[Tutorial] Using i3 on KDE except KWin

Disclaimer: I did this using a freshly installed (cloned) virtual machine. Your experience might be different according to your hardware and setup.

First, you need to install KDE. You can use our online installer to do this or you can install KDE manually. But I recommend installing KDE using our online installer.

If you wish to install KDE manually. Then follow the below steps.

NOTE: If you want to install KDE manually it is best you start without a desktop environment.

  1. Open the terminal (Konsol). Run the below command,
    wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/endeavouros-team/EndeavourOS-packages-lists/master/plasma
    This file should be downloaded into your home folder. Unless you changed the location.

  2. After downloading the application list run the below command.
    sudo pacman -S --needed - < plasma ← Need to be run within the application list directory. We downloaded it in the above step.

  3. Once KDE is installed restart/reboot the system.

  4. Now let’s install i3-wm. To do that first run the below command in the terminal.
    wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/endeavouros-team/endeavouros-i3wm-setup/main/i3_install

  5. Above command will download a shell script. This should be in your /home folder as well. But it’s not executable so we need to give it permission to run. To do that use the below command.
    sudo chmod -R +x i3_install

  6. Execute the file i3_install by using the below command.

If everything goes well you should have KDE + i3 installed. Before using the system we need to stop the KDE native windows manager which is KWin. To do that you need to mask or disable the Kwin service (Recommend masking it. Which will stop it from accidentally starting.).

To disable the service run the below command. DO NOT USE SUDO.
systemctl mask plasma-kwin_x11.service

After that, we need to remove lightdm. Run the below command to remove lightdm and it’s components.

sudo yay -Rnc lightdm or sudo pacman -Rnc lightdm

That’s pretty much it. No need to use the other steps described in the Arch wiki here. I did try those but they didn’t work. KDEs display manager SDDM does pick up the i3-wm session. You just have to change the session from Plasma to i3 from SDDM screen.

After you log in.

P.S.: I’m creating a more refined KDE + i3 repo just like the XFCE + i3 one. Will see what I can come up with in the future. But for now, the above will work. Remember to tweak the .config file to fit your needs.