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i3 is a dynamic tiling window manager inspired by wmii that is primarily targeted at developers and advanced users. The stated goals for i3 include clear documentation, proper multi-monitor support, a tree structure for windows, and different modes like in vim.


i3wm Premium

The Ultimate i3wm Configuration With Modular Configs, Extra Functionality And Themes (25 Pre-Made + Infinite Auto Generated Themes With pywal)

Get i3wm Premium From ko-fi And Support Archcraft Development.


Once you finish installing Archcraft, i3wm can be installed on the top of it. It's pre-configured and ready to go.

Open a terminal and run the following command to install the regular version of i3wm :

$ sudo pacman -Sy archcraft-i3wm
Archcraft Prime

i3wm Premium comes pre-installed on Archcraft Prime ISO


i3wm is pre-configured in Archcraft. In this section, We'll see how the i3wm window manager is configured, what tools and utilities are used to make it look and work like a complete desktop environment.

Config Structure

The configuration structure of i3wm in Archcraft looks something like this:

└── i3 : i3wm config directory
├── alacritty : terminal config
├── config.d : modular i3wm config files
├── i3status : i3status config files
├── scripts : scripts used for i3wm
├── themes : all themes (polybar, rofi configs)
├── config : main i3wm config file
├── dunstrc : dunst config for notifications
├── picom.conf : compositor config
└── xsettingsd : gtk themes, icons and fonts config file


Alacritty is the default terminal. In the i3wm window manager, alacritty is launched with an alternative config file. If you need to change anything, make sure you modify the config files in ~/.config/i3/alacritty directory. These are the following config files you can modify to change the behaviour of your terminal:

~/.config/i3/alacritty/alacritty.toml : Main configuration file
~/.config/i3/alacritty/colors.toml : Colors configurations
~/.config/i3/alacritty/fonts.toml : Fonts configurations

If you need any help with alacritty config, run : man 5 alacritty in terminal.


When you change the theme, the colors.toml and fonts.toml file get overwritten by the theme script.

This is applicable only in i3wm Premium as themes are only available in it. On regular version, there's only one theme.


Dunst is used as a notification daemon for notifications in i3wm. In the i3wm window manager, dunst is launched with an alternative config file, which is ~/.config/i3/dunstrc. So, If you need to modify anything, make sure you edit this file.

If you need any help with dunst config, run : man 5 dunst in terminal.


When you change the theme, the fonts and colors in dunstrc file get overwritten by the theme script.

This is applicable only in i3wm Premium as themes are only available in it. On regular version, there's only one theme.


hsetroot sets the wallpaper in the i3wm. If you want to change the wallpaper, Edit the following scripts :

Edit ~/.config/i3/scripts/i3_autostart script and add the path to your wallpaper.

# Restore wallpaper
hsetroot -cover '/path/to/your/wallpaper'


Polybar is used as the statusbar in Archcraft's i3wm window manager.

The configurations for polybar can be found inside the theme directory directory of i3wm ~/.config/i3/theme

If you want to modify the polybar settings, or perhaps want to add/remove modules, then you need to edit the following files :

~/.config/i3/theme/polybar/config.ini : Main config file
~/.config/i3/theme/polybar/colors.ini : Colors config file
~/.config/i3/theme/polybar/modules.ini : Modules config file

If you need any help with polybar config, visit : polybar wiki

Launchers and Applets

Rofi is used for application launchers, command runner and various applets. To modify the rofi config, edit ~/.config/rofi/config.rasi file.

If you need any help with rofi config, run : man rofi in terminal.

The scripts for rofi that are used in i3wm can be found it ~/.config/i3/scripts directory. These are the following scripts that uses rofi to provide the launchers and applets in i3wm :

rofi_askpass : rofi based sudo frontend to get root password
rofi_asroot : applet to open apps as root
rofi_bluetooth : bluetooth applet to quickly connect to BT devices
rofi_launcher : an application launcher, cmd runner, file manager and task manager
rofi_music : music applet, that controls MPD with mpc
rofi_powermenu : power menu, with confirmation dialog
rofi_runner : quickly lets you run a command
rofi_screenshot : screenshot applet that works with maim
rofi_themes : applet to change the themes only in premium
rofi_windows : applet to manage opened windows

If you want to modify any applet or perhaps want to extend the functionality of the applet, just edit these scripts above.

The configuration of each script can be found inside the theme directory of i3wm ~/.config/i3/theme

Let's say you want to modify the looks of launcher, then you need to edit the ~/.config/i3/theme/rofi/launcher.rasi file. Same goes for every other applet, Edit the respective file in the same directory.

If you need any help with rofi theming, run : man rofi-theme in terminal.

To change the colors and fonts of the launchers and applets, Edit the ~/.config/i3/theme/rofi/shared/colors.rasi and ~/.config/i3/theme/rofi/shared/fonts.rasi files.


Picom is used for compositing. It's a lightweight compositor with shadowing, advanced blurring and fading. In i3wm, picom is launched with an alternative config file, which is ~/.config/i3/picom.conf.

If you need to change anything related to picom, Edit this picom config file.

If you need any help with picom config, check the picom's default config file in /etc/xdg/picom.conf


If you're having screen-tearing issues, using glx backend can solve this issue.
If you're facing lagging, hangs and freezes, try switching between xrender and glx backend.


When you change the theme, things like backend, shadows, blurring in picom.conf file gets overwritten by theme script.

This is applicable only in i3wm Premium as themes are only available in it. On regular version, there's only one theme.

