I am using i3wm (specifically i3-gaps) along with albert launcher. I'm observing some weird behavior where there is a large black box behind albert when it is called.

See: enter image description here

albert should just consist of the rounded rectangular shaped field in the middle of that black box - the black box shouldn't be there.

I haven't seen anyone else reporting this issue in the albert repo, so I imagine this is a configuration issue on my part. I've tried floating other qt applications and don't see this, though. I don't necessarily know if albert is considered a floating window - it's not clear to me how i3 sees it to be honest.

Not sure if useful or relevant, but here's the output from xprop for the albert window:

        window state: Normal
        icon window: 0x0
WM_TRANSIENT_FOR(WINDOW): window id # 0x1200007
_NET_WM_ICON(CARDINAL) =    Icon (16 x 16):

XdndAware(ATOM) = BITMAP
WM_NAME(STRING) = "albert"
_NET_WM_NAME(UTF8_STRING) = "albert — Albert"
_MOTIF_WM_HINTS(_MOTIF_WM_HINTS) = 0x3, 0x24, 0x0, 0x0, 0x0
WM_CLIENT_LEADER(WINDOW): window id # 0x1200007
        Client accepts input or input focus: True
        Initial state is Normal State.
WM_CLASS(STRING) = "albert", "albert"
        user specified location: 608, 347
        user specified size: 704 by 119
        program specified minimum size: 704 by 119
        program specified maximum size: 704 by 119
        window gravity: Static

Edit 1

So I was looking through the albert settings panel and noticed a checkbox for 'Display shadow`. Unchecking this significantly reduces the size of the black box, although if you look closely at the corners of the albert field in the picture below you can see that it's still there around where the corners have been rounded.

enter image description here

  • are you running a compositor (compton, xcompmgr, etc)? how are you activating albert in your i3 config?
    – quixotic
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 4:18
  • No compistor. albert is started in the background in xinitrc with just albert & and then is bound to $mod+d in i3 with bindsym $mod+d exec --no-startup-id albert toggle Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 12:01

1 Answer 1


As @quixotic alluded to in a comment, you need a compositor running for the transparency to work; otherwise it's displayed as (100% opaque) black.

Install compton, (or compton-git from AUR) and then make sure it's running by adding exec --no-startup-id compton to your i3/config, or .xinitrc as you prefer.


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