Difference between revisions of "Fluxbox"

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Fluxbox is yet another window manager for X11. It is based on the (now abandoned) Blackbox 0.61.1 code, but with significant enhancements and continued development. Fluxbox is very light on resources and fast, yet provides interesting window management tools such as tabbing and grouping. Its configuration files are easy to understand and edit and there are hundreds of Fluxbox "styles" to make your desktop look great. Arch Linux with Fluxbox can turn an old Pentium 800 box with just 256MB of RAM into a very usable computer.
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[[zh-hans:Fluxbox]]
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{{Related articles start}}
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{{Related|Fluxbox/Style guide}}
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{{Related|Window manager}}
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{{Related articles end}}
 +
Fluxbox is a [[window manager]] for [[X11]]. It is based on the (now abandoned) Blackbox 0.61.1 code, but with significant enhancements and continued development. Fluxbox provides a number of window management features such as tabbing and grouping and has hundreds of styles (themes) available. All Fluxbox configuration is stored in plaintext files, however some settings are exposed graphically in the configuration menu.
  
 
== Installation ==
 
== Installation ==
  
[[pacman|Install]] {{Pkg|fluxbox}} from the [[official repositories]].
+
[[Install]] the {{Pkg|fluxbox}} package.
You must have [[Xorg]] as well.
 
  
== Starting Fluxbox ==
+
== Starting ==
  
=== Method 1: KDM/GDM/LightDM login managers ===
+
Run {{ic|startfluxbox}} with [[xinit]].
  
Users of [[KDM]], [[GDM]] or [[Lightdm]] should find a new Fluxbox entry added to their session menu automatically.  Simply choose the Fluxbox option from the session menu when logging in.
+
=== Autostart ===
  
=== Method 2: ~/.xinitrc ===
+
Fluxbox provides functionality to autostart applications. The {{ic|~/.fluxbox/startup}} file is a script for autostarting applications as well as starting Fluxbox itself. The {{ic|#}} symbol denotes a comment. Make sure that any lines starting applications come before the call to start Fluxbox itself. Otherwise, these lines will not be reached until Fluxbox itself terminates.
  
Edit {{ic|~/.xinitrc}} and add the following code:
+
== Configuration ==
  
exec startfluxbox
+
System-wide Fluxbox configuration files are in {{ic|/usr/share/fluxbox}} while user configuration files are in {{ic|~/.fluxbox}}. The user config files are:
  
See [[xinitrc]] for details, such as preserving the logind (and/or consolekit) session.
+
* ''init'' - the main Fluxbox resource configuration file. See [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/category/howtos/en/Editing_the_init_file.html  Editing the init file].
 +
* ''menu'' - the Fluxbox menu config. See below and [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/category/howtos/en/Editing_the_menu.html Editing the menu file].
 +
* ''keys'' - the Fluxbox keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) file. See below and [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/category/howtos/en/Keyboard_shortcuts.html Keyboard shortcuts].
 +
* ''startup'' - where to launch startup apps but see below for .xinitrc and also [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/category/howtos/en/Editing_the_startup_file.html Editing the startup file].
 +
* ''overlay'' - a configuration file to override elements of styles. See [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/category/howtos/en/Style_overlay.html Style overlay].
 +
* ''apps'' - a config file for remembering the window configuration of specific apps. See [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/category/howtos/en/Editing_the_apps_file.html Editing the apps file].
 +
* ''windowmenu'' - a configuration file for altering the Window Menu itself: [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/category/howtos/en/Editing_the_windowmenu.html Editing the windowmenu].
  
== Configuration ==
+
=== Menus ===
 +
 
 +
The Fluxbox root menu is defined in {{ic|~/.fluxbox/menu}} and it can be accessed by right clicking on the desktop. As with other lightweight window managers Fluxbox does not automatically update its menu when you install new applications. Therefore, the menu will need to be regenerated when new applications are installed/uninstalled.
 +
 
 +
The basic syntax for a menu item to appear is:
 +
[exec] (name) {command} <path to icon>
  
System-wide Fluxbox configuration files are in {{ic|/usr/share/fluxbox}} while user configuration files are in {{ic|~/.fluxbox}}. The user config files are:
+
...where "name" is the text you wish to appear for that menu item and "command" is the location of the binary, e.g.:
 +
[exec] (Firefox Browser) {/usr/bin/firefox} <path to firefox icon>
  
