Is i3 worth the learnirng curve/time?

I enjoy keyboard shortcuts and so GNOME is good for me.
I started looking into i3 - it has some appeal but it looks like a learning curve that will take time.
Is it worth it??
Do you use it? Would you recommend it? What is its super benefits for you??
Or maybe you think it is a waste of time…
I am interested in all replies

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Absolutely worth your time. Especially on EndeavourOS where the config is set up to make the transition from a DE to a tiling wm easier. It is @joekamprad project that started out as a community interest thing that turned into the only official EndeavourOS window manager. It has truly been a beautiful experience to have been a part of it and watch it become what it has.

Some Links:


yes :grin: But my answer may be biased because I like it.
I just like the simple settings. One file has it all and the documentation is very detailed.
Some things are difficult to handle at first - theming and fonts - that stuff is hard to get right without full DE because you have to know correct syntax.

Other thing you have to get used to very early is that floating windows are nonsense and switching desktops is good way to go.

In the end you will probably use other software that doesn’t fit exactly to “only WM” but I think that is fine. It just take time to set all theming for your GTK or QT application.

You can use keyboard shortcuts a lot in many desktop environments (e.g. KDE, XFCE). Only thing is that they are not always set up or they are using odd key combination.
Even for i3wm I would recommend to rebind shortcuts to something you like and not something that come with the default config.

once setup and dive into how configuration work, it goes even more out of the way as GNOME will ever do.
I was a long long long time GNOME user and after my switch I never was able to go back from i3 to GNOME.


Is it worth or not depends solely on you.
Main advantage is configurability of basically anything. Everything you see can be configured however you like.
Disadvantage is time actually needed to configure it.
However, once you setup it, from my personal experience, nothing can beat it when comparing productivity and resources. This applies basically to any WM.
Using preconfigured WM, like EOS i3, will help a lot in terms of getting used to and understanding how it actually works.

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The EndeavourOS i3 version doesn’t have that much of a learning curve as it is all set up already. You just need to learn the keybindings and go!

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I never used Gnome, the only DE I ever used (and still have installed) before sticking on to i3wm has xfce, so I don’t know how much what I say might apply to you, I also have never used other WMs so I don’t know if this is exclusive to i3wm or not, but here’s my perceived advantages:

  • Much lighter than a full DE
  • Help me focus more on my current task as I don’t get distracted by other things going on
  • Saves screen space
  • Very keyboard oriented so it’s much faster to multi-work

I also never really used workspaces a lot before using i3wm, never really saw any advantage on them while on xfce, on i3wm is pretty much the only way to have many things open without clustering yourself, and they are pretty nice.

There’s also the obvious advantage of it tilling everything for me, albeit most of my workspaces are tabbed, which is a very nice feature but I don’t think is the point of a tiling windows manager, it’s still my first experience with tabbed windows and I love it.

I’d say it took me a month to get used to i3wm and learn to configure it, I do have to say that I have only experience with stock i3wm and my own configs, used the official theming and configs of EOS only once as a test, stole what I liked then went beck to my own bare bones experience. So I can’t say how it’d be like to start with a pre-configured one.

I think i3 handles workspaces the right way. You switch to some workspace and it is automaticaly created, you close all windows and leave and the workspace is destroyed.
DE like XFCE for example require to first create a new workspace and a different shortcut to switch to it and another shortcut to destroy it. That is too clunky for me.

OK, thank you for your insights.
Indeed, it is heart-warming to see your willingness to share your insights.
I’ll be looking at the tutorials from @joekamprad
The only thing that I noticed from the few times I used it today were:

  1. The eos Welcome pop up window - How do you close it??? I could move it with the mouse and extra key(ctl??) but couldn’t close it.
  2. I use two monitors, but i3 was stuck on mirror monitors(why would anyone want to use the mirror option?) and I couldn’t change the display setting to a joined monitor.
  3. And I get a synthetic voice telling me the speech dispatch is working well but there is an issue and it sends me to some log but there is no log file. And I don’t know how to stop it…

Got a 404 from GitHub

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It was for informational purposes only :blush: Did you think a year old dev iso would still be valid?

I stopped thinking long ago…
It’s not good for me…

Why would you close it? It’s beautiful. :star_struck:
There is probably a key combination $mod+q (mod4 is also called super or windows key)

Check if you have arandr installed. You can easily adjust your monitor settings from it and later add an entry to i3 config to automaticaly set monitors at boot time.

I have nothing for this, sorry. There are all sorts of voices here but none is telling me anything about logs. :crazy_face:

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Here’s what the voice is telling me each time i try to type anything with the keyboard and with each key stroke it starts it again and again. never tyring.

This is the dummy out put module it seems your speech dispatcher is working (some words i don’t underdstand) except me pleas check out your log file to see what is the problem you can find it in /var/log/speechdispatcher/speech.log or in your home .speechdispatcher/speech/speech.log

Yes its beautiful but it hides 15% of my screen …

This is why I am asking about the learning curve…

and also there is no night light…
And I think I probably need a good intro documantatio… I’ll have a look on YouTube


  1. Two monitors
  2. NightLight
  3. Everytime I start typing a voice appears telling me about the speech module something that needs to be checked in a log which does not exit
  4. the $mod seems to work sometimes and sometimes not(I tried both the Alt key and The Super key(I have no window key on my machine (librem 13)))
  5. Setting page - looks like the setting page on my GNOME but the mouse sometimes works sometime not.
    All these things before I understand how to work with work spaces …

Are there any instructions for the non fresh install of I3 by the Endevour os team? By non fresh I mean alongside another desktop environment.

@vlkon - arandr or xrandr ??

Sigh…arandr is installed on EndeavourOS i3. See wiki here:

I do like the ability to have tiled windows for some work. I loved the implementation of Cosmic Pop OS’s shell where you could go back and forth between tiled and overlapping with a simple click of an icon on the Gnome top bar. I3 sounds great but I don’t want/need tiling all the time. It seems too disruptive to have to dump out of one DE/WM to another just to change modes… But then Cosmic has issues with Gnomes API/extension breaking updates and unwillingness to take System76 changes upstream. No wonder they want to break away and do their own desktop.

I wish tiling on the fly was a feature of other desktops rather than a separate WM. I do know KWin has a plugin that will do tiling, but still more involved than a single click, hotkey, or gesture. Terminal multiplexors/splits are another option, but not like Firefox can be one of the tiles or splits.

Still awaiting Nirvana…

Simple answer “ Yes “ if no willing to learn new thing . Then no bother with tiling Wm :innocent: