I3 (window manager)

I3 is written in C dynamic window manager for the X Window System. It supports tiling, stacking and dynamic window layouts. i3 has been rewritten from the ground up and is under the BSD license.


The project was initiated i3 2009 by Michael Stack mountain and rewritten from scratch. The aim was to write an alternative window managers for power users and developers, with some aspects of wmii were used as a model and to the objective. The source code was made available under the BSD license.

The i3 is - as is often the case of window managers unixoider operating systems - several workspaces (workspace ) are available. It is not a fixed number, such as 2 or 4, but can be any number. If a workspace is that no windows - or no more windows - includes, abandoned, then this workspace is automatically destroyed.

Thus, there are as many workspaces as you just need and no more.

Since version 4 uses i3 a tree structure for mapping the window layout and organization of the window. The goal of i3 is, among other things, the code to be kept as small as possible without sacrificing features, the code is well documented, as well as possible XCB to use UTF-8 to be compatible. Furthermore, i3 offers for quite some time Multi -monitor support ( xrandr ) to.

Differences to other tiling window managers

  • The i3 configuration file is plain text, so it can be processed without knowledge of a programming language. All options are documented in detail in the User 's Guide.
  • While some Window Manager ( DWM how awesome XMonad, ...) arrange the windows accordance with certain procedures, the user assigns its windows completely self in to i3. This is made possible with the help of different layouts for specific sections. These include, for example, a horizontal and vertical arrangement, but also the grouping of multiple windows in a tab structure (as is often encountered in browsers ).


I3 is available on many Unix-like operating system, including Linux and BSD. For many Linux distributions pre-made packages are already available ( and A. Arch Linux, Debian and Ubuntu).