i3

i3 is a tiling window manager. See my notes below on various settings, modules, etc

Because this is such a broad topic, I'll pot links here for the sources I used to configure my own Manjaro Linux system running the i3wm and polybar.

Alsa / Volume Mixers - Cannot find simple element

Vim Unicode Plugin

Inserting Unicode Characters Into Vim

Polybar Module Documentation

i3-gaps

i3 has been altered for various reasons and you may want a different version, i3-gaps is a popular choice right now as it leaves a configurable amount of space between your windows that gives some visual relief to your workspace. It looks nice, depending on your opinion. To check it out, you'll need to REMOVE i3 and reinstall using an alternate version. Run the following commands -

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
# Head over to https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+ppas?name_filter=i3-gaps and pick one.
# I chose https://launchpad.net/~kgilmer/+archive/ubuntu/speed-ricer as it was recommended by the owner / maintainer of i3 on GitHub.

# Run the following command to add the PPA to your system (DEBIAN ONLY)
#+ If you are on arch, just use yay AUR manager.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kgilmer/speed-rice
sudo apt update
sudo apt install i3-gaps

Some basic i3-gaps configurations / settings taken from My Dotfiles Repo -

#################################################################
### Settings for i3-gaps  #######################################
#################################################################

# Set inner/outer gaps default values
gaps inner 14
gaps outer -2

# Additionally, you can issue commands with the following syntax. This is useful to bind keys to changing the gap size.
# gaps inner|outer current|all set|plus|minus <px>
# gaps inner all set 10
# gaps outer all plus 5

# Smart gaps (gaps used if only more than one container on the workspace)
smart_gaps on

# Smart borders (draw borders around container only if it is not the only container on this workspace) 
# on|no_gaps (on=always activate and no_gaps=only activate if the gap size to the edge of the screen is 0)
smart_borders on

# Press $mod+Shift+g to enter the gap mode. Choose o or i for modifying outer/inner gaps. Press one of + / - (in-/decrement for current workspace) or 0 (remove gaps for current workspace). If you also press Shift with these keys, the change will be global for all workspaces.
set $mode_gaps Gaps: (o) outer, (i) inner
set $mode_gaps_outer Outer Gaps: +|-|0 (local), Shift + +|-|0 (global)
set $mode_gaps_inner Inner Gaps: +|-|0 (local), Shift + +|-|0 (global)
bindsym $mod+Shift+g mode "$mode_gaps"

mode "$mode_gaps" {
        bindsym o      mode "$mode_gaps_outer"
        bindsym i      mode "$mode_gaps_inner"
        bindsym Return mode "default"
        bindsym Escape mode "default"
}
mode "$mode_gaps_inner" {
        bindsym plus  gaps inner current plus 5
        bindsym minus gaps inner current minus 5
        bindsym 0     gaps inner current set 0

        bindsym Shift+plus  gaps inner all plus 5
        bindsym Shift+minus gaps inner all minus 5
        bindsym Shift+0     gaps inner all set 0

        bindsym Return mode "default"
        bindsym Escape mode "default"
}
mode "$mode_gaps_outer" {
        bindsym plus  gaps outer current plus 5
        bindsym minus gaps outer current minus 5
        bindsym 0     gaps outer current set 0

        bindsym Shift+plus  gaps outer all plus 5
        bindsym Shift+minus gaps outer all minus 5
        bindsym Shift+0     gaps outer all set 0

        bindsym Return mode "default"
        bindsym Escape mode "default"
}

Xkeybinds

X11 can help configure media keys on laptops and aftermarket keyboards to pair with their intended use by running a command or action when pressed. This can seem confusing to configure, and may be time consuming at first but once you get the hang of it and know where to look it isn't all that bad. There is a GUI tool if you'd prefer to use it, but Ill still show how to do this via a terminal below.

