Debian and Ubuntu repositories

Michael Stapelberg
<michael@i3wm.org>
February 2021

1. When should you use our repositories?

In general, you should use the repositories of your distribution. Adding third-party repositories to your /etc/sources.list has security implications and makes your apt-get update take longer.

If you are using Debian stable

The latest version of i3 will be in Debian testing quite soon. The version in Debian stable can be old, however (we cannot update it after stable has been released). The best way is to add Debian testing and tell apt to prefer Debian stable. You should not use our repository. Alternatively, you can also use stable-backports (e.g. wheezy-backports for Debian wheezy).

If you are using Ubuntu

Only a handful of packages are maintained by Ubuntu developers. The rest is synchronized periodically from Debian, every 6 months. Therefore, Ubuntu often includes old versions of i3. You should use our Ubuntu repository.

If you want the latest i3 development version

If you are using Debian (Debian-derived systems might work, too) or Ubuntu and want the latest development version of i3, you should use our Debian repository.

2. Ubuntu repository

2.1. Stable releases

This Ubuntu repository is provided by sur5r and contains the latest stable release of i3. To use it, run the following commands:

$ /usr/lib/apt/apt-helper download-file https://debian.sur5r.net/i3/pool/main/s/sur5r-keyring/sur5r-keyring_2021.02.02_all.deb keyring.deb SHA256:cccfb1dd7d6b1b6a137bb96ea5b5eef18a0a4a6df1d6c0c37832025d2edaa710
# dpkg -i ./keyring.deb
# echo "deb http://debian.sur5r.net/i3/ $(grep '^DISTRIB_CODENAME=' /etc/lsb-release | cut -f2 -d=) universe" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sur5r-i3.list
# apt update
# apt install i3

All Ubuntu versions which are currently supported by Ubuntu itself are also supported by this repository. See Ubuntu releases for details.

Packages for unsupported Ubuntu versions might exist but may disappear any time.

2.2. Development releases

This Ubuntu repository contains packages which are automatically built a few minutes after every commit. To use it, run the following commands:

$ curl https://baltocdn.com/i3-window-manager/signing.asc | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo apt install apt-transport-https --yes
$ echo "deb https://baltocdn.com/i3-window-manager/i3/i3-autobuild-ubuntu/ all main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/i3-autobuild.list
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install i3

Development versions are only available for the latest version of Ubuntu, which is bionic at the moment.

3. Debian repository

Our Debian repository contains packages which are automatically built a few minutes after every commit. To use it, run the following commands:

$ curl https://baltocdn.com/i3-window-manager/signing.asc | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo apt install apt-transport-https --yes
$ echo "deb https://baltocdn.com/i3-window-manager/i3/i3-autobuild/ all main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/i3-autobuild.list
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install i3

4. Preferring the autobuilder version of i3

On installations where you have multiple sources (stable and testing, or testing and unstable for example), apt-get install i3 might not get you the autobuilder version.

To ensure that the autobuilt i3 packages will be preferred to the packages of your distribution, create the file /etc/apt/preferences.d/00-i3-autobuild.pref with the following contents:

Package: i3*
Pin: origin "baltocdn.com"
Pin-Priority: 1001

Then, run apt update and install i3.