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{{Article summary start}}
+
{{Related articles start}}
{{Article summary text|A comprehensive guide on the installation and use of the Openbox window manager.}}
+
{{Related|Desktop environment}}
{{Article summary heading|Overview}}
+
{{Related|Display manager}}
{{Article summary text|{{Graphical user interface overview}}}}
+
{{Related|File manager functionality}}
{{Article summary end}}
+
{{Related|Window manager}}
 +
{{Related|Oblogout}}
 +
{{Related|Xdg-menu}}
 +
{{Related articles end}}
  
Openbox is a lightweight and highly configurable [[Window Manager|window manager]] with extensive standards support. Its features are documented at the [http://openbox.org/ official website]. This article pertains to installing Openbox under Arch Linux.
+
Openbox is a lightweight, powerful, and highly configurable ''stacking'' [[window manager]] with extensive standards support. It may be built upon and run independently as the basis of a unique [[desktop environment]], or within other integrated desktop environments such as [[KDE]] and [[Xfce]], as an alternative to the window managers they provide. The [[LXDE]] desktop environment is itself built around Openbox.
 +
 
 +
A comprehensive list of features are documented at the [http://openbox.org/ official Openbox website]. This article pertains to specifically installing Openbox under Arch Linux.
  
 
== Installation ==
 
== Installation ==
  
Install {{Pkg|openbox}}, available in the [[Official Repositories]].  After installation, you should copy the default configuration files {{ic|rc.xml}}, {{ic|menu.xml}}, {{ic|autostart}}, and {{ic|environment}} to {{ic|~/.config/openbox}}:
+
[[Install]] the {{Pkg|openbox}} package.
  
{{Note | Do this as a regular user, not as root.}}
+
=== Standalone ===
  
$ mkdir -p ~/.config/openbox
+
[[Display manager]]s will automatically detect Openbox, allowing for it to be run as a standalone session.
$ cp /etc/xdg/openbox/{rc.xml,menu.xml,autostart,environment} ~/.config/openbox
+
  
These four files form the basis of your openbox configuration.  Each file addresses a unique aspect of your configuration and the role of each file is as follows:
+
To start openbox with [[Xinitrc]], add the following line:
  
; {{ic|rc.xml}}: This is the main configuration file. It defines keyboard shortcuts, themes, virtual desktops, and more.
+
exec openbox-session
  
;{{ic|menu.xml}}: This file defines the content of the right-click menu. It defines launchers for applications and other shortcuts. See the [[#Menus]] section.
+
{{Note|Specifying {{ic|openbox}} instead of {{ic|openbox-session}} will prevent [[#autostart|autostart]] in {{ic|/etc/xdg/autostart}}.}}
  
;{{ic|autostart}}: This file is read by openbox-session at startup. It contains the programs that are run at startup. It is typically used to set environment variables, launch panels/docks, set background image or execute other startup scripts. See the [http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:Autostart Openbox Wiki].
+
=== Other desktop environments ===
  
;{{ic|environment}}: This file is sourced by openbox-session at startup. It contains environment variables to be set in Openbox's context. Any variables you set here will be visible to Openbox itself and anything you start from its menus.
+
{{Note|
 +
* When replacing the native window manager of a [[desktop environment]] with Openbox, keep in mind that Openbox does not provide any compositing effects (such as transparency). See [[#Compositing effects]].
 +
* Openbox does work with GNOME applications (but see [[GTK+#Client-side decorations]]). [http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.comp.window-managers.openbox/6595]}}
  
== Upgrading to Openbox 3.5 ==
+
See [[Desktop environment#Custom window manager]].
  
If you are upgrading to Openbox 3.5 or later from an earlier release, be aware of these changes:
+
== Configuration==
  
* There is a new config file called {{ic|environment}} that you should copy from {{ic|/etc/xdg/openbox}} to {{ic|~/.config/openbox}}.
+
{{Note|Local configuration files will always override global equivalents.}}
* The config file previously called {{ic|autostart.sh}} is now just called {{ic|autostart}}. You should rename yours to remove the {{ic|.sh}} from the end of the name.
+
* Some of the configuration grammar in {{ic|rc.xml}} has changed. While Openbox appears to understand the old options, it would be wise to compare your configuration to the one in {{ic|/etc/xdg/openbox}} and look for changes that affect you.
+
  
== Openbox as a stand-alone WM ==
+
Four key files form the basis of the openbox configuration, each serving a unique role. They are: {{ic|rc.xml}}, {{ic|menu.xml}}, {{ic|autostart}}, and {{ic|environment}}. Although these files are discussed in more detail below, to start configuring Openbox,  it will first be necessary to create a '''local''' Openbox profile (i.e for your specific user account) based on them. This can be done by copying them from the '''global''' {{ic|/etc/xdg/openbox}} profile (applicable to any and all users) as a template:
  
Openbox can be used as a stand-alone window manager (WM). This is usually simpler to install and configure than using Openbox with desktop environments. Running openbox alone may reduce your system's CPU and memory load.
+
$ cp -R /etc/xdg/openbox ~/.config/
  
To run Openbox as a stand-alone window manager, append the following to {{ic|~/.xinitrc}}:
+
=== rc.xml ===
exec openbox-session
+
  
