i3, love and problems
So i3 is simply incredible once you gets used to it: The amount of display real-estate that can be used is (nearly) unlimited and organizing windows is not a problem anymore. Tiling is without doubt an amazing experience that should be nice and accessible to everyone.
A problem that arises when using only a base system like archlinux in combination with i3 is the lack of support. Want to connect a seconds screen? Start fighting with xrandr. Want to connect to a wireless network? Be ready to read a lot of manpages. ...
(sidenote: I dont't want to say that any of the above is not possible with pure i3, but is is a tedious process if just getting the job done is the main goal. If you are interested in just using i3 and still doing the above nicely, Reddit user u/KingKobra87 did a great job by writing it all down here.)
Choosing the Perfect desktop enviroment might take some time, but the Reddit user u/doutorchefe create a nice list of all the possiblilites and why not to use special ones: The solution is MATE
The goal is to integrate the window manager i3 in a desktop enviroment.
As we read above, "The Internet" came to the conclusion that using i3 in the desktop enviroment MATE is the best option we currently have (September 2018).
Installing the base system
(And of course i3-wm):
$ apt-get install i3-wm
Enabling i3 and MATE to live in symbiosis
By default, MATE uses the macro window manager. Our goal is to use i3, so we will have to tell MATE to do so:
dconf-editor, this can easily be done. Following the path
org > mate > desktop > sessions > required-components > windowmanager the windowmanager that shall be used can be chaned. By changing the value windowmanager from 'macro' to 'i3', mate will use i3 as its default windowmanager.
A problem that arises is that...
[...] MATE will open a background window for your desktop that will cover everything.
This can be solved by deleting the value 'filemanager' from the
required-components-list located under
org > mate > desktop > session.
Before restarting the computer or logging out and back in again, it might be helpful to install some tools like
i3status in order to make the i3 experice pleasant out of the box.
At last, log out and back in again (or restart) to see the results.