I3 WM some basic questions about installation and usage

Hello again!

So I’ve been on KDE Plasma now for a while, but I’m now considering moving over to i3 instead since I always try to do everything with my keyboard anyway (I’m even learning VIM since about two weeks). What I liked about Plasma was that it give me a lot of easy access control to do this.

A few days ago I decided to test i3 since that seems to be a keyboard driven Window Manager by default and with even less “default apps”. Now before I decide to reinstall my EndevourOS (I currently have it installed on the side of KDE, but I would like to reinstall the whole OS), I have some questions I’m hoping people here can help me with.

  1. Is there any difference in app functionality or what works in i3? I’m pretty sure there isn’t since the “bottom” is still the same. It is just the desktop that changes. E.g. like any game or steam, etc.
  2. When I use the online installer it installs both “dmenu” and “rofi”. Is it possible to remove dmenu since I only want to use rofi either way? To have even less default apps that I never use. Or will I be missing some functionally that I need?
  3. It also installs Thunar as the file manager, can I skip that one as well and install the file manager of my choice once it is installed?
  4. Is there anyway I can pick a different default terminal? I just don’t agree with the default one. :slight_smile:

Software suggestion help

There are some apps I use in my day to day usages that aren’t too keyboard friendly. So I’m wondering if anyone can recommend some more keyboard friendly apps for:

A. File Manager: I have tried fman which is pretty nice when it comes to keyboard usage. However, there are a few things I dislike. It isn’t open-source and there is now possible way to get an image preview. I would prefer one with VIM keys if possible. :wink:
B. Browser or Firefox plugin: I don’t want a special terminal browser. I work as a web developer so I must be able to do everything I need for that. Like having the console and such.
C. Email client
D. Calendar, that can sync with CalDav

Thanks in advance for the help!

You should be aware that xdg-open won’t work properly without a DE and you may need another resource opener according to your needs and preferences. I use rifle (with ranger, although it can be used separately) and also mimeo lately.
2, 3, 4 - you can uncheck the things you don’t like in the installer and install the ones you want afterwards :slight_smile: Not sure which terminal is included with i3 now?

As to software it’s very much a question of personal preferences. For mail you may look into NeoMutt (or mutt), but configuring it will take quite a bit of reading and honestly I believe most people will be better off just using a GUI Email client (I use both mutt and Thunderbird). For browser extensions there is Trydactyl for Firefox and Vimium for Chrome-based ones.

Trying to use only keyboard for everything can get a bit extreme, even though I agree that it’s fast and convenient once you get used to it, but I generally don’t make it a priority in my choices of software.


I don’t use rofi, but I like classic dmenu because it just lists all the things in your PATH. It’s nice if you want to quickly launch some script :slight_smile:


Sorry to ask, but what is xdg-open? And I’m also wondering what you mean with resource opener?

It is a bit complicated, but basically it is about which applications will be used as default for opening a given file type. Many apps use xdg-open (from xdg-utils package which EOS installs as part of base), which may not work as it should without a DE.
Resource openers I mentioned above is actually a link to a Archwiki page which lists and compares some alternatives.

Some useful links:

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Thanks for the reply! Can I ask if you have a DE installed with I3, and if so which? (To solve the issue with xdg-open). Or is rifle your solution for this?

Update: If I understand it correctly “rifle” is a solution for this type of issue?

And I for unchecking the terminal, wouldn’t that literally not install any terminal if I uncheck the one under i3? Because then I couldn’t install another once the installer is done.

I use rifle for ranger. It determines what applications get the priority when opening a file in ranger (I use it most of the time if I need a fm). If you are going to use a GUI file manager it may not be a suitable solution. Tbh I wouldn’t bother at all with this xdg stuff if it’s your first WM (in fact I didn’t bother for a long time, and still don’t do much :slight_smile:), just try it and see how it goes. I mentioned it only because you asked what differences there may be in app functionality.

I don’t currently use i3wm (for now only Deepin and dwm) and have mimeo installed along with the xdg-utils patch.

I would just log-in into tty after boot, install what I need and modify the config accordingly.

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With radical calendar can work with caldav but is cli :upside_down_face:


Thanks. I’ll just get started with it and when I run into problems I will fix them as I go. :slight_smile:

Also, forgot about TTY since I’m not too familiar with it. Though I had to use it recently when I accidently broke my shell, that is a great solution. :slight_smile:

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