Fedora Linux and tiling WM fans rejoice, there’s an upcoming Fedora Linux spin featuring the i3 tiling window manager by default, and in this article I’m giving you a first look at this new heaven for tiling WM fans.
Available for GNU/Linux and BSD operating systems, i3 is an improved tiling window manager written from scratch, which t supports tiling, stacking, and tabbing layouts. As you can imagine, its primary target are power users, developers, and Linux hackers (it’s used by major Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman).
The i3 WM has been in Fedora Linux’s software repositories for some years now, so if you wanted to use the Red Hat sponsored distribution with the i3 tiling window manager, you had to install it on top of an existing flavor, such as Xfce, LXQt, LXDE, MATE, etc.
But, with the upcoming Fedora Linux 34 release, due out in late April 2021, that will no longer be the case. Fedora Linux is getting its own, dedicated i3 spin featuring a pre-configured i3 tiling window manager by default.
If you’re used to tiling window managers, especially the i3 WM, than this is probably good news for you. But if you’re new to tiling WMs, let me tell you that most of the navigation is done with the keyboard.
The Fedora Linux i3 spin is very light and very simple at a glance. It features a taskbar at the bottom of the screen where you’ll always see the current workspace on the left, as well as some basic, yet useful information about your system and the WiFi applet on the left. At the top, you’ll see the program launcher, when it’s accessed.
These include details about your Internet connection (Wi-Fi, Ethernet, IPv6, current IP), battery percentage (if you’re using a laptop), RAM usage, CPU usage, disk usage, uptime, as well as current date and time.
When running the Fedora Linux i3 spin for the first time, you’ll be asked if you want to generate a new configuration or use the default one provided by the Fedora Project. If you choose to generate a new config, you’ll be asked to select a modifier key as <Win> or <Alt>, which will be used for running commands, switching workspaces, or changing layouts.
That’s it! You can now start using i3 if you know how to navigate it, something that you can learn from the window manager’s official website. As I said before, i3 is a very simple graphical environment, so there’s not much to talk about it here.
As for the graphical apps that are present in the default install, there’s the Mozilla Firefox web browser and Xfce’s Thunar file manager. Of couse, you can install any other application you want from Fedora Linux’s repos.
In conclusion, the Fedora Linux i3 spin is a welcome flavor, and I bet tiling window manager fans will definitely appreciate it. The best part is that you’re also getting access to all the awesome new features, apps and latest GNU/Linux technologies provided by the Fedora Linux operating system.
One big advantage of this i3 spin is that it doesn’t require many system resources, so you can use it on older computers from 10-15 years ago with 1GB RAM, as as long as they have a 64-bit CPU.
The first ever release of the Fedora Linux i3 spin is shipping next month, but if you want to give it a try right now, you can download the Fedora Linux 34 Beta release. However, please keep in mind not to use this beta version for any production work as it may be buggy or because some features might be missing.
Last updated 2 years ago