knowledge › Arch Linux

Desktop Environment

With i3-gaps!


sudo pacman -S i3-gaps i3status and that's it!

Desktop experience

i3 is only a window manager and does not provide a fully-featured desktop experience (in my opinion). The following is some software that I use to flesh out my desktop inspired by rstacruz/ricefiles.


  • 🔥 - You need this
  • ✨ - Nice to have
  • 🚨 - This will suck up your time, avoid!


Name Description Location
🔥 compton X display compositor. This will fix some tearing issues. official
🔥 dunst Notification daemon. This shows notifications in your desktop. official
🔥 feh Sets wallpapers. Simple, CLI stuff. (alternative: nitrogen has a GUI.) official
🔥 i3status Desktop panel. A simple configurable bar, usually the default for i3. official
🔥 lxappearance Allows you to pick GTK themes, cursors, and so on. official
🔥 maim CLI screenshot tool (similar to MacOS's). I bind a command to mod-ctrl-4 for a similar experience. Works well with xclip official
🔥 network-manager-applet Choosing wifi networks from the systray. (alternatives: nmtui for terminal, which already comes with networkmanager by default.) official
🔥 pavucontrol A GUI to manage pulseaudio sound streams. (Similar to sudo alsamixer) official
🔥 redshift Remove blue light emitted by displays at night. official
🔥 rofi Launcher. It's a bit like "Alfred for Linux". official
fff Terminal based file manager with Vim bindings. official
thunar GTK based file manager. official
🚨️ polybar Desktop panel. This is super nice to look at but configuration is a time sink. official


Name Description Location
bibata-cursor-theme Nice X cursor theme. AUR
ant-dracula-gtk-theme A slick Dracula theme for GTK AUR


Name Description Location
blueman GTK GUI for managing bluetooth devices and adapters. official


Name Description Location
🔥 i3lock Must have to lock your screen. Requires some scripting. official
🔥 xidlehook Replacement for xautolock to run scripts at intervals of inactivity. AUR