Frankentile (KDE + i3)

I used i3 for 2 years (2017-2019), then Sway to get a taste of Wayland for almost the same amount of time. Although I was quite satisfied with my setup, I discovered something even better for me: KDE + i3. Or more exactly KDE - KWin + i3.

For some reasons, I had to go back to Xorg in order to get screen sharing working with Teams (thanks M$). I must admit, after 4 years away from DEs, Gnome became even less usable for me on Xorg (on Wayland it seems fine though). I don’t know why the Gnome Shell kept crashing. That lead me to use KDE (which I was kind of already using in a virtual machine to test atbswp) and I must say, it’s been a great experience (although it feels sluggish compared to a WM). I especially like the start menu. It’s like Windows’ but without all the bullshit. By the way, somebody tells Microsoft that nobody wants neither candy crush auto-installing, nor royal Revolt - what is that even -, nor ads all over the place, nor Cortana, etc. I don’t know why, but I missed the tiling, and it’s not like I knew tiling all along. I discovered it 4 years ago and fell in love, or maybe I am just becoming old and I don’t want things to change anymore.

Enters i3. I discovered that it’s not only possible to integrate i3 with KDE, but it’s also done with a minimal effort: just write a two lines script and create a symlink in the startup folder of Plasma. The good news is, I don’t even have to give up on Sway, I launch it on a different VT (Ctrl+Alt+F3 usually) and I can switch environments with minimal or no hassle at all. This time I got to read the whole i3 documentation, there are some hidden gems in there like making a window sticky (how did I even manage to live without that feature?). My config file is here. And if you are interested in the guides I used, here you go. I feel like I should mention this non-hacky awesome guide to make the mouse gestures work. While going through all this, I stumbled upon krohnkite. It seemed interesting but I never got to actually test it. I guess it might be useful to DWM users.

Written on April 22, 2021