Other posts in this series:

Packages

Install the following packages:

pacman -S nettle nvidia-libgl xorg-server xorg-xinit
pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics
pacman -S xf86-video-nouveau mesa
pacman -S i3-wm i3status dmenu rxvt-unicode

Then create your .xinitrc to launch i3:

echo "exec i3" > .xinitrc

Start X:

startx

i3 will prompt you for a couple of setup questions. Hit enter to accept the defaults.

Starting RXVT

You should now be seeing a mostly blank screen. Hit Command+Enter a couple of times and some (u)rxvt instances will start and be tiled by i3.

To exit, hit Command+Shift+E. See the i3 User’s Guide for an introduction to using i3.

Note for Dvorak Users

When i3 starts up, it checks for ~/.i3/config. If that file does not exist, it automatically runs i3-config-wizard to generate it.

The wizard automatically translates shortcuts to their physical keys. For example, when using dvorak, i3-config-wizard binds the “exit” keyboard shortcut to $mod+Shift+period instead of $mod+Shift+e.

If you’d rather use your dvorak-mapped keys for keyboard shortcuts, simply run i3-config-wizard while using the QWERTY layout:

rm .i3/config
setxkbmap us
i3-config-wizard
setxkbmap dvorak

Then hit $mod+Shift+c to reload the configuration.