How to manage wi-fi connections under i3wm

I love i3wm, it’s a quick, lightweight and very good looking environment. The beauty of a windows manager like i3 need a must learning curve to be appreciated. Many things that are very intuitive in DE like GNOME, KDE or Unity (r.i.p.… sigh), in the i3wm could be difficult for the new user. But many workaround are existing.


Reuse, don’t reinvent a Network Manager to manage connections

Don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you can use one of the opensource existing programs.  If you have already installed a more traditional DE (like the ones I wrote above), you can use the graphical application to manage the connections under i3wm.

If you are using Fedora or Ubuntu, probably you have already installed the default Network Manager. So, check if it’s true, in a terminal window type nm and then press the TAB key two times.

$ nm #and press TAB key twice

If you find an output like the following, you’re on board.

The installed Network Manager suite
The installed Network Manager suite


MOD+D to open Rofi, dmenu or similar, and type nm-applet.


Now, in the right corner at the bottom of the screen (or at the top if you have moved the bar there), you should find a small connection icon. In my case, a wifi connection.

The Network Manager applet icon
The Network Manager applet icon


Just right-click on the icon and you can manage the network connections in a easy easy way.

Anyway, if you don’t have Network Manager installed on your system, you can do it through some basic instructions.

$ sudo dnf install NetworkManager                 #for Fedora users
$ sudo dnf install network-mananager-applet       #to install applet for Fedora users

$ sudo apt install network-manager                #for Ubuntu users
$ sudo apt install network-manager-gnome          #to install applet for Ubuntu users 


More info available at Fedora NetworkManager and at Ubuntu NetworkManager doc pages.