Adjust Keyboard Repeat Rate in i3

Here's how to adjust your key repeat rate within i3.

Controlled by Xorg

X Window System is a window system for Unix. Aka Xorg. Aka X. Aka X11, because v11 is its latest stable release. This is the default display server for Ubuntu/derivatives.

Keyboard repeat is controlled by Xorg, not i3 per se. i3 is the window manager on top of Xorg.

xset Utility

To change our keyboard repeat rate, we can use the xset cli utility. This will set Xorg preferences. This is already installed.

If you man xset, you can see some of the other preferences you can set.

To set keyboard rate, we'll type:

xset r rate 200 35
  • r rate is the keyboard repeat rate preference

  • The first number, 200, is the initial delay in repeat.

  • The second number, 35, is the delay between repeats.

Always set on i3 Startup

If you want to have this preference set every time i3 starts up, you can set it in your ~/.config/i3/config file:

exec --no-startup-id xset r rate 200 35