See [[xinitrc]] for details, such as preserving the logind (and/or consolekit) session.
+
{{Tip|Custom keyboard shortcuts (keybindings) must be added to the {{ic|<keyboard>}} section of this file, and underneath the {{ic|<nowiki><!-- Keybindings for running aplications --></nowiki>}} heading.}}
  
If you used another window manager previously (such as Xfwm) and now Openbox will not start after logging out of X, try moving the autostart folder:
+
{{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}} is the main configuration file, responsible for determining the behaviour and settings of the overall session, including:
mv ~/.config/autostart ~/.config/autostart.bak
+
  
{{Note | {{pkg|python2-xdg}} is required for Openbox's xdg-autostart}}
+
* Keyboard shortcuts (e.g. starting applications; controlling the volume)
 +
* Theming
 +
* Desktop and Virtual desktop settings, and
 +
* Application Window settings
  
== Openbox as a WM for desktop environments ==
+
This file is also pre-configured, meaning that it will only be necessary to amend existing content in order to customise behaviour to suit personal preference.
  
Openbox can be used as a replacement window manager for full-fledged desktop environments. The method for deploying Openbox depends on the desktop environment.
+
{{Note|Per-application settings pertaining to fixed placement of applications per monitor will only work if the x & y position have also been defined.}}
  
=== GNOME 2.24 and 2.26 ===
+
=== menu.xml ===
Create {{ic|/usr/share/applications/openbox.desktop}} with the following lines:
+
[Desktop Entry]
+
Type=Application
+
Encoding=UTF-8
+
Name=OpenBox
+
Exec=openbox
+
NoDisplay=true
+
# name of loadable control center module
+
X-GNOME-WMSettingsModule=openbox
+
# name we put on the WM spec check window
+
X-GNOME-WMName=OpenBox
+
In gconf, set {{ic|/desktop/gnome/session/required_components/windowmanager}} to {{ic|openbox}}:
+
$ gconftool-2 -s -t string /desktop/gnome/session/required_components/windowmanager openbox
+
Finally, choose the {{ic|GNOME}} session from the GDM sessions menu.
+
  
=== GNOME 2.26 redux ===
+
{{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}} defines the type and behaviour of the desktop menu, accessable by right-clicking the background. Although the default provided is a '''static menu''' (meaning that it will not automatically update when new applications are installed), it is possible to employ the use of '''dynamic menus''' that will automatically update as well.
'''''If the previous guide for GNOME 2.24 fails:'''''
+
  
If, when attempting to log into a "Gnome/Openbox" session -- and it consistently fails to start, try the following. This is one way of achieving your goal of using Openbox as the WM anytime you open a Gnome session:
+
The available options are discussed extensively below in the [[#Menus|Menus]] section.
  
#Log into your Gnome-only session (it should still be using Metacity as its window manager).
+
=== autostart ===
#Install Openbox if you have not done so already
+
#Navigate your menus to ''System &rarr; Preferences &rarr; Startup Applications'' (possibly named 'Session' in older Gnome versions)
+
#Open Startup Application, select '+ Add' and enter the text shown below. Omit the text after #.
+
#Click the 'Add' button for the data entry window. Make sure the checkbox beside your new entry is selected.
+
#Log out from your Gnome session and log back in
+
#You should now be running openbox as your window manager.
+
  
Name:    Openbox Windox Manager          # Can be changed
+
The file {{ic|~/.config/openbox/autostart}}, if present, is executed by Openbox at startup. A basic example of this file consists of one command per line, like so:
Command: openbox --replace              # Text should not be removed from this line, but possibly added to it
+
Comment: Replaces metacity with openbox  # Can be changed
+
  
This creates a startup list entry which is executed by Gnome each time the user's session is started.
+
xset -b
 +
nm-applet &
 +
conky &
  
=== GNOME 2.22 and prior ===
+
Note that a single ampersand ({{ic|&}}) causes the process in question to be run in the background, allowing the script to continue on to the next command. An ampersand is therefore needed after each command that launches a process of indefinite duration. Commands that are completed essentially instantly (e.g. {{ic|xset -b}}) may be left alone.
# If you use GDM, select the "GNOME/Openbox" login option
+
# If you use {{ic|startx}}, add {{ic|exec openbox-gnome-session}} to {{ic|~/.xinitrc}}
+
# From the shell:
+
$ xinit /usr/bin/openbox-gnome-session
+
  
=== KDE ===
+
Issues regarding commands in {{ic|~/.config/openbox/autostart}} being executed out of order (or skipped altogether) are often resolved by the addition of small delays. For instance:
# If you use KDM, select the "KDE/Openbox" login option.
+
# Open System Settings > Default Applications (in the Workspace Appearance and Behaviour section), and change the default window manager to Openbox (this will also avoid having to log out and log back in again).
+
# If you use startx, add {{ic|exec openbox-kde-session}} to {{ic|~/.xinitrc}}
+
# From the shell:
+
$ xinit /usr/bin/openbox-kde-session
+
  
=== Xfce4 ===
+
xset -b
Log into a normal Xfce4 session. From your terminal, type:
+
(sleep 3s && nm-applet) &
  $ killall xfwm4 ; openbox & exit
+
  (sleep 3s && conky) &
  
