How to switch from kde to i3

I have been using kde plasma for 6 months, now I want to hop on i3, how can I switch between desktops. Any guide or link to refer is appreciable. Thanks

Hi @gatorboy welcome to the forum. I have i3 installed alongside KDE. I installed it using the eos-packagelist. Here are a few links to get you started. If you need anymore help don’t hesitate to ask.


Most of those minimalist window managers work fine with Plasma. I haven’t tried it with i3, but it’s great to have dwm alongside Plasma.


What’s your personal recommendation? I’ve been thinking of having a backup WM alongside Plasma but didn’t want anything that conflicted to the point of instability.

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Yer I’ve had it and in the past I’ve had openbox installed alongside in the past. I decided on I3 this time to try learn something new.


Pretty much all are great and won’t interfere with Plasma or other DEs, but if you’ve never used one before, the learning curves can be steep if you choose one that uses a programming language for its config file.

i3, Bspwm, dk, Herbsluft, Leftwm, and Spectrwm use plain text and are easy to learn.

All have a monocle layout (maximised window layout), but only i3 and Herbsluft allow a maximised layout where you can still have window stacks to the side. See the image below of an example on how i3 does it.

The arrows show how i3 borders highlight the position/order of the selected window in the monocle layout, while still having two stacked windows to the right. I used a terminal to show that there is another window open below it in the monocle layout.

NB: I’ve also installed an AUR package called autotiling.

And yes, you can have window gaps (spaces between windows). I don’t want them on my 1920x1080 screen. That’s a waste of screen space.


I don’t have much experience with tiling window managers.

I really like dwm, but only because I understand its source code (it’s very minimalist and simple, and entirely written in C). If you don’t know C, dwm is a terrible idea, because you won’t be able to customise it or add features to it at all, and it’s really bland and bare-bones out of the box.

I hear i3 is good, and also AwesomeWM, but I haven’t tried those.

In any case, those shouldn’t interfere with Plasma at all. So you can use them alongside Plasma.


I have bspwm installed alongside KDE and haven’t seen any issues or conflicts. I rarely go into KDE, but use some of the default applications, namely kate and konsole.