* '''init''' - the main Fluxbox resource configuration file. See [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Editing_the_init_file Editing the init file]
+
Note that the "<path to icon>" is optional. If you want to create a submenu the syntax is:
* '''menu''' - the Fluxbox menu config. See below and [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Editing_the_menu Editing the menu file]
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[submenu] (Name)
* '''keys''' - the Fluxbox keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) file. See below and [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Keyboard_shortcuts here]
+
...
* '''startup''' - where to launch startup apps but see below for .xinitrc and also [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Editing_the_startup_file here]
+
...
* '''overlay''' - a config file to override elements of styles. See [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Style_overlay here].
+
[end]
* '''apps''' - a config file for remembering the window configuration of specific apps. See [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Editing_the_apps_file here]
+
When you have finished editing, save the file and exit. There is no need to restart Fluxbox. For more information read [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/category/howtos/en/Editing_the_menu.html editing the Fluxbox menu].
* '''windowmenu''' - a config file for altering the Window Menu itself: [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Editing_the_windowmenu read this]
 
  
There are a couple of other less important config files in the directory. But the main ones to be concerned with are init, menu, keys and perhaps startup.
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==== Automatic menu generation ====
  
=== Menu management ===
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There are some programs which can generate either a complete Fluxbox root menu or a submenu of installed applications which can be manually included in an existing root menu definition. These are outlined below.
  
When you first install Fluxbox a very basic applications menu will be created at {{ic|~/.fluxbox/menu}}. You access the menu via a right mouse button click on the desktop. As with other lightweight window managers Fluxbox does not automatically update its menu when you install new applications. It is therefore recommended that you install most of the apps you want on your system first and then re-generate or edit the menu. To enhance the menu and add/edit items there are basically four ways to do it:
+
===== fluxbox-generate_menu =====
 
 
==== fluxbox-generate_menu ====
 
  
 
There is a built-in command provided with Fluxbox:
 
There is a built-in command provided with Fluxbox:
Line 56: Line 70:
 
This command will auto-generate a {{ic|~/.fluxbox/menu}} file based on your installed programs. However, the menu it generates will not be as comprehensive as that generated by [[#MenuMaker|MenuMaker]].
 
This command will auto-generate a {{ic|~/.fluxbox/menu}} file based on your installed programs. However, the menu it generates will not be as comprehensive as that generated by [[#MenuMaker|MenuMaker]].
  
==== MenuMaker ====
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===== MenuMaker =====
  
[http://menumaker.sourceforge.net MenuMaker] is a powerful tool that creates XML-based menus for a variety of Window Managers, including Fluxbox. MenuMaker will search your computer for executable programs and create a menu based on the results. It can be configured to exclude Legacy X, GNOME, KDE, or Xfce applications if desired.
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[http://menumaker.sourceforge.net MenuMaker] is a powerful tool that creates XML-based menus for a variety of Window Managers, including Fluxbox. MenuMaker will search your computer for executable programs and create a menu based on the results. It can be configured to exclude Legacy X, GNOME, KDE, or Xfce applications if desired.
  
 
Install {{Pkg|menumaker}}, then you can generate a complete menu and overwrite the default one by running:
 
Install {{Pkg|menumaker}}, then you can generate a complete menu and overwrite the default one by running:
 
  $ mmaker -f FluxBox
 
  $ mmaker -f FluxBox
  
To see MenuMaker options:
+
You can avoid populating your menu with terminal based applications such as ''alsamixer'' by running the following switches with the mmaker command: {{ic|--no-legacy}} and {{ic|--no-debian}}. For example:
 +
 
 +
$ mmaker -f --no-legacy --no-debian FluxBox
 +
 
 +
To see more MenuMaker options:
 
  $ mmaker --help
 
  $ mmaker --help
  
==== Arch Linux Xdg menu ====
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===== Xdg-menu =====
  
Requires [[XdgMenu]]. Install {{Pkg|archlinux-xdg-menu}}.
+
You can also generate a menu using [[Xdg-menu]]. See the [[Xdg-menu#FluxBox]] section.
  