This kills xfwm4, runs Openbox, and closes the terminal. Log out, being sure to check the ''"Save session for future logins"'' box. On your next login, Xfce4 should use '''Openbox''' as its window manager.
+
{{Note|In addition to running {{ic|~/.config/openbox/autostart}}, Openbox will also launch programs with {{ic|.desktop}} files present in {{ic|/etc/xdg/autostart}}. This is the global [[autostart]] directory, which is automatically sourced by XDG-compliant desktop environments (e.g. GNOME, KDE). Openbox will source this directory as well, provided that the package {{Pkg|python2-xdg}} is installed, and Openbox is launched as {{ic|openbox-session}} (rather than simply {{ic|openbox}}, as [[#Standalone|noted earlier]]). Duplication between {{ic|~/.config/openbox/autostart}} and {{ic|/etc/xdg/autostart}} is a common cause of programs launching twice at startup (e.g. two network manager tray icons).}}
  
Alternatively, you can chooose ''Settings'' -> ''Session and Startup'' from menu, go to the ''Application Autostart'' tab and add {{ic|openbox --replace}} to the list of automatically started applications.
+
The {{ic|/usr/lib/openbox/openbox-xdg-autostart}} python2 script runs applications based on the XDG autostart specification.
  
To enable exiting from a session using ''xfce4-session'', edit {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}}.  If the file is not there, copy it from  {{ic|/etc/xdg/openbox/}}.  Look for the following entry:
+
=== environment ===
  <item label="Exit Openbox">
+
    <action name="Exit">
+
      <prompt>yes</prompt>
+
    </action>
+
  </item>
+
  
Change it to:
+
{{ic|~/.config/openbox/environment}} can be used to export and set relevant environmental variables such as to:
  <item label="Exit Openbox">
+
    <action name="Execute">
+
      <prompt>yes</prompt>
+
    <command>xfce4-session-logout</command>
+
    </action>
+
  </item>
+
  
Otherwise, choosing "Exit" from the root-menu causes Openbox to terminate its execution, leaving you with no window manager.
+
* Define new pathways (e.g. execute commands that would otherwise require the entire pathway to be listed with them)
 +
* Change language settings, and
 +
* Define other variables to be used (e.g. the fix for GTK theming could be listed here)
  
If you have a problem changing virtual desktops with the mouse wheel skipping over desktops, edit {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}}. Move the ''mouse binds with...'' actions "DesktopPrevious" and "DesktopNext" from context ''Desktop'' to the context ''Root''. Note that you may need to create a definition for the ''Root'' context as well.
+
=== GUI configuration ===
  
When using the Openbox root-menu instead of Xfce's menu, you may exit the Xfdesktop with this terminal command:
+
Several GUI applications are available to quickly and easily configure your Openbox desktop. From the [[official repositories]]:
$ xfdesktop --quit
+
Xfdesktop manages the wallpaper and desktop icons, requiring you to use other utilities such as ROX for these functions.
+
  
(When terminating Xfdesktop, the above issue with the virtual desktops is no longer a problem.)
+
* {{App|ObConf|A GTK2 based configuration tool for the Openbox window manager.|http://openbox.org/wiki/ObConf:About|{{Pkg|obconf}}}}
 +
* {{App|LXAppearance ObConf|Plugin for LXAppearance to configure Openbox. Note that not all options to configure Openbox are available in this plugin, so you might want to install obconf anyway.|http://lxde.org|{{Pkg|lxappearance-obconf}}}}
 +
* {{App|LXInput|LXDE keyboard and mouse configuration|http://lxde.org|{{Pkg|lxinput}}}}
 +
* {{App|LXRandR|LXDE monitor configuration.|http://wiki.lxde.org/en/LXRandR|{{Pkg|lxrandr}}}}
 +
* {{App|obkey|Configure Openbox keyboard shortcuts|https://code.google.com/p/obkey/|{{AUR|obkey}}}}
 +
* {{App|ob-autostart|A simple autostart application for Openbox.|http://pastebin.com/012YgXTk|{{AUR|ob-autostart}}}}
  
== Openbox for multihead users ==
+
Programs and applications relating to the configuration of Openbox's desktop menu are discussed in the [[#Menus|Menus]] section.
  
While Openbox provides better than average multihead support on its own, the {{AUR|openbox-multihead-git}} package from the [[AUR]] provides a development branch called '''Openbox Multihead''' that gives multihead users per-monitor desktops. This model is not commonly found in floating window managers, but exists mainly in tiling window managers. It is explained well on the [http://xmonad.org/tour.html#workspace Xmonad web site]. Also, please see [https://github.com/BurntSushi/openbox-multihead/blob/multihead/README.MULTIHEAD README.MULTIHEAD] for a more comprehensive description of the new features and configuration options found in Openbox Multihead.
+
== Openbox reconfiguration ==
  
Openbox Multihead will function like normal Openbox when only a single head is available.
+
{{Tip|where not already present, it would be worthwhile adding this command to a menu and/or as a keybind for convenience.}}
  
A downside to using Openbox Multihead is that it breaks the EWMH assumption that one and only one desktop is visible at any time. Thus, existing pagers will not work well with it. To remedy this, {{AUR|pager-multihead}} can be found in the [[AUR]] and is compatible with Openbox Multihead. [http://imgur.com/a/cnZeq#y04nk Screenshots].
+
Openbox will not always automatically reflect any changes made to its configuration files within a session. As a consequence, it will be necessary to manually reload those files after they have been edited. To do so, enter the following command:
  
