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#1 2014-08-18 02:48:32

kaqqao
Member
Registered: 2013-10-12
Posts: 79

I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

I installed ArchBang at the time when the main ISO had i3 in it. I never payed much attention to it as I was too busy being in love with OpenBox. Now this thread happened and two OpenBox lovers claim i3 was the next step for them, so it got me thinking... I'd like to try i3 that is already on my system (or is it maybe easier to boot Armchair instead?) but I have no clue how to start it. Well, I *have* seen Arch Wiki and it does say nicely what to do, but I'm worried it might conflict woth OpenBox or that I might not know how to revert everything when I'm done messing with i3. Could anyone provide some advice, please?
On a related note, I'm trying to get this tiling managers thing. Apologies in advance for blunt questions, but why would I want windows to tile automatically? Is it only for people who don't full-screen everything? What kind of usage is it meant for?
I have a decent experience with different managers/environments (Gnome 1/2/3, KDE 2/3/4, E17/18, Cinnamon, Unity, OpenBox (<3), LXDE, Xfce, PekWM), but none were tiling. I tried i3 once for 2 minutes, felt completely lost and ran away. I'd like this time to be different smile

Last edited by kaqqao (2014-08-18 08:20:57)

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#2 2014-08-18 04:51:28

justanotherguy
Member
Registered: 2014-07-11
Posts: 35

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

For most after Openbox the next logical step is i3 wink, that doesn't mean everyone has to go that path.

Install i3 on your archbang.
modify the ./xinitrc to make i3 your default.
play around a lot.
dont like it yet? its ok revert to the old ./xinitrc

A very nice i3 tutorial about 30 mins!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAq_Enj_d2Q

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#3 2014-08-18 05:58:47

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

It will feel strange at first but stick with it, modify you config to start lxterminal and you should be good to go. Plenty of tutorials as video above and configs online.

My config is on github somewhere :-)


Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#4 2014-08-18 08:18:49

oliver
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-04
Posts: 2,209

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

kaqqao wrote:

Well, I *have* seen Arch Wiki and it does say nicely what to do, but I'm worried it might conflict woth OpenBpx or that I might not know how to revert everything when I'm done messing with i3. Could anyone provide some advice, please?

I'm not sure *how* you're launching your Xorg config, but for me I have a couple of lines in my ~/,xinitrc

exec /usr/bin/i3
# exec /usr/bin/openbox-session

Whichever one is not hashed out gets launched when I run 'startx'
The configs are kept totally separate so you can switch between them as often as you like and not break anything

On a related note, I'm trying to get this tiling managers thing. Apologies in advance for blunt questions, but why would I want windows to tile automatically? Is it only for people who don't full-screen everything? What kind of usage is it meant for?

The nice thing about i3 is it supports floating mode and tiling mode - so you can do either.  If you default to float, you can toggle to tiling and vice versa.  It's not totally analogous to OB floating but it's not far off.

The real clincher for me is I spend a lot of time on my laptop (no external monitors) so the ability to send conky output into the taskbar (the i3bar) is great.  I can see CPU/RAM/disk utilization etc while having apps full screen.

I also like the idea of having a virtual desktop for terminals, one for browsers and one for media (and that's pretty much all I do)

I'm using tmux for a terminal so I really have *nothing* tiled but am just as productive for less RAM footprint than OB.

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#5 2014-08-18 08:28:30

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

Most of the time like Oliver I have an application open fullscreen. With ten workspaces to play with and the ease of switching too them I find that a real bonus.


Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#6 2014-08-18 14:25:08

xtremyst
Member
Registered: 2011-11-21
Posts: 331

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

I didn't have any previous experience with tiling wm but i found i3 quite easy to use and configure.
One tip if you're using Alt+Shift to change keyboard layout (as i do for english/greek layout) make sure you'll edit some of the default shortcuts that use the same combination
to do various things (for example Alt+Shift+q to kill a window), otherwise these shortcuts won't work.
There's another  guide that i used when i first installed i3 and helped me a lot, i guess it shows the same things as the guide @justanotherguy posted earlier but it might be usefull: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSPcQ7Sdoh4.
Good luck and let us know what you  think about i3.

Last edited by xtremyst (2014-08-18 14:47:01)

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#7 2014-08-19 00:50:04

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

What do you guys think of an i3 version? Can keep key binds to reflect openbox...


Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#8 2014-08-19 02:55:57

justanotherguy
Member
Registered: 2014-07-11
Posts: 35

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

Brilliant wink wink

Instead of rolling and maintaining 2 versions, we can have one 'solid base' and let the install script give a choice of OB or i3.

