Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1473 mails)

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[opensuse] Stray thread - openbox is pretty darn good
  • From: "David C. Rankin" <drankinatty@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 09 Jun 2009 01:02:57 -0500
  • Message-id: <4A2DFB11.1090909@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Here, in a bit of a break from working with kde4, I noticed 'openbox'
as a
window manager and thought I would give it a look. I was impressed. If you
haven't tried it yet, it is worth a quick look. It is a minimal lightweight
desktop, but very configurable and all apps integrate well (both kde4 and kde3
-- even virtualbox). It is similar to icewm in operation, but if you want a
panel, you will need to choose and install one. However it does allow for
minimized apps and has a good app-switcher (alt+tab) and middle-mouse switches
between desktops. The only thing I didn't find was an Alt+F2 run command
equivalent (I'm sure it's there, I just haven't found it)

If you do take a look at openbox (not KDE/openbox or Gnome/openbox, just
openbox), the go ahead an install 'obmenu' and 'obconf' that help with menu
configuration and theme settings, etc. You will find the packages in:

To help with background selection, you can download I
modified the one at my site to provide a sorted list of wallpapers in
/usr/share/wallpapers that works well with the default openSuSE setup. Just
edit the script and change the directory location if you want it to look in
other locations.

Additionally, to make it available in the menu, you can add the script
as a
pipe-menu, or just download the menu.xml from my site and copy it to
~/.config/openbox/ and it is already there under the "System" menu.

The only other file you need to play with to make openbox really
functional is
the ~/.config/openbox/ Since I am running it on my laptop, I
wanted it to call knetworkmanager to establish my wifi connection and also set
my default background wallpaper. I just threw a hack in to do it, but it works:

# Set background image
feh --bg-scale /home/david/linux/wallpapers/1440/spacestation-panels-2-1440.jpg

# Start knetworkmanager
if ! ifconfig | grep 192 > /dev/null 2>&1; then
knetworkmanager &

(** if not on a class-c network, you will need to adjust 192 above)

One other thing I did was to modify the Onyx theme to darken the
window titlebar and the active titlebar text. If you want to give it a try,
just copy the "Onyx-dcr" directory to /usr/share/themes and it will be
available in obconf for selection.

All in all, I was as impressed with openbox as I was with icewm. Both
great lightweight window managers that will get the job done and, if you are on
older hardware, they will definitely blow the doors off KDE/Gnome from a
performance perspective. Pretty cool.

David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
Rankin Law Firm, PLLC
510 Ochiltree Street
Nacogdoches, Texas 75961
Telephone: (936) 715-9333
Facsimile: (936) 715-9339
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