I recently started using Manjarno-i3 edition. I noticed there is no i3 config file at the lcoation ~/.config/i3/config which is where I always found the default file on ubuntu.

Does anyone know where I can find the default config file so I can make some changes?

1 Answer 1


If there is indeed already a user configuration file it may be at ~/.i3/config instead of ~/.config/i3/config. If there is none, you should be able to create one with i3-config-wizard or you can just copy /etc/i3/config (or possibly /etc/xdg/i3/config).

According man 1 i3 i3 looks in the following places - and in that order - for a configuration file:

  1. ~/.config/i3/config (or $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/i3/config if set)
  2. /etc/xdg/i3/config (or $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/i3/config if set)
  3. ~/.i3/config
  4. /etc/i3/config

i3 takes the first configuration file it finds. Multiple configuration files are not merged. It is also possible to specify a configuration file with the option -c FILE.

  • Do you know if I can just write a few additions in a small config file and have that overlay on the defaults? btw will mark checked after I test later. Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 16:46
  • Not really. i3 does have defaults for window layouts, decorations and and colors, so you do not have to set them. But AFAIK there are no built in defaults for the key bindings and without those i3 is practically unusable. Also, as I said i3 will only load one configuration file, so if you want to keep bindings or any other settings from the default configuration file, you will have to copy them.
    – Adaephon
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 20:26

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