Finally, a new version of [[PyTyle]] that will work with Openbox Multihead can also be found in the [[AUR]]: {{AUR|pytyle3-git}}.
+
$ openbox --reconfigure
  
Both ''pytyle3'' and ''pager-multihead'' will work without Openbox Multihead if only one monitor is active.
+
Where intending to add this command as a keybind to {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}}, it will only be necessary to list the command as {{ic|reconfigure}}. An example has been provided below, using the {{ic|Super}}+{{ic|F11}} keybind:
  
== Configuration ==
+
<keybind key="W-F11">
 +
  <action name="Reconfigure"/>
 +
</keybind>
  
There are several options for configuring Openbox settings:
+
== Keybinds ==
  
=== Manual configuration ===
+
All keybinds must be added to the {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}} file, and below the {{ic|<nowiki><!-- Keybindings for running aplications --></nowiki>}} heading. Although a brief overview has been provided here, a more in-depth explanation of keybindings can be found at [http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:Bindings openbox.org]. {{AUR|obkey}} is a utility for adjust key-binding. Before using obkey, you should use obconf to create {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}}.
To configure Openbox manually, edit the {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}} file with a text editor. The file has explanatory comments throughout, for more details about editing it see the [http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:Configuration Openbox wiki].
+
  
=== ObConf ===
+
=== Special keys ===
[http://openbox.org/wiki/ObConf:About ObConf] is an Openbox configuration tool. It is used to set most common preferences such as themes, virtual desktops, window properties, and desktop margins. It can be installed with the {{Pkg|obconf}} package, available in the [[official repositories]].
+
  
ObConf cannot configure keyboard shortcuts and certain other features. For these features edit {{ic|rc.xml}} manually. Alternatively, you can try {{AUR|obkey}} from the [[AUR]].
+
While the use of standard alpha-numeric keys for keybindings is self-explanatory, special names are assigned to other types of keys, such as {{ic|modifers}}, {{ic|multimedia}} keys and {{ic|navigation}} keys.
  
=== Application customization ===
+
==== Modifiers ====
  
Openbox allows per-application customizations. This lets you define rules for a given program. For example:
+
{{ic|Modifer}} keys play an important role in keybindings (e.g. holding down the {{ic|shift}} or {{ic|CTRL / control}} key in combination with another key to undertake an action). Using modifers helps to prevent conflicting keybinds, whereby two or more actions are linked to the same key or combination of keys. The syntax to use a modifer with another key is:
* Start your web browser on a specific virtual desktop.
+
* Open your terminal program with no window decorations (window chrome).
+
* Make your bit-torrent client open at a given screen position.
+
  
Per-application settings are defined in {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}}. Instructions are in the file's comments. More details are found in the [http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:Applications Openbox wiki].
+
"<modifier>-<key>"
 +
 
 +
The modifer codes are as follows:
 +
 
 +
* {{ic|S}}: Shift
 +
* {{ic|C}}: Control / CTRL
 +
* {{ic|A}}: Alt
 +
* {{ic|W}}: Super / Windows
 +
* {{ic|M}}: Meta
 +
* {{ic|H}}: Hyper (If it is bound to something)
 +
 
 +
For example, the code below would use {{ic|super}} and {{ic|t}} to launch {{Pkg|lxterminal}}
 +
 
 +
<keybind key="W-t">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>lxterminal</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
 
 +
==== Multimedia keys ====
 +
 
 +
{{Merge|Extra keyboard keys in Xorg}}
 +
 
 +
Where available, it is possible to set the appropriate {{ic|multimedia}} keys to perform their intended functions, such as to control the volume and/or the screen brightness. These will usually be integrated into the {{ic|function}} keys, and are identified by their appropriate symbols. See [[Extra keyboard keys]] for details.
 +
 
 +
The volume and brightness multimedia codes are as follows (note that commands will still have to be assigned to them to actually function):
 +
 
 +
* {{ic|XF86AudioRaiseVolume}}: Increase volume
 +
* {{ic|XF86AudioLowerVolume}}: Decrease volume
 +
* {{ic|XF86AudioMute}}: Mute / unmute volume
 +
* {{ic|XF86MonBrightnessUp}}: Increase screen brightess
 +
* {{ic|XF86MonBrightnessDown}}: Decrease screen brightness
 +
 
 +
Examples of how these may be used in {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}} have been provided below.
 +
 
 +
==== Navigation keys ====
 +
 
 +
These are the directional / arrow keys, usually used to move the cursor up, down, left, or right. The (self-explanatory) navigation codes are as follows:
 +
 
 +
* {{ic|Up}}: Up
 +
* {{ic|Down}}: Down
 +
* {{ic|Left}}: Left
 +
* {{ic|Right}}: Right
 +
 
 +
=== Volume Control ===
 +
 
 +
What commands should be used for controlling the volume will depend on whether [[ALSA]], [[PulseAudio]], or [[OSS]] is used for sound.
 +
 
