With Arch Linux installed, you can install the i3 window manager .

The instructions assume you are logged in with your created user account, not as root, so they have sudo in front of them.

You will run the i3 window manager from your user account.

Screen brightness

If the laptop display is not bright enough set it to the maximum brightness.


            echo 4095 > /sys/class/backlight/edp-backlight/brightness

Install the required software packages

  1. Install the i3 required software

If prompted for a selection on any pacman install commands press enter to select the default.


            sudo pacman -Sy xorg xorg-xinit dmenu
  1. Install a font family

You can use ttf-liberation or select another font family.


            sudo pacman -Sy ttf-liberation
  1. Install a terminal emulator

You can use Alacritty for good speed or select another terminal emulator.


            sudo pacman -Sy alacritty

Install i3 and initial configuration

  1. Install the i3 window manager

            sudo pacman -Sy i3
  1. Create xinitrc

Create the file .xinitrc in your home directory to start i3 and the Xorg display server.


            echo "exec i3" >> ~/.xinitrc
  1. Start the i3 window manager


When starting for the first time you will be prompted to generate a config file. Press enter to generate the file.

You will also be asked for your modifier keyboard key. This is the key you will hold to be able to control the i3 manager. The Win key is the default and is a good option because some applications make use of the Alt key.

The Win key on the Pinebook Pro has the PINE64 logo on it.

Replace Win with your modifier key if you selected something other than Win.

First use

You will need some tips to get started if you are new to i3.

  • Your screen will be blank. Press Win + Enter to bring up a terminal emulator. Doing so twice will split the screen.

  • Win + d will bring a text selector at the top of the screen where you can start typing to select any installed software to open.

  • Read the i3 User’s Guide to learn more about i3.

Additional i3 configuration

You now have i3 running. There are some additional adjustments you can make for the Pinebook Pro.

Fixing the battery status

  1. Use vim to edit the i3 configuration file /etc/i3status.conf as root or with sudo.

            sudo vi /etc/i3status.conf
  1. Find and change 2 occurrences of “battery all” to be “battery 0” instead.

In the newly named “battery 0” property change it to the following:


            battery 0 {
    status_chr = " CHR"
    status_bat = " BAT"
    format = "%status %percentage %remaining"
    threshold_type = "percentage"
    path = "/sys/class/power_supply/cw2015-battery/uevent"
    low_threshold = 20

Changing the touchpad behavior

  1. View the hardware devices on your system

  1. View the properties of the touchpad

For the Pinebook Pro the touchpad should be HAILUCK CO.,LTD USB KEYBOARD Touchpad.


The capitalization is important


            xinput list-props "HAILUCK CO.,LTD USB KEYBOARD Touchpad"
  1. Change the values to your preferences

The values on the very right are a binary selector. You can change the ones you want.

You don’t need to type the number in parentheses when changing.

For example, to turn on natural scrolling:


            xinput set-prop "HAILUCK CO.,LTD USB KEYBOARD Touchpad" "libinput Natural Scrolling Enabled" 1
  1. Make the changes permanent

After testing, you can make a change permanent by adding a line in the file ~/.config/i3/config

You can add ot the bottom of the file and put the execute command before the xinput command.


            execute xinput set-prop "HAILUCK CO.,LTD USB KEYBOARD Touchpad" "libinput Natural Scrolling Enabled" 1

Read the configuration documentation for libinput for more information.