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#9 2014-08-19 03:24:22

xtremyst
Member
Registered: 2011-11-21
Posts: 331

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

That would be great Mr Green, the only thing that concerns me though,  is that having 3 different ISOs (Archbang, ^! light and arch+i3) might cause some confusion to the new users.
However i think that a lot of people would be interested in an i3 version (me included of course).
Maybe @justanotherguys idea is a nice solution, giving the user the option between installing a minimal  ^! light version, an i3 version and an openbox version within the same installation ISO.
Not sure how easy or doable this might be, especialy when there's only one person dealing with new versions/ISOs/installer right now hmm

Last edited by xtremyst (2014-08-19 03:24:45)

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#10 2014-08-21 06:44:35

kaqqao
Member
Registered: 2013-10-12
Posts: 79

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

Thanks for the input guys smile
I'd also love an i3 version to mess with, but... isn't Armchair exactly that (a lightweight i3 Arch based distro)?

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#11 2014-08-21 11:34:26

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

Well I think we have enough room to run with both. Still would keep openbox for main window manager but could possibly have i3 as a boot option....


Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#12 2014-08-21 11:50:04

justanotherguy
Member
Registered: 2014-07-11
Posts: 35

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

Mr Green  If we replace the existing DM in  ^! Light to SLIM DM then you need not have to make any changes in the scripts wink

The user just has to hit F1 key and choose either OB or i3 !

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#13 2014-08-21 12:41:31

oliver
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-04
Posts: 2,209

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

SLIM was removed because of a problem with systemd.  Do you know if it's been fixed?

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#14 2014-08-21 13:55:41

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

Think it was more that slim was no longer developed, and the issues with systemd. Took it out more because it was not required live. Not looked since. There is CDM.....


Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#15 2014-08-22 00:55:30

justanotherguy
Member
Registered: 2014-07-11
Posts: 35

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

Looks like even CDM is also having issues with latest 'X' and 'systemd' updates!!

The other option is tweaking the script to launch OB or i3, lets keep as this as the last option.

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#16 2014-08-22 09:00:09

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

Well I could add a boot option, not sure I want install a login manager live. Could do this far easier with net installer keep iso openbox :-)


Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#17 2014-08-22 09:33:21

justanotherguy
Member
Registered: 2014-07-11
Posts: 35

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

Then 'boot option' it is!! wink

How is the 'Net Installer' going? just being curious.

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#18 2014-08-24 11:12:29

scjet
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2010-12-01
Posts: 1,468

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

oliver wrote:

SLIM was removed because of a problem with systemd.  Do you know if it's been fixed?

What "systend" has been finnally fixed again to work with SLiM?, or SLiM was the one that was supposed to be fixed to accomodate systemd'uh? -Linux is confusing.
I dunno, I still use SLiM, it still works for most.

Last edited by scjet (2014-08-24 11:14:52)

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#19 2014-08-24 18:41:27

oliver
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-04
Posts: 2,209

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

scjet wrote:
oliver wrote:

SLIM was removed because of a problem with systemd.  Do you know if it's been fixed?

What "systend" has been finnally fixed again to work with SLiM?, or SLiM was the one that was supposed to be fixed to accomodate systemd'uh? -Linux is confusing.
I dunno, I still use SLiM, it still works for most.

TBH, I don't know but I suspect two things:
1) that was a rhetorical question :-)
2) slim needed to accomodate systemd

Sometimes you just gotta pick your battles

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#20 2014-08-24 23:12:59

scjet
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2010-12-01
Posts: 1,468

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

@oliver
you're right on both points, I can't argue with that. wink

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#21 2014-09-19 01:20:57

pjhalsli
Member
Registered: 2013-12-25
Posts: 40

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

Hi guys.
I've been a strong believer  that Archbang should stick wiith ob........until now.
Been using i3 now for the last  2-3 days. And...well first off I'm really starting to like it...I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents.

There's a lot of distros out there that have obenbox editions, not so many with i3 - very few actually. So my thinking is that it might actually be good for Archbang to go with i3. To  offer something that no one else does ootb. This way A! won't compete with....say #! - manjarobox - antergos - and many more. If we after installation had i3 it might attract new users to the project - or at least I think so.

Like I wrote - just my 2 cents smile


Too old to know better
Still too young to care

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#22 2014-09-19 16:41:21

scjet
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2010-12-01
Posts: 1,468

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

We actually did have a combo OB/i3 on a a couple RC releases in the recent past.

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#23 2014-09-20 01:29:54

Mr Green
Administrator
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 6,920

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

ArchBang is and will always be based on Openbox. If I get enough feedback and cups of coffee then I will add a minimal i3 setup too iso wink


Comments, suggestions please feel free to contact me mrgreen(at)archbang(dot)org

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#24 2014-09-20 05:47:17

xkaspian
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 56

Re: I'm trying to understand tiling managers and how to start i3

Good to know that Archbang will stay on openbox which I like. Therefore I choose also Archbang.

The personality of Archbang is based on openbox.  If Archbang would offer all kind of environments, then it would not be anymore Archbang, but like Manjaro, Anthergos, Evo/Lution and so on. Archbang is really well done with Openbox.

Better to be settled on 1 to 2 desktop environments, but really well done. More DE, more work.

My 2 cents

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