 +
==== ALSA ====
 +
 
 +
If [[ALSA]] is used for sound, the {{ic|amixer}} program can be used to adjust the volume, which is part of the {{Pkg|alsa-utils}} package. The following example - using the {{ic|multimedia}} keys intended to control the volume - will adjust the volume by +/- 5% (which may be changed, as desired):
 +
 
 +
<keybind key="XF86AudioRaiseVolume">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>amixer set Master 5%+ unmute</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
<keybind key="XF86AudioLowerVolume">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>amixer set Master 5%- unmute</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
<keybind key="XF86AudioMute">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>amixer set Master toggle</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
 
 +
==== Pulseaudio ====
 +
 
 +
Where using [[PulseAudio]] with [[ALSA]] as a backend, the {{ic|amixer}} program commands will have to be modifed, as illustrated below in comparison to the ALSA example:
 +
 
 +
<keybind key="XF86AudioRaiseVolume">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>amixer -D pulse set Master 5%+ unmute</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
<keybind key="XF86AudioLowerVolume">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>amixer -D pulse set Master 5%- unmute</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
<keybind key="XF86AudioMute">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>amixer -D pulse set Master toggle</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
 
 +
==== OSS ====
 +
 
 +
{{Note|This option may be suitable for more experienced users.}}
 +
 
 +
Where using [[OSS]], it is possible to create keybindings to raise or lower specific mixers. This allows, for example, the volume of a specific application (such as an audio player) to be changed without changing the overall system volume settings in turn. In this instance, the application must first have been [[OSS#Configuring_Applications_for_OSS|configured]]  to use its own mixer.
 +
 
 +
In the following example, [[MPD]] has been configured to use its own mixer - also named {{ic|mpd}} - to increase and decrease the volume by a single decibel at a time. The {{ic|--}} that appears after the {{ic|ossmix}} command has been added to prevent a negative value from being treated as an argument:
 +
 
 +
<keybind key="[chosen keybind]">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>ossmix -- mpd +1</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
<keybind key="[chosen keybind]">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>ossmix -- mpd -1</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
 
 +
=== Media player control ===
 +
 
 +
The {{AUR|playerctl}} command-line utility can be used to bind multimedia keys to player actions. It should work with most media players.
 +
 
 +
<keybind key="XF86AudioPlay">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>playerctl play</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
<keybind key="XF86AudioPause">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>playerctl pause</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
<keybind key="XF86AudioNext">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>playerctl next</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
<keybind key="XF86AudioPrev">
 +
    <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>playerctl previous</command>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
 
 +
=== Brightness control ===
 +
 
 +
The {{ic|xbacklight}} program is used to control screen brightness, which is part of the [[Xorg]] X-Window system. In the example below, the {{ic|multimedia}} keys intended to control the screen brightness will adjust the settings by +/- 10%:
 +
 
 +
<keybind key="XF86MonBrightnessUp">
 +
      <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>xbacklight +10</command>
 +
      </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
<keybind key="XF86MonBrightnessDown">
 +
      <action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>xbacklight -10</command>
 +
      </action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
 
 +
=== Window snapping ===
 +
 
 +
Many desktop environments and window managers support ''window snapping'' (e.g. Windows 7 Aero snap), whereby they will automatically snap into place when moved to the edge of the screen. This effect can also be simulated in Openbox through the use of keybinds on focused windows.
 +
 
 +
As illustrated in the example below, percentages must be used to determine window sizes (see [http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:Actions openbox.org] for further information). In this instance, The {{ic|super}} key is used in conjunction with the {{ic|navigation}} keys:
 +
 
 +
<keybind key="W-Left">
 +
    <action name="UnmaximizeFull"/>
 +
    <action name="MaximizeVert"/>
 +
    <action name="MoveResizeTo">
 +
        <width>50%</width>
 +
    </action>
 +
    <action name="MoveToEdge"><direction>west</direction></action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
<keybind key="W-Right">
 +
    <action name="UnmaximizeFull"/>
 +
    <action name="MaximizeVert"/>
 +
    <action name="MoveResizeTo">
 +
        <width>50%</width>
 +
    </action>
 +
    <action name="MoveToEdge"><direction>east</direction></action>
 +
</keybind>
 +
 
 +
However, it should be noted that once a window has been 'snapped' to an edge, it will remain vertically maximised unless subsequently maximised and then restored. The solution is to implement additional keybinds - in this instance using the {{ic|down}} and {{ic|up}} keys - to do so. This will also make pulling 'snapped' windows from screen edges faster as well:
 +
 
 +
<keybind key="W-Down">
 +
    <action name="Unmaximize"/>
 +
</keybind>
 +
<keybind key="W-Up">
 +
    <action name="Maximize"/>
 +
</keybind>
 +
 
 +
This [http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1796793 Ubuntu forum thread] provides more information. Applications such as {{AUR|opensnap-git}} are also available to automatically simulate window snapping behaviour without the use of keybinds.
 +
 
 +
=== Desktop menu ===
 +
 
 +
It is also possible to create a keybind to access the desktop menu. For example, the following code will bring up the menu by pressing {{ic|CTRL}} + {{ic|m}}:
 +
 
 +
<keybind key="C-m">
 +
    <action name="ShowMenu">
 +
        <menu>root-menu</menu>
 +
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
  
 
== Menus ==
 
== Menus ==
  
The default Openbox menu includes a variety of menu items to get you started. Many of these items launch applications you do not want, have not installed yet, or never intend to install. You will surely want to customize '''{{ic|menu.xml}}''' at some point. There are a number of ways to do so.
+
It is possible to employ three types of menu in Openbox: {{ic|static}}, {{ic|pipes}} (dynamic), and {{ic|generators}} (static or dynamic). They may also be used alone or in any combination.
  
