In my opinion i3 is the best window manager out there. When I heard that Manjaro had an i3 community edition I jumped right at it.
The i3 edition is available from the Manjaro Sourceforge repository. I was surprised to see that they offered the latest version with a testing and unstable branch. They also had the previous two editions. All of the versions also come with options for other kernels and you could download the OpenRC edition or the Systemd edition. In this article for the install I will be using the 15.09 edition of Manjaro, Systemd and kernel 4.2. For the review part of this article I will be using Manjaro 15.09 with kernel 126.96.36.199-1 and OpenRC as my system-init.
When you first boot up you should see a grub screen like below (Select the first option to install or boot live image)
Then you should see a screen of rolling text like this (OpenRC users may see a slightly different screen)
Once it is finished booting you are greeted with this dialogue.
Press on ‘use Calameres’
You will be greeted by a screen like this.
Enter your timezone and press ‘Next’
Enter in your keyboard layout and press ‘Next’
Click on manual partitioning and then ‘Next’
Press on ‘New Partition Table’
Click ‘Create’ and make your dialogue match mine (except for the size)
Click ‘Create’ again and make your dialogue match mine (except for the size)
Your screen should look like mine.
Select the partition that we just made and press ‘Next’
Enter in your information
Make sure that this information is correct.
Good job! Wait for the installation to finish.
I love Arch Linux and I also love i3, so this should be a perfect distro for me right?
Manjaro i3 is amazing… but being a community distribution there are a few kinks. Even though all of my hardware worked on first boot (I was very surprised) it was still very hard for me to use because of one main reason. A lack of documentation. For example, I could not figure out how to change the wallpaper for the first few days. I tried adding a feh command to the i3 config, but it would never work. So after a lot of Google searching I finally found out that Manjaro i3 uses Nitrogen and not feh like most Arch Linux setups. Also after a couple of days my media keys stopped working for no rhyme or reason. Now I have to use the tray icon to change my volume.
Apart from those few kinks this distribution is magical. The i3 config is very easy to read, I love how there is a separate folder for screenshots and the notifications are great. I also love the Conky widgets. I feel like if Manjaro i3 got more attention and more funding it could be great. Currently it is developed by one person known as Oberon2007.
Dell XPS 1645 laptop with an AMD Redwood graphics card, Core I7 Q740 @ 1.7GHz and 8 gigabytes of ram.
The install used a 3 gigabyte virtual machine.