Today I tried out the Fedora 36 i3 spin beta.
I downloaded it from the link on the F35 spin download page on the
bottom right where it says "TRY A PRE-RELEASE" (direct link is:
Overall it works as advertised, and my experience with it was great.
I have three comments about my personal preferences:
1. I really like that `xfce4-terminal` has replaced `rxvt` (that was
always the first thing I did with the F35 i3 spin)
2. The new default i3 config (at /etc/i3/config) has:
1. added some keybindings for brightness control (which I couldn't
use because I was running in a VM) - but cool to have included this
2. added a keybinding to run `arandr`; but `arandr` is not
installed by default - I suggest to include `arandr` by default
since it is a system utility
3. added lots of color customization (for both i3 and i3status)
which I personally don't like because I switch between solarized
light and dark color schemes (depending on the surroundings) and
the default i3 and i3status colors sit nicely in between these
two color schemes (I assume they sit nicely between most light
and dark color schemes). The colors manually added to the i3
spin config are too bright for my personal preference. I guess
these were added to better match the color scheme of the F36
desktop background (but with i3 it is almost never visible). For
my installation I commented out all color customization.
4. the default `dmenu` keybinding has been updated to change some
display characteristics (colors I think), but since it still
shows everything in the path (and not just .desktop entries) I
still immediately always replace it with `rofi` and uncomment
the `rofi` keybinding (leaving it unchanged). It is a personal
preference of course, but I would vote to make `rofi` the
default launcher. It would definitely help a user new to i3 get
oriented with what software is installed (most importantly so
they can easily see what is not installed and needed to be
installed by them).
5. `xdg-user-dirs-update` is executed at login - which is a good
thing and seems to solve several weird issues (including an
issue with flatpaks if it is never run)
Also, if you run `system-config-printer` (for example) as an
unprivileged user you can't install a new printer, but there is a button
in the upper right corner to "unlock" the settings if you have sudo
privilege. This does not work out of the box because there is no "polkit
authentication agent" installed. To make this work install 'xfce-polkit'
(46kb installed), and then add "exec --no-startup-id
/usr/libexec/xfce-polkit" to the i3 config file to run it.
Personally I like that the installed software is kept to a bare minimum
(ie. no LibreOffice, music players, etc.) so I can add whatever I want.
With `dnf` it is very easy to add whatever is fit for your purpose. I
was going to recommend including `flameshot` by default but then saw
that it pulls in qt and takes 54 MB including dependencies. So I still
support keeping the base spin as lean as possible and leaving it to the
end user. Having said that; perhaps the i3 spin web page could be
updated to show "suggested" apps based on recommendations from other i3
spin users (which is how I learned about `flameshot` for example).
I also recommend that the i3 spin web page be updated to tell new users
the following so they don't give up because they don't know how to
proceed once they boot the live iso:
* the keybinding to open the launcher menu
* the keybinding to open a terminal
* the command to launch the installation (from the terminal) - the
terminal motd says this but you have to get to the terminal to see
it so perhaps it is useful to show users upfront
This spin is awesome, and I really appreciate everyone who worked to put
it together - for me the Fedora i3 spin is the perfect linux distro!