Then, to create a Fluxbox menu:
+
==== Other menus ====
$ xdg_menu --fullmenu --format fluxbox --root-menu /etc/xdg/menus/arch-applications.menu >~/.fluxbox/menu
 
  
==== Manually create/edit the menu ====
+
In addition to the root menu, Fluxbox also provides the following menus:
  
Use your favourite text editor and edit the file: {{ic|~/.fluxbox/menu}}.
+
* Workspaces Menu: middle click on desktop.
The basic syntax for a menu item to appear is:
+
* Configuration Menu: located within the "Fluxbox" section of the "Root" menu.
[exec] (name) {command} <path to icon>
+
* Window menu: right click on the titlebar of any window, or its bar if minimized. Can be edited. See fluxbox-menu man page.
 +
* Toolbar menu: right click on empty part of toolbar. Also found as a sub-menu within the Configuration Menu.
 +
* Slit Menu: found as a sub-menu within the configuration menu.
 +
 
 +
=== Keyboard ===
  
...where "name" is the text you wish to appear for that menu item and "command" is the location of the binary, e.g.:
+
==== Hotkeys ====
[exec] (Firefox Browser) {/usr/bin/firefox} <path to firefox icon>
 
  
Note that the "<path to icon>" is optional. If you want to create a submenu the syntax is:
+
The Fluxbox hotkey file is located at {{ic|~/.fluxbox/keys}}.
[submenu] (Name)
+
The Control key is represented by {{ic|Control}}. {{ic|Mod1}} corresponds to the Alt key and {{ic|Mod4}} corresponds to Super (not a standard key but most users map Super to the Win key).
...
 
...
 
[end]
 
When done editing save the file and exit. There is no need to restart Fluxbox. For more info read [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Editing_the_menu editing the Fluxbox menu].
 
  
=== Init ===
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{{Tip|For volume control hotkeys, see [[Advanced Linux Sound Architecture#Keyboard volume control]] and [[PulseAudio#Keyboard volume control]].}}
  
The {{ic|~/.fluxbox/init}} file is Fluxbox's primary configuration resource file. You can change the basic functionality of Fluxbox, windows, toolbar, focus, etc. Some of these options are also available from the Fluxbox, Configuration Menu. For more detail read [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Editing_the_init_file Editing the init file].
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==== Set the keyboard layout with Fluxbox ====
  
=== Hotkeys ===
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Just add the following line to {{ic|~/.fluxbox/startup}}:
 +
setxkbmap us -variant intl & # to have a us keyboard with special characters enabled (like éóíáú)
  
Fluxbox offers basic hotkeys functionality. The Fluxbox hotkey file is located at {{ic|~/.fluxbox/keys}}.
+
Instead of 'us' you can also pass your language code and remove the variant option (ex.: 'us_intl', which works like the command above in some setups). See {{man|1|setxkbmap}} for more options.
The Control key is represented by "Control". Mod1 corresponds to the Alt key and Mod4 corresponds to Meta (not a standard key but most users map Meta to the "Win" key). When installed and first run Fluxbox will provide you with a very usable, almost complete set of hotkeys. You should peruse and learn the {{ic|~/.fluxbox/keys}} file to enhance your Fluxbox experience.
 
  
Example: here is a quick way to control the Master volume:
+
To make a help function in your menu, just add in {{ic|~/.fluxbox/menu}}:
  Control Mod1 Up :Exec amixer set Master,0 5%+ 
+
  [submenu] (Keyboard)
  Control Mod1 Down :Exec amixer set Master,0 5%-
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      [exec] (normal) {setxkbmap us}
 +
      [exec] (international) {setxkbmap us -variant intl}
 +
  [end]
  
 
=== Workspaces ===
 
=== Workspaces ===
  
Fluxbox defaults to having four workspaces. These are accessible using Ctrl+F1-F4 shortcuts, or by using the left mouse button to click the arrows on the toolbar. You can also access workspaces via a middle mouse button click on desktop which pops up the Workspaces Menu.
+
Fluxbox defaults to having four workspaces. These are accessible using the {{ic|Ctrl+F1-F4}} shortcuts, or by using the left mouse button to click the arrows on the toolbar. You can also access workspaces via a middle mouse button click on desktop which pops up the Workspaces Menu.
  