=== Manual configuration of menus ===
+
=== Static ===
  
You can edit {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}} with a text editor. Many of the settings are self-explanatory. The article [http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:Menus Help:Menus] in the Openbox wiki has extensive details.
+
As the name would suggest, this default type of menu does not change in any way, and may be manually edited and/or (re)generated automatically through the use on an appropriate software package.
  
=== Icons in the menu ===
+
Fast and efficient, while this type of menu can be used to select applications, it can also be useful to access specific functions and/or perform specific tasks (e.g. desktop configuration), leaving the access of applications to another process (e.g. the {{Pkg|synapse}} or {{Pkg|xfce4-appfinder}} applications).
  
Since version 3.5.0 you can have icons next to your menu entries. To do that :
+
The {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}} file will be the sole source of static desktop menu content.
# add <showIcons>yes</showIcons> in the <menu> section of the {{ic|rc.xml}} file
+
# edit the menu entries in {{ic|menu.xml}} and add icons="<path>" like this :
+
<menu id="apps-menu" label="SomeApp" icon="/home/user/.icons/application.png">
+
  
then {{ic|openbox --reconfigure}} or {{ic|openbox --restart}} if the menus do not update properly.
+
==== menumaker ====
  
=== MenuMaker ===
+
{{Pkg|menumaker}} automatically generates {{ic|xml}} menus for several window managers, including Openbox, [[Fluxbox]], [[IceWM]] and [[Xfce]]. It will search for all installed executable programs and consequently create a menu file for them. It is also possible to configure MenuMaker to exclude certain application types (e.g. relating to [[GNOME]] or [[KDE]]), if desired.
  
[http://menumaker.sourceforge.net/ MenuMaker] creates XML menus for several window managers including Openbox. MenuMaker searchs your computer for executable programs and creates a menu file from the result. It can be configured to exclude certain application types (GNOME, KDE, etc) if you desire. It can be installed with the {{Pkg|menumaker}} package available in the official repositories.
+
Once installed and executed, it will automatically generate a new {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}} file. To avoid overwriting an existing file, enter:
  
Once installed, generate a menu file (named {{ic|menu.xml}}) by running the program.
+
  $ mmaker -v OpenBox3
  $ mmaker -v OpenBox3     #  Will not overwrite an existing menu file.
+
$ mmaker -vf OpenBox3    #  Force option permits overwriting the menu file.
+
$ mmaker --help          #  See the full set of options for MenuMaker.
+
  
MenuMaker creates a comprehensive {{ic|menu.xml}}. You may edit this file by hand or regenerate it after installing software.
+
Otherwise, to overwrite an existing file, add the {{ic|force}} argument ({{ic|f}}):
  
=== Obmenu ===
+
$ mmaker -vf OpenBox3
  
Obmenu is a menu editor for Openbox. This GUI application is the best choice for those who dislike editing XML code. Obmenu can be installed with the package {{Pkg|obmenu}}, available in the official repositories.
+
Once a new {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}} file has been generated it may then be manually edited, or configured using a GUI menu editor, such as {{Pkg|obmenu}}.
  
Once installed, run {{ic|obmenu}} then add and remove applications as desired.
+
==== obmenu ====
  
==== Obm-xdg ====
+
{{Warning|{{ic|obm-xdg}} - a pipe menu to generate a list of [[GTK+]] and [[GNOME]] applications - is also provided with obmenu. However, it has long-running bugs whereby it may produce an invalid output, or even not function at all. Consequently it has been omitted from discussion.}}
  
{{ic|obm-xdg}} is a command-line tool that comes with Obmenu. It generates a categorized sub-menu of installed GTK/GNOME applications.
+
{{Pkg|obmenu}} is a "user-friendly" GUI application to edit {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}}, without the need to code in {{ic|xml}}.
  
To use obm-xdg with other menus, add the following line to {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}}:
+
==== xdg-menu ====
<menu execute="obm-xdg" id="xdg-menu" label="xdg"/>
+
  
Then add the following line under your ''root-menu'' entry where you want to have the menu appear:
+
{{Pkg|archlinux-xdg-menu}} will automatically generate a menu based on {{ic|xdg}} files contained within the {{ic|/etc/xdg/}} directory for numerous Window Managers, including Openbox. Review the [[Xdg-menu#OpenBox]] article for further information.
<menu id="xdg-menu"/>
+
  
Then run {{ic|openbox --reconfigure}} to refresh the Openbox menu. You should now see a sub-menu labeled '''xdg''' in your menu.
+
==== logout menu options ====
  
To use obm-xdg by itself, create {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}} and add these lines:
+
{{Tip|The commands provided can also be attached to [[#Keybinds|keybinds]].}}
 +
 
 +
The {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}} file can be edited in order to provide a sub-menu with the same options as provided by [[#oblogout|oblogout]]. The sample script below will provide all of these options, with the exception of the ability to lock the screen:
 +
 
