Testing i3wm in a virtual machine?

I know virt-manager grabs a lot of the important keys before your guest machine can see them. How do test some WM like i3 in a VM with all the hot keys you use?

Currently mainly use virtualbox where i do not have much issues with keybindings… but i do not remember that itis a big issue on virt-manager…

at least if you run fullscreen

I like to avoid Virtualbox since it’s slower than kvm/qemu. Plus I spent a lot of time learning all the cool things in it.

I dug out a 12 yr old MacBook Pro that Apple refuses to support and put EOS-i3wm on it and that will be my learning tool. I have a lot to learn about WM. A lot of time to set it up.

I’d like to try the XFCE with i3 or KDE with i3 as a compromise. I just like the tiling of windows but within a DE.

One of the nice features of PopOS is there tiling that you turn on and off with a button. but it’s Gnome which I’m not a fan of. Plasma 5.7 has “sort of tiling” but either it’s limited or I don’t know how to setup it up.

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I don’t have experience with virt-manager, but it seems surprising that there isn’t some way you can signal that you are using the keyboard for the VM so the software doesn’t interfere with the session.

Even if there is no way to stop virt-manager from interfering, a nice thing about i3 is you can decide for yourself what the keybindings should be. If you discover a keybinding is problematic because your virtualization software is responding to a keypress, just change it to something else.

I have an i3 box that runs a VNC session through a Guacamole server on my LAN, so I can connect to the Guacamole web page remotely and run my i3 box through an ordinary web browser. Normally I use meta for the mod key on i3 or Sway, but for this one I was running it on a Windows machine, and Windows opens up the start menu every time you hit the meta key.

Working around this issue was as simple as changing the mod key line in ~/.config/i3/config:

# set the mod key to Alt:
set $mod Mod1

No matter what keys you need to avoid, you can just change your config file so it doesn’t use those keys and it should be fine.