Is it possible to use the Unity Panel (with or without launcher) with i3-wm instead of compiz?

And if that's not possible, could I somehow use the HUD inside the i3 session?

  • 1
    This doesn't answer your question, but it seems to be possible to use unity2d (especially HUD) together with xmonad another tiling window manager: haskell.org/haskellwiki/Xmonad/Using_xmonad_in_Unity_2D
    – student
    Mar 10, 2013 at 16:55
  • I think that doesn't really help, because (if I understand the Unity internals correctly) Unity 2D had a seperate panel process (unity-2d-panel) which doesn't require any window manager, but the unity (3D Unity) process seems to automatically start Compiz. Probably, if my problem is solvable without any programming work, there had to be an alternative version of Unity or some setting for the window manager Unity uses. I also don't know if Unity directly requires Compiz or if it just uses Compiz for the window management. I'll try to find those internals out on some Ubuntu IRC...
    – jplatte
    Mar 11, 2013 at 18:17
  • appindicator (used in unity) is not currently supported in i3 Apr 30, 2013 at 6:30
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    I do run an instance of Xephyr maximized, and run i3 inside it. It does mostly run properly, but I had to 'unbing' the winkey from dash, and disable hud for it to run smootly. The problem are the menu's. I did not find a way to fix that yet
    – rafaelfdr
    Jun 1, 2013 at 14:10
  • 2
    Unity is a compiz-plugin. It's not possible to use Unity without compiz.
    – chaskes
    Mar 29, 2014 at 4:23

1 Answer 1


This is not possible with the true Unity 3d environment. Unity is actually a compiz plugin running an Openbox toolkit called Nux, so to attempt to run Unity without compiz is an exercise in futility. You could check into Unity 2d, however, which has a similar appearance, but is a separate set of packages not dependent on Compiz.

  • 1
    You might build a more complete answer by suggesting xmonad (as in the comments) or combining i3 with another Ubu flavor)
    – chaskes
    Jun 11, 2016 at 2:12

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