to look for a viable alternative. Given that the former wasn't a serious option, a quest for the perfect graphical interface had started!

The first I tried was KDE. It is full of dependencies and provides a complete and solid integration of all its components. I was enjoying all that amazing integration, but some of the freedom I had and enjoyed in Gnome 2 was now gone.

Searching a bit further I've discovered that a new kid was born, Mate, a Gnome 2 fork, sounded promising, but it was too unstable when I tried.

Eventually, I ended reading about XFCE, described as a light and geeky interface. It had a similar look and feel to Gnome 2 and, for my surprise, it seemed to work even better! My quest had reached an end! Despite that, I was now willing to explore the world of desktop environments! XFCE wasn't something new and I didn't know about him and yet it was superior to what I was using.

So when Cinnamon became popular I was willing to give it a try. I read somewhere that it was "a usable version of Gnome 3"... I was obviously sceptical... but It turns out to be a valid claim. I liked it a lot despite how unstable nemo, Cinnamon's file explorer, was when I used. I know I could just switch file explorer, which I did, but I sill liked XFCE more. Therefore I was back to my loyal and rock solid XFCE.

...At least until a few months ago. I didn't know about tilling workspaces managers until I saw my C programming professor using one during a lecture, I was fascinated and decided to give i3wm a try. I've learned a lot from setting it up to customize it. i3 has a very UNIX like behaviour and has definitely become my first recommendation to anyone studying Bash, C and, namely, Unix systems!

I ended loving i3 and I feel I've became much more efficient since I've started using it! To make it "my own i3" I relied mostly on its amazing documentation.

For anyone looking for a ready to use i3 configuration, you can use mine. A good configuration is important in i3 as it is just a window manager and not a full desktop environment.