Installing BSPWM or i3 along side a DE?

If I follow the wiki articles for installing BSPWM or i3 will these install “alongside” my current xcfe4 DE, in the same way as I can install, say, Plasma alongside xcfe4? Or would they replace/overwrite the DE? TIA.

It will go alongside, selectable from your desktop manager (usually lightdm or sddm).

Great, many thanks. I’ll give it a go… :+1:

There are also ways to replace xfce’s native window manager with i3, and I think it works with bspwm too… It’s an option to consider if you like i3/bspwm but miss some of the conveniences of xfce.

I kinda want to have them in parallel as it’s as much a learning exercise than anything else. I want to keep a functioning laptop with a DE.

In any case I’m having issues at this stage:

As we don’t have any display manager and we want to start Bspwm at login we need to add it to the bottom of  ~/.xinitrc by typing:

exec bspwm

As my home folder doesn’t have a .xinitrc file. Can I just copy it from /etc/X11/xinit and add “exec bspwm” to the bottom with an editor?

I was using xfce and added bspwm to it (deleting nothing) and have been using bspwm daily since then. For that line in the guide about the .xinitrc file, I didn’t have a file in there either, so I created one and added the exe bspwm line to it. For me, that didn’t allow for selecting bspwm from the drop down in the initial login screen, so I’ve just been going into a tty session (ctrl+alt+f2), logging in there and typing start x to get into bspwm. Not the cleanest way for sure, but it does the trick. You could try what you are thinking about the file in the X11 dir, it might do the trick. Worst case, use “my” work-around.


Thanks. I’m not sure what I did but somehow I now have both options from the drop down.

EDIT: still don’t have ~/.xinitrc file though.

If it works, it works. If you see bspwm in the drop down you probably did it the right way, verses what I did. If you have questions about bspwm config feel free to post about it or hit me up.

Also, nice profile pic :hammer: :jack_o_lantern:

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Thanks, I’ll have a lot to learn and I’m sure more questions will follow…

And yeah, bit of a :jack_o_lantern: fan.

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Look at this aur package is a simple desktop entry and a one line executable shell script which allow you to start with xinit through you login manager. I use it to start xmonad in EOS obviously

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Weird. Played with bspwm all day yesterday, got up today and fired up the laptop and the dropdown menu at Login now has i3 option. I guess it’s telling me I need to follow the wiki tutorial and install i3 proper… :joy: So be it…