There are a ton options when it comes to desktop environments including GNOME, KDE, with lightweight derivatives such as XFCE, MATE and Cinnamon. The major ones, trying to be everything to everyone, comes with a broad suite of tools and utilizes are provided such as systray applets, network-managers, file-browsers, screensavers, session-managers, key-chains, printer-configurators, system configuration etc. in addition to the essential task of “window management”.
For the core task of window management one is spoiled for choice as well, FluxBox, Awesome, i3, i3-gaps and xmonad. On the other end are a bunch of choices such as OpenBox, before-mentioned desktop-environments or replace the window-manager part. with tiling window-managers being one of the main reasons to replace the
DE using XFCE4 and i3-gaps¶
Tiling with i3-gaps¶
i3-gaps is a fork of i3 which is actively maintained as a set of patches on top of i3.
At the time of writing/updating this, then i3-gaps version
v4.20.1 was the
latest. Which in addition to the
toolbelt packages requires installation of
sudo apt-get -qy install \ libcairo2-dev \ libev-dev \ libpango1.0-dev \ libpcre3-dev \ libstartup-notification0-dev \ libxcb-cursor-dev \ libxcb-icccm4-dev \ libxcb-keysyms1-dev \ libxcb-randr0-dev \ libxcb-shape0-dev \ libxcb-util0-dev \ libxcb-util0-dev \ libxcb-xinerama0-dev \ libxcb-xkb-dev \ libxcb-xrm-dev \ libxkbcommon-x11-dev \ libyajl-dev
Then clone the
i3-gaps repos, build and install it from source:
cd git git clone https://github.com/Airblader/i3.git i3-gaps cd i3-gaps git checkout 4.20.1 meson setup builddir meson compile -C builddir sudo meson install -C builddir
The annoying thing here is that you have to maintain i3-gaps on your system, that is updating it as new releases come out make sure it is still working as intended.
This is needed for the
i3-workspaces-plugin. It too has dependencies:
sudo apt-get install \ gobject-introspection \ gtk-doc-tools \ libjson-glib-dev
cd -/git git clone https://github.com/altdesktop/i3ipc-glib.git cd i3ipc-glib git checkout v1.0.1 ./autogen.sh --prefix-/usr make sudo make install
sudo apt-get install \ libxfce4panel-2.0-dev \ libxfce4ui-2-dev \ xfce4-dev-tools
i3 provides stuff like: i3bar, i3status, i3pystatus, i3blocks etc. however, the XFCE4 provides the same with a bunch of well-supported applets like the gnome-network-manager. So instead of using the i3bar, this setup favors using the xfce-panel instead, and then integrating the i3 workspaces via a plugin:
cd -/git git clone https://github.com/denesb/xfce4-i3-workspaces-plugin.git cd xfce4-i3-workspaces-plugin git checkout 1.4.0 ./autogen.sh --prefix-/usr make sudo make install
i3 - aux¶
sudo apt-get install rofi
sudo apt-get install nitrogen