 +
<menu id="exit-menu" label="Exit">
 +
<item label="Log Out">
 +
<action name="Execute">
 +
<command>openbox --exit</command>
 +
</action>
 +
</item>
 +
<item label="Shutdown">
 +
<action name="Execute">
 +
<command>systemctl poweroff</command>
 +
</action>
 +
</item>
 +
<item label="Restart">
 +
<action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>systemctl reboot</command>
 +
</action>
 +
</item>
 +
<item label="Suspend">
 +
<action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>systemctl suspend</command>
 +
</action>
 +
</item>
 +
<item label="Hibernate">
 +
<action name="Execute">
 +
        <command>systemctl hibernate</command>
 +
</action>
 +
</item>
 +
</menu>
 +
 
 +
Once the entries have been composed, add the following line to present the sub-menu where desired within the main desktop menu (usually as the last entry):
 +
 
 +
<menu id="exit-menu"/>
 +
 
 +
=== Pipes ===
 +
 
 +
{{Tip|It is entirely feasible for a static menu to contain one or more pipe sub-menus. The functionality of some pipe menus may also rely on the installation of relevant software packages.}}
 +
 
 +
This type of menu is in essence a script that provides dynamic, refreshed lists on-the-fly as and when run. These lists may be used for multiple purposes, including to list applications, to provide information, and to provide control functions. Pre-configured pipe menus can be installed, although not from the [[official repositories]]. More experienced users can also modify and/or create their own custom scripts. Again, {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}} may and commonly will contain several pipe menus.
 +
 
 +
==== Examples ====
 +
 
 +
* {{AUR|openbox-xdgmenu}}: fast xdg-menu converter to xml-pipe-menu
 +
* {{AUR|obfilebrowser}}: Application and file browser
 +
* {{AUR|obdevicemenu}}: Management of removable media with [[Udisks]]
 +
* [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1345031 wifi pipe menu]: Wireless networking using [[Netctl]]
 +
 
 +
[http://openbox.org/download-pipemenus.php Openbox.org] also provides a further list of pipe menus.
 +
 
 +
=== Generators ===
 +
 
 +
This type of menu is akin to those provided by the taskbars of desktop environments such as [[Xfce]] or [[LXDE]]. Automatically updating on-the-fly, this type of menu can be powerful and very convenient. It may also be possible to add custom categories and menu entries; read the documentation for your intended dynamic menu to determine if and how this can be done.
 +
 
 +
A menu generator will have to be executed from the {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}} file.
 +
 
 +
==== obmenu-generator ====
 +
 
 +
{{Tip|icons can still be disabled in {{AUR|obmenu-generator}}, even where enabled in {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}}.}}
 +
 
 +
{{AUR|obmenu-generator}} is highly recommended despite being an unofficial package. With the ability to be used as a static or dynamic menu, it is highly configurable, powerful, and versatile. Menu categories and individual entries may also be easily hidden, customised, and/or added with ease. The [http://trizenx.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/obmenu-generator.html official homepage] provides further information and screenshots.
 +
 
 +
Below is an example of how obmenu-generator would be dynamically executed without icons in {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}}:
 +
 
 +
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
 
  <openbox_menu>
 
  <openbox_menu>
  <menu execute="obm-xdg" id="root-menu" label="apps"/>
+
    <menu id="root-menu" label="OpenBox 3" execute="/usr/bin/obmenu-generator">
 +
    </menu>
 
  </openbox_menu>
 
  </openbox_menu>
  
{{Note|If you do not have GNOME installed, you need to install the package {{pkg|gnome-menus}} for obm-xdg.}}
+
To automatically iconify entries, the {{ic|-i}} option would be added:
  
=== openbox-menu ===
+
<menu id="root-menu" label="OpenBox 3" execute="/usr/bin/obmenu-generator -i">
  
[http://mimasgpc.free.fr/openbox-menu_en.html Openbox-menu] uses [http://sourceforge.net/projects/lxde/files/menu-cache/ menu-cache] from the LXDE Project to create dynamic menus for Openbox.
+
==== openbox-menu ====
  
If you get an error while trying to open this menu try [[#Icons_in_the_menu|adding icons]] to the Openbox menu.
+
{{Tip|If this menu produces an error, it may be solved by enabling icons in {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}}.}}
  
It can be installed with the package {{AUR|openbox-menu}}, available in the [[AUR]].
+
{{AUR|openbox-menu}} uses the [[LXDE]] [http://sourceforge.net/projects/lxde/files/menu-cache/ menu-cache] to create dynamic menus. The [http://fabrice.thiroux.free.fr/openbox-menu_en.html official homepage] provides further information and screenshots.
  