# Install and use GUI xbindkeys-config tool on debian
sudo apt install xbindkeys-config
xbindkeys-config
# Use the GUI to set an action (command) to be performed for each key in the list

Through a terminal -

# Capture next keypress and output keycode information to console
xbindkeys --key
Press combination of keys or/and click under the window.                       
You can use one of the two lines after "NoCommand"                             
in $HOME/.xbindkeysrc to bind a key.
"(Scheme function)"
    m:0x0 + c:75
    F9
    
# OR

# Capture next multi-keypress and output keycode information to console
xbindkeys --multikey
Press combination of keys or/and click under the window.                       
You can use one of the two lines after "NoCommand"                             
in $HOME/.xbindkeysrc to bind a key.
Press combination of keys or/and click under the window.                       
You can use one of the two lines after "NoCommand"                             
in $HOME/.xbindkeysrc to bind a key.

--- Press "q" to stop. ---
"(Scheme function)"
    m:0x1 + c:75
    Shift + F9
# This will continue to capture until you press Q.

Take the above output into your clipboard and vim ~/.xbindkeysrc to add the commands needed. Below, I configure media keys for volume functionality -

#~/.xbindkeysrc
#

#Volume Up
"pactl set-sink-volume @DEFAULT_SINK@ +10%"
    m:0x0 + c:76
    F10 

#Volume Down
"pactl set-sink-volume @DEFAULT_SINK@ -10%"
    m:0x0 + c:75
    F9 

#Toggle Audio
"pactl set-sink-mute @DEFAULT_SINK@ toggle"
    m:0x0 + c:74
    F8 

Thats it! Above, you could change the pactl set-sink-mute commands to anything youd like to happen when the F8-10 keys are pressed. After you're done, apply your changes by running xbindkeys --poll-rc

ArchWiki Resource

Backlight

run sudo ls /sys/class/backlight - if you see intel_backlight there you are in luck, follow the steps below to configure xbacklight to adjust your display brightness.


sudo apt install xbacklight
sudo vim /etc/X11/xorg.conf
# If the above file doesnt exisit, make it.
# If it does, append the lines below
Section "Device"
  Identifier  "Intel Graphics" 
  Driver      "intel"
  Option      "Backlight"  "intel_backlight"
EndSection
# Save and exit, reboot your PC or logout of your xsession and login again.

# Now the below commands should work and can be bound to any key the same way we bound volume keys in the section above
# Decrease brightness by 10%
xbacklight -dec 10
# Increase brightness by 10%
xbacklight -inc 10

Notification System

Useful commands / tools for handling desktop notification dialogs -

# Install, use notify-send
sudo apt install libnotify-bin
notify-send "Test Notification"

# Install kdeconnect for connecting mobile devices on the same network which have been paired using kdeconnect-cli
sudo apt install kdeconnect
# Be sure to download the KDEconnect app on your mobile device in your respective app store and connect to the same Wi-Fi network as your PC

# list devices with KDEconnect on your network
kdeconnect-cli -l --id-name-only
13b9d56df4c8815b KapperDroid
kdeconnect-cli -l --id-only                                           
13b9d56df4c8815b

# Given the ID corresponding with the name you chose for your device within the KDEconmnect app...
kdeconnect-cli --pair -d 13b9d56df4c8815b                             
Pair requested
# Check the KDEconnect app on your phone for the prompt, you may have to open the app and navigate to the side panel -> 'Add new device'




# See help text
kdeconnect-cli -h

Status Bars

Polybar

Polybar is a simple community driven solution to configuring custom status bars. Generally, configurations are handled within the ~/.config/polybar/config file, but some specific cases may require editing other files.

Install

The general requirements of using Polybar is installation via your package manager, for me, this is pacman. After installing, we need to define our polybars, then configure i3 to handle these settings for us.

sudo pacman -Syu polybar

After installing, we need to configure our bars within ~/.config/polybar/config, then we can simply run polybar top to run a polybar titled top within said config file.