 
=== Tabbing and grouping ===
 
=== Tabbing and grouping ===
  
With at least two windows visible on your desktop use ctrl +left click on the upper window tab of one window and drag it into the other open window. The two windows will now be grouped together with window tabs in the upper window tab bar. You may now perform a window operation that will affect the entire window "group". To reverse the tabbing use {{Keypress|Ctrl+left click}} on a tab and drag it to an empty space on the desktop.
+
With at least two windows visible on your desktop use {{ic|Ctrl+left click}} on the upper window tab of one window and drag it into the other open window. The two windows will now be grouped together with window tabs in the upper window tab bar. You may now perform a window operation that will affect the entire window "group". To reverse the tabbing use {{ic|Ctrl+left click}} on a tab and drag it to an empty space on the desktop.
  
 
=== Wallpaper ===
 
=== Wallpaper ===
  
Setting the background in Fluxbox has historically been convoluted, especially where transparency was required. The Fluxbox wiki now has an entry for [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Howto_set_the_background background setting], so please refer to that.
+
Fluxbox provides a wrapper script ''fbsetbg'' which can help one to set the wallpaper. Please refer to the [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/category/howtos/en/Howto_set_the_background.html Fluxbox wiki] for details. Alternatively, you can use a wallpaper setter such as [[feh]] or [[Nitrogen]] independently if you wish. See below.
 
 
The easiest way to do it with ArchLinux is to first of all check that you have a background setting application available:
 
$ fbsetbg -i
 
 
 
If not, install either feh, esetroot or wmsetbg using pacman. Then add this "fbsetbg" line to your {{ic|~/.xinitrc}} file, before the "exec" line, e.g.:
 
fbsetbg /path/to/my/image.image
 
  
 
==== Swapping multiple backgrounds easily ====
 
==== Swapping multiple backgrounds easily ====
Line 127: Line 139:
 
  [wallpapers] (/usr/share/fluxbox/backgrounds) {feh --bg-scale}
 
  [wallpapers] (/usr/share/fluxbox/backgrounds) {feh --bg-scale}
 
  [end]
 
  [end]
 +
 
Then put your background images into {{ic|~/.fluxbox/backgrounds}} or any other folder you specify, they will then appear in the same fashion as your styles.
 
Then put your background images into {{ic|~/.fluxbox/backgrounds}} or any other folder you specify, they will then appear in the same fashion as your styles.
  
The same applies to a dual screen wallpaper on a system without 'xinerama' (NVidia TwinView for example) :
+
The same applies to a dual screen wallpaper on a system without 'xinerama' (NVidia TwinView for example):
 
  [submenu] (Backgrounds)
 
  [submenu] (Backgrounds)
 
  [wallpapers] (/path/to/your/backgrounds) {feh --bg-scale --no-xinerama }
 
  [wallpapers] (/path/to/your/backgrounds) {feh --bg-scale --no-xinerama }
Line 151: Line 164:
 
=== Theming ===
 
=== Theming ===
  
To install a Fluxbox theme extract the theme archive file to a styles directory. The default directories are:
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To install a Fluxbox theme, extract the theme archive file to a styles directory. The default directories are:
 
* Global    - {{ic|/usr/share/fluxbox/styles}}
 
* Global    - {{ic|/usr/share/fluxbox/styles}}
 
* User only - {{ic|~/.fluxbox/styles}}
 
* User only - {{ic|~/.fluxbox/styles}}
  
The ArchLinux [[AUR]] currently contains a compilation of good looking Fluxbox themes called "fluxbox-styles". Get it [https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=28743 here] and install this package for more themes than you could possibly use. When installed correctly they will appear in the Fluxbox, Styles section of your Fluxbox menu.
+
The {{AUR|fluxmod-styles}} package contains a number of Fluxbox styles from the (now defunct) fluxmod.dk site.
  
To create your own Fluxbox styles read [[Fluxbox_Style_Guide]] and this [http://tenr.de/howto/style_fluxbox/style_fluxbox.html style guide].
+
To create your own Fluxbox styles, please refer to [http://fluxbox.org/help/man-fluxbox-style.php fluxbox-style(5)], [[Fluxbox/Style guide]] and [http://tenr.de/howto/style_fluxbox/style_fluxbox.html tenr.de Fluxbox style guide].
  
