This article is about the X11 window manager. For other uses, see I3 (disambiguation).
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i3 with vim and terminals open
March 15, 2009; 7 years ago (2009-03-15)
4.13 / November 8, 2016; 3 months ago (2016-11-08)
i3 is a tiling window manager designed for X11, inspired by wmii, and written in C. It supports tiling, stacking, and tabbing layouts, which it handles dynamically. Configuration is achieved via plain text file and extending i3 is possible using its Unix domain socket and JSON based IPC interface from many programming languages.
Like wmii, i3 uses a control system very similar to vi. By default, window focus is controlled by the ‘Mod1’ (Alt key/Win key) plus the right hand home row keys (Mod1+J,K,L,;), while window movement is controlled by the addition of the Shift key (Mod1+Shift+J,K,L,;).
1 Design goals
2 Compared to other tiling window managers
3 Floating pop-up windows
Possess well written, documented code, that encourages user contribution.
Use XCB instead of Xlib.
Implement multi-monitor features correctly, so that each workspace is assigned to a virtual screen, and monitor additions and removals are non-destructive of windows.
Implement different modes, similar to vi and emacs, the text editor. That is, keys have different functions depending on the mode the window manager is in.
Use a tree as the abstraction (and underlying data structure) for window management.
Implement UTF-8 character encoding.
Compared to other tiling window managers