I've been meaning to switch from Gnome to i3 on my work computer, but there are too many small things I haven't figured out yet about i3 that prevent me from doing so:

- How to support multiple monitors?
- How to connect bluetooth hardware?
- How to switch between keyboard layouts?
- How to define a compose key on the keyboard (to be able to type accents in french etc)
- How to switch between different audio inputs and outputs?
- Probably more, but these are the big ones.

Gnome does a lot!

· · Web · 7 · 0 · 1

I run Sway on my "project" laptop (which is a clone of i3 for Wayland) and I love it, but I also don't have to do any of these things on it, because that laptop is purely for play, and none of this "dealing with the real world" stuff needs to happen on it.

Show thread

It's been a few days since I've switched to i3 on my work machine and it's working well so far!

- Multiple monitors and bluetooth have been working out of the box.
- Running ibus helps me to switch keyboard layouts (I bound it to super-space)
- I've managed to set up a compose key easily with `setxkbmap -option compose:ralt`
- I'm using pavucontrol to manage audio, but there are probably better ways.
- I also started using Qutebrowser more, and I'm enjoying the more keyboard-focused life.

Show thread

@gueorgui Isn’t i3 just a window manager and you can install it “over” gnome and still have all the gnome apps installed and use gnome as a display manager? I remember doing something like this with xfce or maybe unity back in the day, might be totally different now tho.

@gueorgui I recommend you to first getting used to it on a personal laptop, because it takes time to learn and configure. You can do all these things on it easily but it requires an additional effort

@Merristasis I spent a little time trying to solve those issues and I've made some progress! The only two missing things now are the compose key, and volume/audio source control.

@gueorgui It really is surprising how much integration work the GNOME contributors do, and I’m thankful for it.

@amdt Indeed! But in a way it becomes the same as mac OS: Stuff works, but you don't really know how, and have to use it their way.

@aadil @gueorgui I was gonna say maybe Regolith could help
It is OK, i think it's still lighter than running the full Gnome 3 Shell

@ghostlevel @aadil I'm slowly figuring everything out! Only the sound inputs/outputs left to sort out.


> "How to switch between keyboard layouts?"

simply bind some key combo in i3 to call setxkbmap to set a keymap. I've been using custom xkb maps (with compose key) for various languages for ages:

I also use two monitors with i3, works great (one in portrait mode, one in normal mode), you can spy in my dotfiles if you want :)

@gueorgui It's actually a lot simpler to configure and use than you might think!

@contrapak I see! What are the advantages compared to i3? I'm just getting comfortable with it :)

@gueorgui It's smaller. There's no config file, just a header file -- config.h -- that you can change. The program comes pretty bare bones and you include "patches" to add features, such as gaps. It doesn't come with everything, which is a good thing.

@contrapak Sounds like fun! But I think I will file it away into my for now 🙈

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.