So the purpose of this project is to create a console-centric “spin” of Linux that will help me practice the skills for my LPIC-1 101 Exam. So I’ve decided to use debian minimal from a net install and then the i3 window manager to stay close to the terminal.
Installing My System
Debian network based install, minimal system, headless. So i have only a linux terminal to work from:
Noticed that I couldn’t find i3 in the package manager ended up having to add it to my sources list.
so I ploop over to The Debian Wiki and found this page on working with my sources.list file and this on understanding repositories which was really helpful because it had a section on that told me how to add the exact repo i wanted to add to my system, so I made the change and ran apt update to update my cache with the package list for that repository.
and can new see i3-wm available for install, so lets get to work
First installed i3:
sudo apt -fy install i3-wm #fix dependencies, auto yes
then figured out i3 wasn’t working cause i didn’t have a display server or something that could facilitate drawing my desktop environment, so i installed xorg per the docs:
sudo apt -fy install xorg #Dependencies, auto yes
Great so now I have a display server (xorg) and a window manager / desktop environment (i3) and i need to make them start when I log in. so for that I learned I need to update my ~/.profile file with commands I want run when I sign in. So I added a command to start the xorg server after I log in basically giving me i3 from the start of my session
startx #Starts XOrg server for i3, it just worked.
reboot and my situation looks like this:
and if I want I can have graphical or terminal applications open:
So cool now I have the bare minimum up and going. Next I need to learn to navigate around i3 and customize it. For better reference-ability I’ve created a specific article in this series for learning to navigate i3, you can find it here:
From there I’ll be working on modding i3 and doing things like backgrounds and custom status bars and a more ergonomic shortcut layout for i3. Stay tuned.