I3wm macbook pro - need help / guidance

Hi there,

New to the forum and to the linux world in general.

I have installed EOS (i3-wm) on my macbook pro 8,1 early 2011 and been playing around with it for some weeks, I am really enjoying the whole window manager aspect of it.

So far I am able to setup most of the things I want except for the keyboard and display backlight, I am aware that I can adjust these things in the files located in /sys/class/leds/smc::kbd_backlight. It is not really an ideal way and would like a more elegant solution.

I did notice that during in the live environment, the XFCE-4 version I was able to control both the keyboard and display backlight brightness using the default keyboard shortcuts on the macbook keyboard (f2, f3, f6, f7) and I even got a visual indicator on screen that updated as I changed the brightness levels.

Now my question, is there a way to get that functionality in the i3wm EOS version, by maybe installing the required packages and just grabbing the configs from the XFCE-4 EOS github page? Is this even possible since I am running i3 and XFCE-4 are 2 different DEs?

Being new to linux, I am able to grasp alot of concepts, however some still feel foreign to me. I do like to experiment and mess around so I am not afraid of getting my hands dirty and messing around with config files to get something done.

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Welcome to the forum!

You could try this in your i3 config file? Works for me on lenovo laptops.

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Ok so I got it to work by downloading the XFCE-4 power manager package in combination with the keybinds you mentioned.


I have another issue tho, transparency is not working for me. I un-commented the below line in the i3 config:

exec --no-startup-id picom -CGb

but now when i reboot the machine, I end up in an loop with putting in my password at the login screen. It just takes me back to the login screen.

When I alt+ctrl+f2 to bring i up the terminal and comment out the same line, it goes back to normal.

Not sure whats going on here…but i guess Picom is not playing nicely with my macbook? Can anyone shed some light here?

Issue resolved, for anyone facing the same the fix was generate the config file for picom:

picom --config path/to/picom.conf

source: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Picom#Installation