Polybar Using i3

To start, a default ~/.config/i3/config will contain a block defining the i3status and its settings

bar {
	i3bar_command i3bar
	status_command i3status
	position bottom

# please set your primary output first. Example: 'xrandr --output eDP1 --primary'
	tray_output primary
	tray_output eDP1

	bindsym button4 nop
	bindsym button5 nop
   font xft:URWGothic-Book 11
	strip_workspace_numbers yes

    colors {
        background #222D31
        statusline #F9FAF9
        separator  #454947

                      border  backgr. text
        focused_workspace  #F9FAF9 #16a085 #292F34
        active_workspace   #595B5B #353836 #FDF6E3
       inactive_workspace #595B5B #222D31 #EEE8D5
       binding_mode       #16a085 #2C2C2C #F9FAF9
       urgent_workspace   #16a085 #FDF6E3 #E5201D
   }
}

We are going to remove this, or comment it all out, and replace it with the exec_always line below. Now copy the start-polybar.sh script to ~/.config/polybar/ for use with i3 startup configuration below. This is just telling i3 that we are starting Polybar from a script we've written and stored within the ~/.config/polybar/ directory on initial startup.

My bar { ... } define within ~/.config/i3/config -

# Custom startup apps
exec_always --no-startup-id $HOME/.config/polybar/start-polybar.sh

# Don't use i3 status bar, comment out this block or remove it entirely
#bar { }

Now just press the <Mod><Shift><R> (i3 default setting) to reload i3 and your Polybars should start up instead of the default i3status

Define Polybars / Modules

For example, my ~/.config/polybar/config -

[bar/top]
monitor = ${env:MONITOR}
width = 100%
height = 34
background = #00000000
foreground = #ccffffff
line-color = ${bar/bottom.background}
line-size = 16
spacing = 2
padding-right = 5
module-margin = 4
font-0 = NotoSans-Regular:size=8;-1
font-1 = MaterialIcons:size=10;0
font-2 = Termsynu:size=8:antialias=false;-2
font-3 = FontAwesome:size=10;0
font-4 = Unifont:size=8;0
modules-left = powermenu
modules-center = ki3
modules-right = volume wired-network clock

[bar/bottom]
monitor = ${env:MONITOR}
bottom = true
width = 100%
height = 27
background = ${bar/top.background}
foreground = ${bar/top.foreground}
line-color = ${bar/top.background}
line-size = 2
spacing = 3
padding-right = 4
module-margin-left = 0
module-margin-right = 6
font-0 = NotoSans-Regular:size=8;0
font-1 = unifont:size=6;-3
font-2 = FontAwesome:size=8;-2
font-3 = NotoSans-Regular:size=8;-1
font-4 = MaterialIcons:size=10;-1
font-5 = Termsynu:size=8:antialias=false;0

These first two blocks define our top and bottom status bars. Continuing on in the ~/.config/polybar/config file, we see the defines for the modules -

[module/powermenu]
type = custom/menu
format-padding = 5
label-open = ䷡
label-close = X
menu-0-0 = Terminate WM
menu-0-0-foreground = #fba922
menu-0-0-exec = bspc quit -1
menu-0-1 = Reboot
menu-0-1-foreground = #fba922
menu-0-1-exec = menu_open-1
menu-0-2 = Power off
menu-0-2-foreground = #fba922
menu-0-2-exec = menu_open-2
menu-1-0 = Cancel
menu-1-0-foreground = #fba922
menu-1-0-exec = menu_open-0
menu-1-1 = Reboot
menu-1-1-foreground = #fba922
menu-1-1-exec = sudo reboot
menu-2-0 = Power off
menu-2-0-foreground = #fba922
menu-2-0-exec = sudo poweroff
menu-2-1 = Cancel
menu-2-1-foreground = #fba922
menu-2-1-exec = menu_open-0

[module/cpu]
type = internal/cpu
interval = 0.5
format = <label> <ramp-coreload>
label = CPU
ramp-coreload-0 = ▁
ramp-coreload-0-font = 2
ramp-coreload-0-foreground = #aaff77
ramp-coreload-1 = ▂
ramp-coreload-1-font = 2
ramp-coreload-1-foreground = #aaff77
ramp-coreload-2 = ▃
ramp-coreload-2-font = 2
ramp-coreload-2-foreground = #aaff77
ramp-coreload-3 = ▄
ramp-coreload-3-font = 2
ramp-coreload-3-foreground = #aaff77
ramp-coreload-4 = ▅
ramp-coreload-4-font = 2
ramp-coreload-4-foreground = #fba922
ramp-coreload-5 = ▆
ramp-coreload-5-font = 2
ramp-coreload-5-foreground = #fba922
ramp-coreload-6 = ▇
ramp-coreload-6-font = 2
ramp-coreload-6-foreground = #ff5555
ramp-coreload-7 = █
ramp-coreload-7-font = 2
ramp-coreload-7-foreground = #ff5555

