Set I3wm as the Manjaro's default window manager

Hi there :slight_smile:,

I’m trying to set I3wm as the default window manager but unfortunately neither the Desktop Environment nor the forum’s archive are helping since the posts that interest me are gone.

Not even “messing” with my Settings for a bit helped as well, I don’t know where to start. My specs:

System:    Kernel: 5.7.14-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 10.1.0 
           parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-5.7-x86_64 
           root=UUID=2fbc319e-04cc-4046-82d9-d9ccdc1caca4 rw quiet apparmor=1 security=apparmor 
           Desktop: Xfce 4.14.2 tk: Gtk 3.24.20 info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.30.0 
           Distro: Manjaro Linux 
Machine:   Type: Laptop System: LENOVO product: 20041 v: Lenovo G460 serial: <filter> 
           Mobo: LENOVO model: N/A serial: <filter> BIOS: LENOVO v: 29CN40WW(V2.17) date: 04/13/2011 
Battery:   ID-1: BAT1 charge: 0.7 Wh condition: 0.7/47.5 Wh (1%) volts: 12.3/11.1 
           model: SANYO PABAS024 type: Li-ion serial: <filter> status: Unknown 
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i5 M 460 bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Nehalem 
           family: 6 model-id: 25 (37) stepping: 5 microcode: 7 L1 cache: 64 KiB L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
           L3 cache: 3072 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 20221 
           Speed: 1445 MHz min/max: 1199/2534 MHz base/boost: 2534/2533 boost: enabled volts: 0.0 V 
           ext-clock: 1066 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1404 2: 1396 3: 1324 4: 1404 
           Vulnerabilities: Type: itlb_multihit status: KVM: Split huge pages 
           Type: l1tf mitigation: PTE Inversion; VMX: conditional cache flushes, SMT vulnerable 
           Type: mds status: Vulnerable: Clear CPU buffers attempted, no microcode; SMT vulnerable 
           Type: meltdown mitigation: PTI 
           Type: spec_store_bypass 
           mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via prctl and seccomp 
           Type: spectre_v1 mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization 
           Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Full generic retpoline, IBPB: conditional, IBRS_FW, STIBP: 
           conditional, RSB filling 
           Type: srbds status: Not affected 
           Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected 
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel Core Processor Integrated Graphics vendor: Lenovo driver: i915 v: kernel 
           bus ID: 00:02.0 chip ID: 8086:0046 
           Device-2: Silicon Motion - Taiwan (formerly Feiya ) type: USB driver: uvcvideo 
           bus ID: 2-1.3:4 chip ID: 090c:37b3 serial: <filter> 
           Display: server: X.Org 1.20.8 driver: intel display ID: :0.0 screens: 1 
           Screen-1: 0 s-res: 1366x768 s-dpi: 96 s-size: 361x203mm (14.2x8.0") s-diag: 414mm (16.3") 
           Monitor-1: LVDS1 res: 1366x768 hz: 60 dpi: 112 size: 310x170mm (12.2x6.7") 
           diag: 354mm (13.9") 
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel HD Graphics (ILK) v: 2.1 Mesa 20.1.5 direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel 5 Series/3400 Series High Definition Audio vendor: Lenovo 
           driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:1b.0 chip ID: 8086:3b56 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.7.14-1-MANJARO 
Network:   Device-1: Broadcom and subsidiaries BCM4313 802.11bgn Wireless Network Adapter driver: wl 
           v: kernel modules: bcma port: 5000 bus ID: 05:00.0 chip ID: 14e4:4727 
           IF: wlp5s0 state: up mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: Realtek RTL810xE PCI Express Fast Ethernet vendor: Lenovo driver: r8169 
           v: kernel port: 2000 bus ID: 06:00.0 chip ID: 10ec:8136 
           IF: enp6s0 state: down mac: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 298.09 GiB used: 22.55 GiB (7.6%) 
           SMART Message: Required tool smartctl not installed. Check --recommends 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Samsung model: HM321HI size: 298.09 GiB block size: physical: 512 B 
           logical: 512 B speed: 1.5 Gb/s rotation: 5400 rpm serial: <filter> rev: 0003 scheme: MBR 
Partition: ID-1: / raw size: 298.09 GiB size: 292.41 GiB (98.09%) used: 22.55 GiB (7.7%) fs: ext4 
           block size: 4096 B dev: /dev/sda1 
Swap:      Alert: No Swap data was found. 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 45.0 C mobo: N/A 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Info:      Processes: 208 Uptime: 1h 24m Memory: 5.61 GiB used: 1.71 GiB (30.5%) Init: systemd v: 245 
           Compilers: gcc: 10.1.0 Packages: pacman: 1204 lib: 359 flatpak: 0 Shell: Bash (sudo) 
           v: 5.0.18 running in: xfce4-terminal inxi: 3.1.05 

So, how should I proceed? Any tips/articles/videos would be appreciated!

What are you trying to do here? Just using i3, or are you trying to use i3 alongside a DE?

Hi there!

I want to just use i3. In the wiki page I read somewhere that having multiples DE’s can be a problem (even though you can fix it by creating an user for each DE) so I just want to stick with i3 for now :slight_smile:

IMO, it’d be easiest if you just backup your stuff and install Manjaro i3 edition

Wait wait, so the “easiest” solution would be burning another ISO? :o uh oh

Cool. Here’s a useful link: i3 - ArchWiki

Anyways, if you’ve installed i3 already you just need to log out and there should be an option to switch to it on the login screen.

1 Like

I mean, it isn’t hard to “burn” an ISO onto a USB drive.

But it allows you to start on a clean state, and not have to worry about having to remove all of those other DE packages, which can be a PITA.


yeah, I said uh oh because I don’t have any pendrives here anymore, only DVD’s and they aren’t rewritable :eyes:
Your solution may be the easiest for me, yes. Thanks :slight_smile:

Oh welp! You should go out and get one for future. They are very useful! I think an 8GB one is more than enough for burning. I generally keep 1 usb drive with a Manjaro ISO burned on it (architect), in case something happens to my computer, i.e. something breaking after an update and I can’t boot in.

It’s been so long since I burned an ISO onto a DVD haha.

1 Like

I have 3 DVD’S here with Manjaro OS. Since I didn’t check the burned ISO’s hash, I “had to” burn in another DVD. The last one I don’t really know why I burned as well xD

I’m gonna get a 16GB pendrive then! Have a nice day :slight_smile:


There is a thread from the archived forum that has info on using i3 as the window manager for xfce if that is the desired effect.

Warning, it has no images.

EDIT: For that pendrive also check out Ventoy, it is in the repos

1 Like

Thanks for the link, I’m reading the content already! Is the backup file too big?

I’m unsure what this is referring to

Well, that link states that it’s strongly advisable to make a backup file (I’m assuming it’s the OS’s) but I’m unsure about its size.

I not wish to be rude … Have you used i3 before ?

You’re not being rude :slight_smile: I never used i3

maybe try in a vm 1st … :relaxed: i3 is not for everyone

1 Like

I may the be choosen person to use it :v

Ah, I would check out this page: Best Backup and Restore Tools for Arch Linux – Linux Hint

It has info and instructions on a handful of backup options. I would suggest using timeshift myself.

The size of your backup will vary depending on your system and usage.

I think @Shjim’s advice is a good choice at least until making and restoring backups is common practice.


Thank you! Have a good day :slight_smile: