Thursday, October 8, 2009

Openbox - A Nice and Lightweight Windows Manager

Linux has a lot of windows managers, most common are Gnome and Kde. But for low spec computers, those can be a lot of heavy.

You have several alternatives, but today I'll speak about Openbox.

Openbox is the WM of several Linux distros, in my case it came with Crunchbang, but you can use in any distro.

Without further talks, mine looks something like this, after some tweaks and tricks

what do you see?

- Openbox menu to the left - it appears by right clicking the desktop, and in my config by right click on panel
- Conky to the right - conky is a small system monitor. it comes with crunchbang, but it was tweaked....
- Tint2 - A nice and very lightweight panel. It was tweaked from crunchbang original.

In openbox the window manager it is not able to handle icons, however severeal file managers are capable of doing this. In gnome nautilus is the chosen. In open box, since all is lightweight i recomend pcmanfm. In the pcmanfm config you just have to make it able to handle desktop.

Some apps that go very nice with Openbox:

- Mail - claws
- Office - abiword / gnumeric
- Sound and Video - vlc
- Text Editor - leafpad

if you want to try Openbox in Ubuntu, just run this command in terminal, or search for openbox in synaptics:

sudo apt-get install openbox

After install you will have to logout, you will now be presented with GDM. Now choose session, and go for Openbox.

After enter openbox, dont be scared, just right click your desktop to enter menu.

The menu appears without icons, and it is not possible to place icons there.

To get the other bars and tools on openbox in Ubuntu, you have to install those by hand and configure them wich for a novice could be tricky....

So if you wanna try a openbox WM, just install Crunchbang Linux....

Just remember that crunchbang on boot look like this:

But if you like my desktop, i can pack and send all my config files to make it look like first screenshot.

Anything you need to know more just contact me or post a comment

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    Can you help me with a short guide to what I need to install to get a Lucid 10.04 Ubuntu minimal/alternate install to look and behave like Crunchbang?

    I already have all my configs from my old crunchbang backed up, but I'm not sure what to install after I reach the command line after installing the alternate Lucid iso.

    my e-mail =



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