[module/clock]
type = internal/date
interval = 2
date = %%{F#999}%Y-%m-%d%%{F-}  %%{F#fff}%H:%M%%{F-}

[module/date]
type = internal/date
date =    %%{F#99}%Y-%m-%d%%{F-}  %%{F#fff}%H:%M%%{F-}
date-alt = %%{F#fff}%A, %d %B %Y  %%{F#fff}%H:%M%%{F#666}:%%{F#fba922}%S%%{F-}

[module/memory]
type = internal/memory
format = <label> <bar-used>
label = RAM
bar-used-width = 30
bar-used-foreground-0 = #aaff77
bar-used-foreground-1 = #aaff77
bar-used-foreground-2 = #fba922
bar-used-foreground-3 = #ff5555
bar-used-indicator = |
bar-used-indicator-font = 6
bar-used-indicator-foreground = #ff
bar-used-fill = ─
bar-used-fill-font = 6
bar-used-empty = -
bar-used-empty-font = 6
bar-used-empty-foreground = #444444

[module/ki3]
type = internal/i3
; Only show workspaces defined on the same output as the bar
;
; Useful if you want to show monitor specific workspaces
; on different bars
;
; Default: false
pin-workspaces = true
; This will split the workspace name on ':'
; Default: false
strip-wsnumbers = true
; Sort the workspaces by index instead of the default
; sorting that groups the workspaces by output
; Default: false
index-sort = true
; Create click handler used to focus workspace
; Default: true
enable-click = false
; Create scroll handlers used to cycle workspaces
; Default: true
enable-scroll = true
; Wrap around when reaching the first/last workspace
; Default: true
wrapping-scroll = true
; Set the scroll cycle direction 
; Default: true
reverse-scroll = false
; Use fuzzy (partial) matching on labels when assigning 
; icons to workspaces
; Example: code;♚ will apply the icon to all workspaces 
; containing 'code' in the label
; Default: false
fuzzy-match = true

[module/volume]
type = internal/alsa
speaker-mixer = IEC958
headphone-mixer = Headphone
headphone-id = 9

format-volume = <ramp-volume> <label-volume>
label-muted =   muted
label-muted-foreground = #66
ramp-volume-0 = 
ramp-volume-1 = 
ramp-volume-2 = 
ramp-volume-3 = 


[module/wired-network]
type = internal/network
interface = net0
interval = 3.0
label-connected =    %{T3}%local_ip%%{T-}
label-disconnected-foreground = #66

[module/wireless-network]
type = internal/network
interface = net1
interval = 3.0
ping-interval = 10
format-connected = <ramp-signal> <label-connected>
label-connected = %essid%
label-disconnected =    not connected
label-disconnected-foreground = #66
ramp-signal-0 = 
ramp-signal-1 = 
ramp-signal-2 = 
ramp-signal-3 = 
ramp-signal-4 = 
animation-packetloss-0 = 
animation-packetloss-0-foreground = #ffa64c
animation-packetloss-1 = 
animation-packetloss-1-foreground = ${bar/top.foreground}
animation-packetloss-framerate = 500

Now that we have our status bars and Polybar Modules defined, we need to configure i3 to use Polybar instead of the default i3status that comes configured within the bar { ... } block of the i3 config file. See the beginning of this Polybar section for details on adding polybar to i3 instead.

Starting Polybar

If you have one monitor, you can simply run polybar top to start the top status bar created above, and creating a start script should be straight-forward. If you are using multiple monitors and want to replicate the status bars across all displays, create the below script within ~/.config/polybar/, name it what you wish, but be sure it corresponds with how you choose to exec_always in your i3 config later on.

