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I first discovered i3 improved tiling window manager or short i3 when I was exploring archlinux.

Let us first show with a picture what you can get.
Do not mind the colours. They can be set. I like things dark for the moment.

This is I3 installed on Linux mint 17.1 cinnamon.

Updated to the latest kernel and nvidia driver at the moment of writing.



As you can see there are no more borders on the windows. There are no gaps between the programs. As someone put it on google+

“no more waste of real-estate”

Every program can be ended by working with the keyboard shortcut  WIN+SHIFT+Q for example.

That brings us to the shortcuts.

If you are not familiar with shortcuts in Mac or Windows then maybe this is not something for you.

You have a ‘config‘ file where all shortcuts are edited. Colours and fonts can be changed there as well.

I must admit that I had a period of love and hate with this environment but I am glad I persisted.

The hate is not necessary  if you start with a working environment that is fine-tuned already.

That is why I made for myself (and everyone else can benefit from it) a way to install i3 automatically by the use of this github.


You will be installing all the extra programs that you need to comfortably work in an i3 environment and there are a lot of explanations that go with it.

On github and in the files you can download from there,  you can read what you need to do if you would like to give i3 a try.

Some amount of terminal knowledge is required.


  • low memory consumption
  • does not have many dependencies hence stabler
  • keyboard driven
  • software will be tiled automatically into two, three, four regions
  • terminal is a WIN+ENTER away
  • every program can get its own workspace
  • switching between workspaces is easy and very practical
  • have a backup environment to work if somehow linux mint gets broken


  • takes time getting used to
  • shortcuts to be remembered
  • specific software to do things
  • some terminal knowledge required

Checkout the official site of i3 and watch some youtube movies to evaluate better.

If I have convinced you to give i3 a try, you can do so by copying this config at github and make it yourself very very easy.

This is how I3 looks like without gaps. Normal look.



You can also install i3 with gaps as explained on github. This is how that looks like.



In the mean time a new Linux Mint version has come out, check it out on github.