[screenshots - click]
Openbox is a windows manager (just like Metacity, sort of..), extremely light and customizable, known for its minimalistic appearance, as indicated for machines with poor performance.
The Openbox allows perform the last/all* applications that are designed/made to Gnome/Kde without any need to run these (Gnome/Kde). You can also run the Openbox within the Gnome/Kde thus combining their features. It allows us to make the desktop cleaner and faster.
Check the homepage, or install the version available in the repositories:
# aptitude install openboxTo run Openbox:
# aptitude install obconf openbox-themes #RECOMMENDED_EXTRAS
- Choose the session type: (1) Gnome/Openbox; (2) openbox-kde.desktop or (3) Openbox Session;
Option (3) runs only the Openbox, but future Gnome/Kde's applications could be executed (eg: gnome-panel)
Note: I recommend that you only [re]login (at openbox session) when thou finish the tutorial completely!
If you choose option (3) above, you will find out that your desktop is empty, and no kind of bar is displayed. Don't stress out :D
- Double the configuration files:
$ mkdir -p ~/.config/openbox/
$ cp /etc/xdg/openbox/rc.xml ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml
$ cp /etc/xdg/openbox/menu.xml ~/.config/openbox/menu.xmlThe rc.xml file is responsible for the configuration of shortcuts, themes, virtual desktop, etc. .. While the menu.xml file is only responsible for setting the menu that appears when you click with the right mouse button on the desktop - edit this file in text mode can be boring and complicated, ahead there is a solution easier.
- Alt+F2: The shortcut Alt + F2 aka gnome-panel-control - run-dialog does not work for Openbox. I think this command essential in any Linux distribution, so let's find an alternative solution: gmrun - installation:
# aptitude install gmrun
Define Alt-F2 as gmrun's shortcut:
$ gedit ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml
Add the following code before;
</keybind>Note: If you noticed, the last shortcut existing in rc.xml is 'W-e', which launches Konqueror. I replaced this with Nautilus. I like it best.
In my case, i had re-login the session for the shortcuts work correctly.
- Add a panel:
I think that all of us like to have some kind of panel. To see minimized windows, icon tray and some shortcuts.
There are several alternatives such as: pypanel , fbpanel, gnome-panel, xfce4-panel, etc.
I'll choose pypanel:
$ aptitude install pypanel
- Pypanel Customization:
The configuration file is ~/.pypanelrc. Before change/edit him I recommend to backup it:
$ cp ~/.pypanelrc ~/.pypanelrcbackup
Now, take this code (link) a save it at:
$ gedit ~/.pypanelrc
- Pypanel Customization:
- Add pypanel to startup(or some other application):
$ gedit ~/.config/openbox/autostart.sh
Paste this text:
# Run the system-wide support stuff
# Programs to launch at startup
#/opt/wicd/tray.py & #WICD
#conky & #CONKY
# all commands must end with: " &"
Follow the example to add some other applications.
- Edit Openbox's theme:
As I earlier explain, it's possible to edit Openbox's theme at the file menu.xml. But there is a solution more user friendly: obmenu. To install obmenu:
$ wget http://switch.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/obmenu/obmenu-1.0.tar.gz
$ tar xvzf obmenu-1.0.tar.gz
$ cd obmenu-1.0/
# python setup.py install
The you can add/remove/edit any kind of shortcuts, etc.
Note: To add a new menu, in the end you need to add a shortcut at Openbox 3 menu. Watch with some attention the available examples..
This tutorial gives you the main ideas how to customize your system. Of course the are more applications you might use at Openbox, but these were my choice.
»Archlinux wiki - openbox
»Debian wiki - openbox some interesting key shortcuts.
»Box-Look.org - themes
There might be some differences with the screenshot displayed.