Tiled Linux – my fight with I3 window manager

I really wanted to switch to tiled windows manager in Linux, like I3 WM. Trouble is that for few purposes (eg. power saving functions) I prefer to have my main OS to be Windows 10 so I use Linux in VirtualBox.

With installing I3 WM under Ubuntu 16.04 server edition I found few things which needs to be addressed.

Installation under Ubuntu is quite easy, you just type this

sudo apt install i3-wm virtualbox-guest-x11 xorg

There is one recommendation I would like to give. Do not use “Virtualbox guest additions CD” but rather package included in the distribution, they works better.

You can start I3 WM after installation easily by typing


The main problem is clipboard. To be completely honest, VirtualBox clipboard with I3 WM just does not works correctly.

There is one problem – you need to run this command as root instead as user (this is by default)

/usr/bin/VBoxClient --clipboard

It is actually not a big deal (much more problematic was to find that this is an issue, which I found by accident). I recommend you to disable password login for sudo


And make sure you have this line:


Now edit this file

vi /etc/X11/Xsession.d/98vboxadd-xclient

and change line

/usr/bin/VBoxClient --clipboard || true


sudo /usr/bin/VBoxClient --clipboard || true

Now logout and login and clipboard should start working (of course it has to be enabled under VirtualBox)