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i3config.vim - vim i3 config syntax highlighting

This file contains the syntax highlighting that I use for i3 config in Vim. Compared to the vim standard conf syntax highlighting, i3config adds highlighting of all keywords, types and options as defined in the i3 configuration manual.

I built this based on the current specification provided (as of Sat 12 Mar 2016) in:

using vim color scheme dracula

using Powerline font ProFont for Powerline


i3config does what a syntax highlighting would do and additionally provides some sort of syntax checking. If you end up with Bold Red lines in your i3 config file this would mean that your syntax is wrong or there is an issue in the plugin. If that is the case please report the issue and/or make a pull request to cover the case.

File type detection

There is no specific extension for i3 config file. For auto detection, the recommended method is to rename your file to something like:

  • .i3.config
  • i3.config
  • something.i3config
  • something.i3.config

This way you can keep your file clean somewhere in a dotfile repository and have it symlinked to ~/.i3/config

If you don't want to, then you can always do:

:set ft=i3config


:set filetype=i3config

or you can add this line your .vimrc file

aug i3config_ft_detection
  au BufNewFile,BufRead ~/.config/i3/config set filetype=i3config
aug end

Additonally, you an add # vim: filetype=i3config anywhere in your config file, as suggested by the original plugin (see below).

Installation instructions

Follow one of the steps below and reload vim afterwards.


Install using Vundle by adding

Plugin 'mboughaba/i3config.vim'

to .vimrc and run :PluginInstall.


Install using vim-plug. Similar than the installation for Vundle, just change Plugin to Plug:


Plug 'mboughaba/i3config.vim'

to .vimrc and run :PlugInstall.

I use Vundle myself, the two steps below may not be fully correct, you need to change them to fit your needs.

Git submodule + Pathogen

If you have pathogen installed, and you prefer to use git submodules, run

cd ~/.vim
git submodule add bundle/syntax/

Manual installation

If you don't have either Vundle or Pathogen installed, copy both i3config.vim file to .vim/after/syntax and .vim/after/ftdetect respectively.

git clone /tmp/i3config.vim
mkdir -p ~/.vim/after/syntax/
mv /tmp/i3config.vim/after/syntax/i3config.vim ~/.vim/after/syntax/i3config.vim
rm -rf /tmp/i3config.vim

Inspired by

What about PotatoesMaster/i3-vim-syntax

PotatoesMaster/i3-vim-syntax was the one I used in the past. But as the maintainer himself pointed out, there are some issues and a rewrite is needed.


Feel free to make a pull request, I will integrate it when time permits. Make sure to add a line to cover your test in the test.i3config.

Background information


Mohamed Boughaba

Development is done at:



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