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>
Listmates,

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:

http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/windowmanagers

To help with background selection, you can download wallmenu-0.3.py. 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.

http://www.3111skyline.com/download/linux/openbox/wallmenu-0.3.py

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.

http://www.3111skyline.com/download/linux/openbox/menu.xml

The only other file you need to play with to make openbox really
functional is
the ~/.config/openbox/autostart.sh. 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 &
fi

(** 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
inactive
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
are
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
www.rankinlawfirm.com
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