How to change only the window manager

Hi there, I come bearing the noob question of the day,

I am currently trying out ubuntu budgie, and I really like budgie, but, I really do not like mutter wm, no offence intended, I rather use something else.

I installed i3wm, so, how can I ‘make’ the bugie desktop to use i3 instead of mutter?


Have you tried anything from these?

Looks like the key is a reboot so you can switch DEs.

Yep you are right, but this is not my language, I failed at saying what I mean,

I can log in into i3 with no issues, but it is just i3 as standalone wm, what I mean is to log into budgie, but use i3 instead of mutter while in budgie,

typing i3 in terminal I get “19/01/21 13:37:40 - ERROR: Another window manager seems to be running (X error 10)”

So, how do I stop mutter and activate i3? or better yet, is there a way to set i3 as default so budgie grabs it in substitution of mutter?

I know it is weird.


You’ll need to disable mutter and enable i3. This could be as simple as removing mutter from the startup applications and adding i3. I’m not sure though.

Maybe remove budgie completely?

I also saw someone state that if you want to use i3 solely, he’s had luck just installing the server OS version and then installing xorg and i3.,%20you%20can,key%20is%20“Windows%20Key”.

To quote from that article -

"# install display drivers
sudo apt-get install xorg

start i3


OP wants to run a Budgie session but not with the default window manager. That is possible with some DEs but probably not all. I guess Budgie and Gnome 3 would be difficult to “hack”.
I know if you use LXDE, Xfce or LXQt you can change easily the window manager and some of them even support i3.

@dasgeek has a video about i3 running in Xfce, it might give you some ideas.


Yes, that’s I was trying to say, not my language, thanks for that.

I know that LXQt gives the choice of setting the default wm right there in the desktop settings, but you know, it is not a pretty desktop, so I wanted to try to do it on budgie, that I do like.

Thanks for the vid, I do not mind xfce at all, I might try that as a first run at it.