If you use mmaker -f FluxBox to create your menus, you will not see the styles menu selection after you install the styles. To correct this add the following to {{ic|~/.fluxbox/menu}} after the restart menu item:
+
If you use mmaker -f FluxBox to create your menus, you will not see the styles menu selection after you install the styles. To correct this add the following to {{ic|~/.fluxbox/menu}} after the restart menu item:
 
                 [submenu] (System Styles) {Choose a style...}
 
                 [submenu] (System Styles) {Choose a style...}
 
                       [stylesdir] (/usr/share/fluxbox/styles)
 
                       [stylesdir] (/usr/share/fluxbox/styles)
Line 169: Line 182:
 
=== The Slit ===
 
=== The Slit ===
  
Fluxbox, WindowMaker and a couple of other lightweight window managers have a "Slit". This is a dock for any application that can be 'dockable'. A docked application is anchored and appears on every workspace. It cannot be moved freely and is not influenced by any manipulation to windows. It is basically a small widget. Dock apps that are useful in such a situation tend to be clocks, system monitors, weather, etc. Visit [http://dockapps.windowmaker.org/ dockapps.windowmaker.org]
+
Some window managers, such as Fluxbox, Window Maker and Openbox, have a "Slit". This is a dock for any application that can be 'dockable'. A docked application is anchored and appears on every workspace. It cannot be moved freely and is not influenced by any manipulation to windows. It is essentially a small widget. Dock apps that are useful in such a situation tend to be clocks, system monitors, weather apps and so on. Visit [http://www.dockapps.net/ dockapps.net] to see what dockapps are available.
 
 
=== Autostarting Applications ===
 
 
 
The ArchLinux way to autostart apps is to put all code into {{ic|~/.xinitrc}}. Please read [[Xinitrc]]. However, Fluxbox provides functionality to autostart applications on its own. The {{ic|~/.fluxbox/startup}} file is a script for autostarting applications as well as starting Fluxbox itself. The # symbol denotes a comment.
 
 
 
A sample file:
 
fbsetbg -l # sets the last background set, very useful and recommended.
 
# In the below commands the ampersand symbol (&) is required on all applications that do not terminate immediately.
 
# Failure to provide them will cause Fluxbox not to start.
 
idesk &
 
xterm &
 
# exec is for starting Fluxbox itself, do not put an ampersand (&) after this or Fluxbox will exit immediately.
 
exec /usr/bin/fluxbox
 
# or if you want to keep a log, uncomment the below command and comment out the above command:
 
# exec /usr/bin/fluxbox -log ~/.fluxbox/log
 
 
 
=== Other menus ===
 
 
 
In the "Menu Management" section (above) we were discussing the main "Applications" Menu, called the "Root" menu in Fluxbox lingo. Fluxbox also has other menus available to the user:
 
 
 
* Workspaces Menu: middle click on desktop.
 
* Configuration Menu: located within the "Fluxbox" section of the "Root" menu.
 
* Window menu: right click on the titlebar of any window, or its bar if minimized. Can be edited. See fluxbox-menu man page.
 
* Toolbar menu: right click on empty part of toolbar. Also found as a sub-menu within the Configuration Menu.
 
* Slit Menu: found as a sub-menu within the configuration menu.
 
 
 
=== True transparency ===
 
 
 
To enable true transparency in Fluxbox you need an X compositor such as [[Xcompmgr]].
 
 
 
=== Notifications ===
 
 
 
To enable connection notifications on-screen for Fluxbox read [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=138616 this Arch forum thread].
 
 
 
=== After xorg.conf ===
 
 
 
Xorg no longer requires an '''xorg.conf''' file. Traditionally this is where you would change your keyboard settings and powersave settings. Luckily there are elegant solutions not using xorg.conf.
 
 
 
==== Setting your keyboard right ====
 
 
 
Just add the following line to {{ic|~/.fluxbox/startup}}:
 
setxkbmap us -variant intl & # to have a us keyboard with special characters enabled (like éóíáú)
 
 
 
Instead of 'us' you can also pass your language code and remove the variant option (ex.: 'us_intl', which works like the command above in some setups). See man setxkbmap for more options.
 
