I have used this with Ubuntu MATE 16.04 and 17.04.
Step 1: Install i3
# apt install i3-wm i3status
Step 2: Set window manager
$ dconf write /org/mate/desktop/session/required-components/windowmanager "'i3'" $ dconf write /org/mate/desktop/session/required-components/panel "''" $ dconf write /org/mate/desktop/session/required-components/filemanager "''"
If you would like to use the MATE panel with i3 you can, just leave the panel setting with the default.
Step 3: Log in again
Log out and then log in again. Unless you have an i3 configuration already, the i3 configuration wizard will be started.
I contributed a theme to i3-style called mate, to match the default theme of Ubuntu MATE.
As my application launcher I use Rofi, which understands
For my entire i3 configuration, see my configuration repository on GitHub.