Installing i3wm themes on Debian (Buster)

Quick entry explaining the steps that I followed to adapt this guide on Debian Buster.


First of all backup your current i3wm configuration, these steps are based on a previous i3wm installation, that depends on where your settings files are located:

 $ lsb_release -a
 No LSB modules are available.
 Distributor ID: Debian
 Description: Debian GNU/Linux testing (buster)
 Release: testing
 Codename: buster

 $ cd ~ && cp .i3/config .i3/config.OLD.`date +%Y%m%d`
 $ cp .conkyrc .conkyrc.OLD.`date +%Y%m%d`
 # apt-get update

Installing Polybar

Let’s start with the most difficult requirement Polybar installation on Debian GNU/Linux, Polybar dependencies have been found in this reddit discussion:

 # apt install cmake cmake-data libcairo2-dev libxcb1-dev libxcb-ewmh-dev libxcb-icccm4-dev libxcb-image0-dev libxcb-randr0-dev libxcb-util0-dev libxcb-xkb-dev pkg-config python-xcbgen xcb-proto libxcb-xrm-dev i3-wm libasound2-dev libmpdclient-dev libiw-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev

Building Polybar:

$ git clone
$ cd polybar && ./
 [100%] Built target polybar
 ** Execute 'sudo make install'? [Y/n]
 ** Install example configuration? [Y/n]:
 ** Build complete!
 # make install
 ** Installing...
 make[1]: Entering directory '/home/aitor/Downloads/polybar/build'
 make[2]: Entering directory '/home/aitor/Downloads/polybar/build'
 make[3]: Entering directory '/home/aitor/Downloads/polybar/build'
 make[3]: Leaving directory '/home/aitor/Downloads/polybar/build'
 [  5%] Built target xpp
 make[3]: Entering directory '/home/aitor/Downloads/polybar/build'
 make[3]: Leaving directory '/home/aitor/Downloads/polybar/build'
 [100%] Built target polybar
 make[2]: Leaving directory '/home/aitor/Downloads/polybar/build'
 Install the project...
 -- Install configuration: "RelWithDebInfo"
 -- Installing: /usr/local/share/doc/polybar/config
 -- Installing: /usr/local/share/bash-completion/completions/polybar
 -- Installing: /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions/_polybar
 -- Installing: /usr/local/share/zsh/site-functions/_polybar_msg
 -- Installing: /usr/local/share/man/man1/polybar.1
 -- Installing: /usr/local/bin/polybar

Installing rofi and compton

 # apt install rofi compton


Download i3wm-themer public GitHub repository:

 $ git clone

If you want you can use the script to make a new backup just to be able to restore your current theme:

 $ cd i3wm-themer/scripts && ./i3wmthemer -b XXX_theme

Just the first time run this:

 $ cd i3wm-themer/scripts && ./i3wmthemer -c

And to apply a theme:

 $ cd i3wm-themer/scripts && ./i3wmthemer -t THEME_NAME

That’s all!

“To act is to exile yourself”
— Fernando Pessoa

3 thoughts on “Installing i3wm themes on Debian (Buster)

  1. Did you have any issues with the fonts & glyphs rendering correctly? I’m currently having this issue under Stretch.

    1. Thank you for your comment, answering your question no, in my case I wasn’t experiment any issues with the fonts, but you could review /var/log/syslog file to find some error. Anyway this is the content of my ~/.fonts directory:
      $ ls .fonts/
      DroidSans-Bold.ttf DroidSansMono.ttf fontawesome-webfont.ttf Inconsolata-Regular.ttf monof56.ttf
      DroidSansFallback.ttf DroidSans.ttf fontawesome-regular.ttf Hack-Regular.ttf monof55.ttf

      Good luck!

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