#!/bin/bash
## Author: Shaun Reed | Contact: shaunrd0@gmail.com | URL: www.shaunreed.com ##
##  A script placed in ~/.config/polybar/ - Uses ${env:MONITOR}              ##
##  Starts polybars top and bottom on multiple displays                      ##
###############################################################################
# start-polybar.sh

# Kill any previous polybars
pkill -f polybar

# For each monitor in list up to ':'
for m in $(polybar --list-monitors | cut -d":" -f1); do
  # Reload polybars with monitor device name
  MONITOR=$m polybar --reload top &
  MONITOR=$m polybar --reload bottom &
done

Polybar Startup Script Source

Now, in your ~/.config/polybar/config file, ensure the ${env:MONITOR} environment variable is used to define the monitors -

[bar/top]
monitor = ${env:MONITOR}
width = 100%
height = 34
background = #00000000
foreground = #ccffffff
# Reduced..

Make the script executable and run it, polybar will start with your custom configs -

sudo chmod a+x start-polybar.sh
./start-polybar.sh

You may see errors for symbols used in fonts you do not have installed, see below for troubleshooting information.

To kill all Polybars, run pkill -f polybar

Verify / Install Fonts

You may run into issues with Unicode characters used in these configurations, see the links / commands below for help troubleshooting. The goal is usually to track down the font you are missing and install it, preferably via your system package manager. If you see an error like the below when starting your Polybars, this is likely the issue

warn: Dropping unmatched character ▁ (U+2581)

It is important to note that not defining the relevant font in the Polybar definition within ~/.config/polybar/config will result in the same error.

Cross-check that you have the supported fonts installed by searching up your character in a Unicode Character Search and checking that a relevant font is installed with the below command

fc-match -s monospace:charset=04de1

This matches the Great Power Hexagram, which I use for my system power options / context menu.

The fc-match command above will output all fonts compatible with that symbol, if there is no output, see the Supporting Fonts link from the character's search result, and install it via your package manager.

If it is not installed, search fonts available to install via pacman package manager

sudo pacman -Ss ttf- |grep unicode
sudo pacman -Ss otf- |grep unicode

If it is installed an the error is still present, see that the corresponding font for the character is included in the define for the status bar it is used in. For example, to use the Hexagram above, I added the Unifont:size=8;0 line to my top Polybar definition in ~/.config/polybar/config -

[bar/top]
monitor = ${env:MONITOR}
font-0 = NotoSans-Regular:size=8;-1
font-1 = MaterialIcons:size=10;0
font-2 = Termsynu:size=8:antialias=false;-2
font-3 = FontAwesome:size=10;0
font-4 = Unifont:size=8;0

If still having issues, check the following commands for more info / useful output

# Search for installed fonts
fc-list | grep fontname

Arch Wiki - Fonts

Terminal Emulator

URXVT

URXVT is nice because it can be configured to be extremely lightweight by only installing the perls needed to suit your workflow. By default, urxvt is very minimal and takes some configuration to use adequately.

settings are stored in ~/.Xresources, and there are many custom configurations available online other people have already made. These can be easily used to build your own configuration and then applied by running the following -

xrdb ~/.Xresources

qTerminal

A lightweight terminal with some GUI functionality for customizing behavior, appearance, and shortcuts. If URXVT is giving issues during configuration, this can be used instead. After setting your preferences, the configs are generally stored in ~/.config/qterminal/

To run this terminal

Tmux Multiplexer

Multiplexers can be used to reattach to previous sessions and manage clipboard content / session history. This means that when you close a terminal, the session still exists in the background and can be called to the foreground using your choice of tmux commands.

Session / Server Management

# Start the tmux server
# If ran while a tmux server is active, Tmux will not allow you to nest servers within eachother
tmux
tmux list-commands
# List active tty sessions tracked by the local tmux server
tmux list-sessions
# Interactive terminal to choose from previous sessions. Shows a thumbnail of the session in its last known state
tmux choose-session


# If you are running on a potato, you might need to use the following commands periodically to clean up your server as it will consume significant RAM.

# Kills all sessions, without killing the server.
# This command can confuse the interface / tmux status if you utilize session ID within your tmux status bar.
# ie.) If you run this on an active server within session ID 25, all sessions will be killed but your new session IDs will not reset to 1..2.. etc
# To fix this, restart your tmux server
tmux kill-session -a
# Kill tmux server, this will close ALL terminals and any WIP will be lost if it has not been saved.
tmux kill-server

Configuration / Status

Tmux has a very nice interface which can be customized to suit your needs and display the information relevant to your environment. This can be found in the ~/.tmux.conf file but is recommended to be customized within the ~/.tmux.conf.local file.

