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i3 Window Manager Cheat Sheet

i3 Window Manager Cheat Sheet

$mod refers to the modifier key (window/command or alt by default depending on config)


  • startx i3 start i3 from command line
  • $mod+<Enter> open a terminal
  • $mod+d open dmenu (text based program launcher)
  • $mod+r resize mode ( or to leave resize mode)
  • $mod+shift+e exit i3
  • $mod+shift+r restart i3 inplace
  • $mod+shift+c reload config file
  • $mod+shift+q kill window (does normal close if application supports it)
  • $mod+space toggle focus


  • $mod+w tabbed layout
  • $mod+e vertical and horizontal layout (switches to and between them)
  • $mod+s stacked layout
  • $mod+f fullscreen
  • $mod+v split window vertically
  • $mod+h split window horizontally

Moving Windows

  • $mod+shift+<direction key> move window in direction (depends on direction keys settings)
  • direction keys
    • j left
    • k down
    • l up
    • ; right


  • $mod+shift+space toggle floating
  • $mod+mouse drag floating


  • $mod+[0-9] switch to another workspace
  • $mod+shift+[0-9] move a window to another workspace


  • copy /etc/i3/config to ~/.i3/config (or ~/.config/i3/config)
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