 
 
To make a help function in your menu, just add in {{ic|~/.fluxbox/menu}}:
 
[submenu] (Keyboard)
 
      [exec] (normal) {setxkbmap us}
 
      [exec] (international) {setxkbmap us -variant intl}
 
[end]
 
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
  
* [http://fluxbox.org/ Fluxbox Homepage]
+
* [https://github.com/fluxbox/fluxbox Fluxbox on Github]
 
* [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/ Fluxbox wiki]
 
* [http://fluxbox-wiki.org/ Fluxbox wiki]
* [http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Fluxbox Gentoo Wiki about Fluxbox]
+
* [https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Fluxbox Gentoo Wiki about Fluxbox]
* [http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/fluxbox-config.xml Gentoo Fluxbox documentation]
+
* [https://www.box-look.org/browse/cat/139/ord/latest/ Themes for Fluxbox]
* [http://box-look.org/ Themes for Fluxbox]
+
* [https://jlk.fjfi.cvut.cz/arch/manpages/man/fluxbox.1 Fluxbox man page] (plus related fluxbox manpages such as fluxbox-keys)
* [[Fluxbox_Style_Guide|Fluxbox Style duide]]
+
* [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=77729 Narada's Fluxbox Guide]
* [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=77729 Narada's Fluxbox duide]
 
* The Fluxbox man pages: fluxbox, fluxbox-menu, fluxbox-style, fluxbox-keys, fluxbox-apps, fluxbox-remote, fbsetroot, fbsetbg, fbrun, startfluxbox.
 
 
* [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=90260 Arch Linux Fluxbox screenshots]
 
* [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=90260 Arch Linux Fluxbox screenshots]

Latest revision as of 20:14, 19 June 2018

Fluxbox is a window manager for X11. It is based on the (now abandoned) Blackbox 0.61.1 code, but with significant enhancements and continued development. Fluxbox provides a number of window management features such as tabbing and grouping and has hundreds of styles (themes) available. All Fluxbox configuration is stored in plaintext files, however some settings are exposed graphically in the configuration menu.

Installation

Install the fluxbox package.

Starting

Run startfluxbox with xinit.

Autostart

Fluxbox provides functionality to autostart applications. The ~/.fluxbox/startup file is a script for autostarting applications as well as starting Fluxbox itself. The # symbol denotes a comment. Make sure that any lines starting applications come before the call to start Fluxbox itself. Otherwise, these lines will not be reached until Fluxbox itself terminates.

Configuration

System-wide Fluxbox configuration files are in /usr/share/fluxbox while user configuration files are in ~/.fluxbox. The user config files are:

Menus

The Fluxbox root menu is defined in ~/.fluxbox/menu and it can be accessed by right clicking on the desktop. As with other lightweight window managers Fluxbox does not automatically update its menu when you install new applications. Therefore, the menu will need to be regenerated when new applications are installed/uninstalled.

The basic syntax for a menu item to appear is:

[exec] (name) {command} <path to icon>

...where "name" is the text you wish to appear for that menu item and "command" is the location of the binary, e.g.:

[exec] (Firefox Browser) {/usr/bin/firefox} <path to firefox icon>

Note that the "<path to icon>" is optional. If you want to create a submenu the syntax is:

[submenu] (Name)
...
...
[end]

When you have finished editing, save the file and exit. There is no need to restart Fluxbox. For more information read editing the Fluxbox menu.

Automatic menu generation

There are some programs which can generate either a complete Fluxbox root menu or a submenu of installed applications which can be manually included in an existing root menu definition. These are outlined below.

fluxbox-generate_menu

There is a built-in command provided with Fluxbox:

$ fluxbox-generate_menu

This command will auto-generate a ~/.fluxbox/menu file based on your installed programs. However, the menu it generates will not be as comprehensive as that generated by MenuMaker.

MenuMaker

MenuMaker is a powerful tool that creates XML-based menus for a variety of Window Managers, including Fluxbox. MenuMaker will search your computer for executable programs and create a menu based on the results. It can be configured to exclude Legacy X, GNOME, KDE, or Xfce applications if desired.

Install menumaker, then you can generate a complete menu and overwrite the default one by running:

$ mmaker -f FluxBox

You can avoid populating your menu with terminal based applications such as alsamixer by running the following switches with the mmaker command: --no-legacy and --no-debian. For example:

$ mmaker -f --no-legacy --no-debian FluxBox

To see more MenuMaker options:

$ mmaker --help
Xdg-menu

You can also generate a menu using Xdg-menu. See the Xdg-menu#FluxBox section.