Some useful settings can be found below, taken from my Dotfiles Repository

###############################################################################
## Author: Shaun Reed | Contact: shaunrd0@gmail.com | URL: www.shaunreed.com ##
##                                                                           ##
## A custom tmux multiplexer config / layout created for Manjaro i3          ##
##+ Inspired by vim-powerline: https://github.com/Lokaltog/powerline         ##
##                                                                           ##
## This config created and tested with Powerline Consolas                    ##
##+ https://github.com/Lokaltog/powerline-fonts                              ##
##+ Some symbols may require Font Awesome 5 Free Solid                       ##
##                                                                           ##
###############################################################################
# .tmux.conf
#
# If symbols or powerline layout fail to appear...
#+ Check your terminal emulator font settings include these fonts
#+ Check that required fonts are installed
#
# Note: The use of 256colours in this file allows for portable color definitions between platforms and applications
#+ Changing to a different color interpretation may result in some apps displaying colors differently than others
#+ Vim plugin 'Colorizer' does not reflect the actual 256colour values
#+ See https://jonasjacek.github.io/colors/ for a full list of 256colours

# Mouse interaction
set -g mouse on

# Status bar location
set-option -g status-position top

# Status update interval
set -g status-interval 1

# Basic status bar colors
set -g status-style fg=colour240,bg=colour233

# Left side contents of status bar
set -g status-left-style bg=colour233,fg=colour243
set -g status-left-length 40
# Note: No bold required, no BG reveal produced by symbol gaps on left side
#+ Font: Powerline Consolas
#+ Some unicode characters may not appear when viewing this code via web browser
#+ Symbols below are 'left_hard_divider' and can be seen here (https://www.nerdfonts.com/cheat-sheet)
set -g status-left "#[fg=colour233,bg=colour100,bold] #S #[fg=colour100,bg=colour240,nobold]#[fg=colour233,bg=colour240] #(uname -m)#F  #[fg=colour240,bg=colour235]#[fg=colour240,bg=colour235] #I:#P #[fg=colour235,bg=colour233]#[fg=colour240,bg=colour233] #(uname -r)"
# Above, we use the #(COMMAND) syntax to print the output of COMMAND to the tmux status bar. 
# #I, #P, #F above are all tmux custom variables which can be found in the tmux manpage.

# Right side of status bar
set -g status-right-style bg=colour233,fg=colour243
set -g status-right-length 150
# Hide right bar entirely
#set -g status-right ""

# Note: Powerline font requires alternate of bold on right side
# Corrects gap on right of character that reveals BG color
#+ Font: Powerline Consolas
#+ Some unicode characters may not appear when viewing this code via web browser
#+ Symbols below are 'right_hard_divider' and can be seen here (https://www.nerdfonts.com/cheat-sheet)
set -g status-right  "#[fg=colour235,bg=colour233,bold]#[fg=colour240,bg=colour235,nobold] %H:%M:%S #[fg=colour240,bg=colour235,bold]#[fg=colour233,bg=colour240,nobold] %d-%b-%y #[fg=colour100,bg=colour240,bold]#[fg=colour233,bg=colour100,bold] #H "

# Window status (Centered)
set -g window-status-current-format "#[fg=colour255,bg=colour233]#[fg=colour100,nobold] #(whoami)@#H #[fg=colour255,bg=colour233,nobold]"
# Current window status
set -g window-status-current-style bg=colour100,fg=colour235
# Window with activity status
set -g window-status-activity-style bg=colour233,fg=colour245
# Window separator
set -g window-status-separator ""
# Window status alignment
set -g status-justify centre

# NOTE
# These are just SOME useful settings and not a complete configuration. See https://gitlab.com/shaunrd0/dot/blob/master/.tmux.conf for a full configuration that I use / edit frequently. It may look very different then the above, but uses the same ideas.

Want your current working directory to show some git repository information in your status bar? Gitmux