Creating a simple Pomodoro timer for i3

A terminal based Pomodoro coountdown doesn’t appear to exist but can be created simply in i3’s config file.

It requires the following packages to enable “notify-send” which is a simple gtk popup notification.

  • libnotify-bin
  • libnotify4

# Pomodoro start and end notifications
bindsym $mod+Control+p exec notify-send --icon=gtk-info Pomodoro "Focus for 25 minutes" && sleep 2500 && notify-send --icon=gtk-info Pomodoro "Take a 5 minute break"

This quick notification will dismiss itself in a few seconds, if you blink you may miss it.

As an alternative I’m also considering adding my bash command to lock the system and force that me to at least put in my password to continue.

Debian Stretch Desktop Update

I’m giving my Debian Stretch drive a little attention and running updates.  It’s home is a 1TB 7400 RPM hard drive and serves as home to my personal and server backups as well as this machine’s Steam library.

Currently I’m running Peppermint 8 on my main SSD drive and Ubuntu 16.04.3 running i3 on my testing drive.

Side note Bryan & Matt answer my cliche question on The Lunduke Show (YouTube).

Lastly, if we lived in the dystopian future of 2037 where only only one Linux distribution survived I hope it would be Debian. (see 7:13 of the video above)

i3 desktop screenshot gallery

Before I get to far into further customizations how about a gallery of my progress so far.

For the i3lock screen I started with a tutorial posted at followed by a little additional research to adjust the brightness levels at which contains several tips and tricks for use with ImageMagick. If you’re curious my final lock config is listed below.

scrot /tmp/screenshot.png
convert /tmp/screenshot.png -blur 0x7 -level 0%,100%,0.5 /tmp/screenshotblur.png
i3lock -i /tmp/screenshotblur.png

Tonight’s i3 desktop


I’m starting to feel more at home in i3 Window Manager and using the mouse almost exclusively for web surfing with the occasional adjustment to tile widths and floating window placement.

I still refer to the i3 reference card from time to time.

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried i3; Previously, I’ve used it in WattOS Microwatt but didn’t stick with it very long due to my netbook’s painful performance.

This time around I started with my primary desktop’s testing drive a 10 year old 5400RPM laptop hard drive reclaimed from a broken down MacBookPro that I use for distro hopping.

However, i3 combined Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and on my hardware makes this an a responsive experience. now a couple weeks in I still have no plans to remove it.

Recent adjustments include

Adding Redshift to my i3 config set to autostart based on my city’s location and the local time.i3 bar is themed based on Ubuntu’s Color Palette.

To do items

  • Set Mod keys for Firefox, pianobar, htop, ranger, gimp, and cmus
  • Set color theme for Mod+d menu


The Netbook still kicking

A little proof that you can still get some work done while listening to music and surfing the web with Trisquel 7 and 2GB of ram in a 7 year old Toshiba NB505 netbook in 2017.

Tonight I ssh’d into my Linux web server zipped up my WordPress wp-content folder and backed up the database. I then downloaded the backups via wget. 🙂