Window Manager

The configuration of i3wm is available in ~/.config/i3. To configure i3wm window manager, these are the files that are used :

~/.config/i3/config : main i3wm config file with general settings
~/.config/i3/config.d/01_theme.conf : theme config file, things like colors, border size, gaps
~/.config/i3/config.d/02_keybindings.conf : all the key bindings
~/.config/i3/config.d/03_mousebindings.conf : all the mouse bindings
~/.config/i3/config.d/04_modes.conf : i3 mode key bindings
~/.config/i3/config.d/05_rules.conf : all the window rules
~/.config/i3/i3status/config : i3status modules
~/.config/i3/i3status/statusbar.conf : config file for i3status

If you need any help with i3wm configuration, visit : i3wm docs


When you change the theme, things like border colors, border width and gaps in 01_theme.conf file gets overwritten by the theme script.

This is applicable only in i3wm Premium as themes are only available in it. On regular version, there's only one theme.


Here's a list of some important keybinds you need to know for operating i3wm easily. If you want to view, modify or add new keybinds, Edit ~/.config/i3/config.d/02_keybindings.conf and ~/.config/i3/config.d/04_modes.conf files.


super + ReturnOpen terminal (alacritty)
super + shift + ReturnOpen floating terminal
super + alt + ReturnOpen fullscreen terminal
super + shift + FOpen file manager (thunar)
super + shift + EOpen text editor (geany)
super + shift + WOpen web browser (firefox)
superOpen application launcher
alt + F1Open application launcher
super + NOpen network manager applet
super + MOpen music applet
super + XOpen powermenu applet
super + SOpen screenshots applet
super + ROpen apps as root applet
super + TOpen theme applet only in premium
super + WOpen window applet

Hardware Keys

PrintTake screenshot
ctrl + PrintTake screenshot in 5 seconds delay
shift + PrintTake screenshot in 10 seconds delay
ctrl + shift + PrintTake screenshot of currently focused window
super + PrintTake screenshot of selected area
XF86AudioRaiseVolumeIncrease volume
XF86AudioLowerVolumeDecrease volume
XF86AudioMuteToggle mute speakers
XF86AudioMicMuteToggle mute microphone
XF86Audio + Next/Prev/Play/StopMedia controls (MPD)
XF86MonBrightnessUpIncrease display brightness
XF86MonBrightnessDownDecrease display brightness


super + 1..10Switch to respective workspace
super + shift + 1..10Move focused container to respective workspace
super + ctrl + Left/RightMove a container to the next/previous workspace
super + BSwitch workspaces back-and-forth
super + shift + BMove container to workspace back-and-forth

Window Management

super + C/QClose focued window
super + H/VSplit in horizontal/vertical orientation
super + shift + SSet stacking layout
super + shift + TSet tabbed layout
super + shift + DSet default layout
super + shift + LToggle between stacking/tabbed/split
super + shift + VToggle between horizontal/vertical
super + shift + OSticky floating windows
super + FToggle fullscreen
super + SpaceToggle floating/tiling
super + shift + SpaceToggles focus between floating/tiling containers
super + Left/Right/Up/DownSets focus to the nearest container in the given direction
super + shift + Left/Right/Up/DownMove focused window in the given direction
super + YChanging border style
super + ASets focus to the parent container
super + DSets focus to the child container
super + TabAutomatically sets focus to the adjacent container
super + alt + CMove floating container to the center of all outputs
super + alt + PMove floating container to the current position of the cursor
super + alt + Left/Right/Up/DownResizing containers/windows
super + MinusMake the currently focused window a scratchpad
super + shift + MinusShow the first scratchpad window
super + shift + RToggle Resize mode
super + shift + MToggle Resize mode
super + shift + GToggle Gaps mode

Window Manager

ctrl + shift + RRestart i3wm
super + shift + CReload i3wm
super + shift + QQuit i3wm

Misc Keys

ctrl + alt + VOpen vim in terminal
ctrl + alt + ROpen ranger in terminal
ctrl + alt + HOpen htop in terminal
ctrl + alt + MOpen ncmpcpp with album art in terminal
ctrl + alt + LTrigger lockscreen
super + PRun colorpicker



Here's few screenshots of i3wm desktop. These'll give you an idea of the experience of i3wm in Archcraft.

Desktop 1Desktop 2Desktop 3Desktop 4
Desktop 5Desktop 6Desktop 7Desktop 8
Desktop 9Desktop 10Desktop 11Desktop 12
Desktop 13Desktop 14Desktop 15Desktop 16


There's only one theme available on regular i3wm.



How to update my config to new configs?

When a new version of Archcraft i3wm get released, And you update the system by sudo pacman -Syu or you update the i3wm package by sudo pacman -S archcraft-i3wm, New config files get installed as i3_pacnew_YYYY-MM-DD in your ~/.config directory.

To use new configs, backup your old ~/.config/i3 directory and move ~/.config/i3_pacnew_YYYY-MM-DD to ~/.config/i3 and login again.

For i3wm premium, download the updated package from ko-fi (for free) and just install it to update to new configs.

How to change GTK theme, icons and cursor?

To change GTK theme, icons and cursor in i3wm session, Edit ~/.config/i3/xsettingsd file and restart i3wm to apply the changes.

Net/ThemeName "Arc-Dark"
Net/IconThemeName "Zafiro"
Gtk/CursorThemeName "Qogirr"
How to manage multiple monitors and resolution in i3wm?

If you use multiple monitors with i3wm window manager, you can manage them by running Manager Monitors or archcraft-randr app.

Why Alacritty is not working on my computer?

Since Alacritty is a OpenGL based terminal emulator, It may not work on some computer hardwares. You can make it work on such computers by following these methods :

  1. Open alacritty with LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1 variable. Edit the keybindings/script launching alacritty and replace alacritty with LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1 alacritty
  2. Edit /usr/share/applications/Alacritty.desktop desktop file and replace Exec=alacritty with Exec=env LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1 alacritty