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You can install i3wm or i3 on ANY Linux Mint 18.1.

I3 is a window tiling manager. It will automatically tile your windows/applications on your screens and workspaces. I have set it to 10 workspaces. It means I have 10 virtual monitors.

First we will do a typical and standard installation of Linux Mint 18.1 Xfce in VirtualBox and then we will install i3wm on it. We have made other tutorials where i3 was installed on Cinnamon and Mate. The flavour of Mint does NOT matter for the installation.

Installation scripts have been updated !!

Contents of tutorial

  • setting up all parameters of virtualbox to install linux mint
  • standard installation
  • installing git
  • the downloaded folder is going to be the core folder of i3
  • installation folder has changed
    • install each script apart and start with 100 till 900
    • or the automatic installation script
  • just one script to install everything – give it a try
  • super+d gives our dmenu
  • super+shift+d gives our dmenu-desktop
  • compton gives us
    • transparency
    • shadow
    • dimming
    • fading
  • nemo will be installed as well (also on Xfce and Mate)
  • gnome-terminal will be installed as well for nemo
  • icons, themes, spotify, sublime-text, gimp, inkscape, will be installed since they have keyboard shortcuts and work on specific workspaces
  • last script will copy/paste the actual i3 configuration to ~/.config/i3
  • do not skip last script

For some reason the script for the font needs to be rerun at the end and then the installation of the fonts is successful. I am in the progress of figuring out why it does that.

Logout and log back in i3

  • at the login screen choose i3
  • organization of current workspaces
    • workspace 1 browsers
    • workspace 2 text editors
    • workspace 3 inkscape
    • workspace 4 gimp
    • workspace 5 meld pictures
    • workspace 6 video
    • workspace 7 vmware virtualbox
    • workspace 8 file managers
    • workspace 9 mailing
    • workspace 10 music
  • compton effects will be shown
    • shadow
    • dimming
    • transparency


Changing linux mint / i3 and going over some of the possibilities

  • Firefox : google as search engine
  • Firefox : set as home
  • change the look of the terminal
  • super + shift + q  kills the focused applications
  • installing screenfetch
  • set preferences of nemo
  • open as root is possible in i3
  • update linux mint
    • don’ t suggest to switch to a local mirror
  • set sublime-text as default
  • READ config of i3
  • super + f is fullscreen the current application and go out with the same shortcut
  • moving applications from and to other workspaces



i3 is optimal when you have a dualscreen.

Workspace 1-5 on first monitor and workspace 6-10 on second monitor.



You can even activate the aureola conky if you would like too.

Remember to change this line :

own_window_type = 'override',-- # options are: normal/override/dock/desktop/panel

Taken on Xfce but like I said: “It can be on any flavour.”