Other menus

In addition to the root menu, Fluxbox also provides the following menus:

  • Workspaces Menu: middle click on desktop.
  • Configuration Menu: located within the "Fluxbox" section of the "Root" menu.
  • Window menu: right click on the titlebar of any window, or its bar if minimized. Can be edited. See fluxbox-menu man page.
  • Toolbar menu: right click on empty part of toolbar. Also found as a sub-menu within the Configuration Menu.
  • Slit Menu: found as a sub-menu within the configuration menu.

Keyboard

Hotkeys

The Fluxbox hotkey file is located at ~/.fluxbox/keys. The Control key is represented by Control. Mod1 corresponds to the Alt key and Mod4 corresponds to Super (not a standard key but most users map Super to the Win key).

Set the keyboard layout with Fluxbox

Just add the following line to ~/.fluxbox/startup:

setxkbmap us -variant intl & # to have a us keyboard with special characters enabled (like éóíáú)

Instead of 'us' you can also pass your language code and remove the variant option (ex.: 'us_intl', which works like the command above in some setups). See setxkbmap(1) for more options.

To make a help function in your menu, just add in ~/.fluxbox/menu:

[submenu] (Keyboard)
      [exec] (normal) {setxkbmap us}
      [exec] (international) {setxkbmap us -variant intl}
[end]

Workspaces

Fluxbox defaults to having four workspaces. These are accessible using the Ctrl+F1-F4 shortcuts, or by using the left mouse button to click the arrows on the toolbar. You can also access workspaces via a middle mouse button click on desktop which pops up the Workspaces Menu.

Tabbing and grouping

With at least two windows visible on your desktop use Ctrl+left click on the upper window tab of one window and drag it into the other open window. The two windows will now be grouped together with window tabs in the upper window tab bar. You may now perform a window operation that will affect the entire window "group". To reverse the tabbing use Ctrl+left click on a tab and drag it to an empty space on the desktop.

Wallpaper

Fluxbox provides a wrapper script fbsetbg which can help one to set the wallpaper. Please refer to the Fluxbox wiki for details. Alternatively, you can use a wallpaper setter such as feh or Nitrogen independently if you wish. See below.

Swapping multiple backgrounds easily

Place the following submenu in your Fluxbox menu:

[submenu] (Backgrounds)
[wallpapers] (~/.fluxbox/backgrounds) {feh --bg-scale}
[wallpapers] (/usr/share/fluxbox/backgrounds) {feh --bg-scale}
[end]

Then put your background images into ~/.fluxbox/backgrounds or any other folder you specify, they will then appear in the same fashion as your styles.

The same applies to a dual screen wallpaper on a system without 'xinerama' (NVidia TwinView for example):

[submenu] (Backgrounds)
[wallpapers] (/path/to/your/backgrounds) {feh --bg-scale --no-xinerama }
[end]

Using feh with Fluxbox

Install feh.

To make sure Fluxbox will load feh background next time start:

1. Make .fehbg executable:

$ chmod 770 ~/.fehbg

2. Then add (or modify) the following line to the file ~/.fluxbox/init:

session.screen0.rootCommand:	~/.fehbg

3. or add (or modify) the following line to the file ~/.fluxbox/startup:

~/.fehbg

Theming

To install a Fluxbox theme, extract the theme archive file to a styles directory. The default directories are:

  • Global - /usr/share/fluxbox/styles
  • User only - ~/.fluxbox/styles

The fluxmod-stylesAUR package contains a number of Fluxbox styles from the (now defunct) fluxmod.dk site.

To create your own Fluxbox styles, please refer to fluxbox-style(5), Fluxbox/Style guide and tenr.de Fluxbox style guide.

If you use mmaker -f FluxBox to create your menus, you will not see the styles menu selection after you install the styles. To correct this add the following to ~/.fluxbox/menu after the restart menu item:

               [submenu] (System Styles) {Choose a style...}
                     [stylesdir] (/usr/share/fluxbox/styles)
                       [end]
               [submenu] (User Styles) {Choose a style...}
                     [stylesdir] (~/.fluxbox/styles)
                       [end]

The Slit

Some window managers, such as Fluxbox, Window Maker and Openbox, have a "Slit". This is a dock for any application that can be 'dockable'. A docked application is anchored and appears on every workspace. It cannot be moved freely and is not influenced by any manipulation to windows. It is essentially a small widget. Dock apps that are useful in such a situation tend to be clocks, system monitors, weather apps and so on. Visit dockapps.net to see what dockapps are available.

See also