A new release of i3 window manager

Last week the i3 development team released version 4.2 of their superb tiling window manager. Among a number of new features, there was one that particularly caught my attention, a scratchpad command. The command creates a scratchpad container where any of your windows can be placed and displayed on demand. The scratchpad container gets displayed in the centre of a window in a floating mode. It’s a convenient place for windows that you do not want displayed all the time. Personally, I can think of the following uses of the scratchpad container: ncmpcpp, mc, bash prompt, email, REPL, or simply, as the name suggests, a scratchpad with emacs inside. Yes, you can have more than one scratchpad container.

How to use the scratchpad

First you need to edit your i3 config file (~/.i3/config)

# Make the currently focused window a scratchpad
bindsym $mod+o move scratchpad
# Show the first scratchpad window
bindsym $mod+i scratchpad show

First you move a currently focused window to a scratchpad with Alt+o, then you can toggle show/hide with Alt+i to see how it works. You can move more windows to the scratchpad. If you work on a dual-monitor setup, you can move the scratchpad between the screens with the standard move command as well as bring a window back to a normal tiling flow by disabling a floating mode on it.


2 Replies to “A new release of i3 window manager”

  1. Like Mateusz, thanks! You explanation is a fantastic supplement to the users guide. i3 is fantastic!

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