=== Python-based xdg menu script ===
+
=== Menu icons ===
  
This script is found in Fedora's Openbox package. You have only to put the script somewhere and create a menu entry. The latest version of the script can be found [http://pkgs.fedoraproject.org/cgit/openbox.git/tree/xdg-menu here].
+
To show icons next to menu entries, it will be necessary to ensure they are enabled in the {{ic|<menu>}} section of the {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}} file:
  
Download the script from the above repository and Place int into any directory you want.
+
<applicationIcons>yes</applicationIcons>
  
Open {{ic|menu.xml}} with your text editor and add the following entry. Of course, you can modify the label as you see fit.
+
Where using a static menu, it will then be necessary to edit the {{ic|~/.config/openbox/menu.xml}} file to provide both the {{ic|icon <nowiki>=</nowiki>}} command, along with the full path and icon name for each entry. An example of the syntax used to provide an icon for a category is:
<menu id="apps-menu" label="xdg-menu" execute="python2 /path/to/xdg-menu"/>
+
  
Save the file and run {{ic|openbox --reconfigure}}.
+
<menu id="apps-menu" label="[label name]" icon="[pathway to icon]/[icon name]">
  
{{Note|If you do not have GNOME installed, you need to install the package {{pkg|gnome-menus}} for xdg-menu.}}
+
=== Desktop menu as a panel menu ===
  
=== Openbox menu generator ===
+
{{Tip|XDoTool can simulate any keybind for any action, and as such, it may therefore be used for many other purposes...}}
  
The Openbox menu generator can be installed with the package {{AUR|obmenugen-bin}}, available in the AUR. creates the menu file from {{ic|.desktop}} files. Obmenugen provides a text file which filters (hides) menu items using basic regular expressions.
+
{{Pkg|xdotool}} is a package that can issue commands to simulate key presses / keybinds, meaning that it is possible to use it to invoke keybind-related actions without having to actually press their assigned keys. As this includes the ability to invoke an assigned keybind for the Openbox desktop menu, it is therefore possible to use XDoTool to turn the Openbox desktop menu into a panel menu. Especially where the desktop menu is heavily customised and feature-rich, this may prove very useful to:
$ obmenugen              # Create a menu file
+
$ openbox --reconfigure  # To see the menu you generated
+
  
=== Pipe menus ===
+
* Replace an existing panel menu
 +
* Implement a panel menu where otherwise not provided or possible (e.g. for [[Tint2]])
 +
* Compensate where losing access to the desktop menu due to the use of an application like [[#xfdesktop|xfdesktop]] to [[#Desktop icons and wallpapers|manage the desktop]].
  
Like other window managers, Openbox allows for scripts to dynamically build menus (menus on-the-fly). Examples are system monitors, media player controls, or weather monitors. Pipe menu script examples are found in the [http://openbox.org/wiki/Openbox:Pipemenus Openbox:Pipemenus] page at Openbox's site.
+
Once XDoTool has been installed - if not already present - it will be necessary to create a keybind to access the root menu in {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}}, and again below the {{ic|<nowiki><</nowiki>!-- Keybindings for running aplications --<nowiki>></nowiki>}} heading. For example, the following code will bring up the menu by pressing {{ic|CTRL}} + {{ic|m}}:
  
Some interesting pipe menus provided by Openbox users:
+
<keybind key="C-m">
* {{App|obfilebrowser|A pipe menu file browser.|http://xyne.archlinux.ca/projects/obfilebrowser/|{{AUR|obfilebrowser}}}}
+
    <action name="ShowMenu">
* {{App|wifi-pipe|A pipe menu for scanning and connecting to wireless hot spots using netcfg.|https://github.com/pbrisbin/wifi-pipe|{{AUR?|wifi-pipe}}}}
+
        <menu>root-menu</menu>
* {{App|obdevicemenu|A pipe menu for managing removable devices using Udisks.|https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id&#61;114702|{{AUR|obdevicemenu}}}}
+
    </action>
 +
</keybind>
  
== Startup programs ==
+
Openbox must then be [[#Openbox reconfiguration|re-configured]]. In this instance, XDoTool will be used to simulate the {{ic|CTRL}} + {{ic|m}} keypress to access the desktop menu with the following command (note the use of {{ic|+}} in place of {{ic|-}}):
  
Openbox supports running programs at startup. This is provided by command '''openbox-session'''.
+
xdotool key control+m
  
=== Enabling autostart ===
+
How this command may be used as a panel launcher / icon is largely dependent on the features of panel used. While some panels will allow the above command to be executed directly in the process of creating a new launcher, others may require the use of an executable script. As an example, a custom executable script called {{ic|obpanelmenu.sh}} will be created in the {{ic|~/.config}} folder:
  
There are two ways to enable autostart:
+
$ ''text editor'' ~/.config/obpanelmenu.sh
# When using startx or xinit to begin a session, edit {{ic|~/.xinitrc}}. Change the line that executes '''''openbox''''' to '''openbox-session'''.
+
# When using GDM or KDM, selecting an ''Openbox'' session automatically runs the autostart script.
+
  
=== Autostart script ===
+
Once the empty file has been opened, the appropriate XDoTool command must be added to the empty file (i.e. to simulate the {{ic|CTRL}} + {{ic|m}} keypress for this example):
  
Openbox provides a system-wide startup script which applies to all users and is located at {{ic|/etc/xdg/openbox/autostart}}. A user may also create his own startup script to be executed after the system-wide script by creating the file {{ic|~/.config/openbox/autostart}}.  This file is not provided by default and must be created by the user.
+
  xdotool key control+m
  
Further instructions are available in the [http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:Autostart Help:Autostart] article at the official Openbox site.
+
After the file has been saved and closed, it may then be made into an executable script with the following command:
  
{{Note|The autostart files used to be named autostart.sh prior to OpenBox 3.5.0. While these scripts will presently still work, users who are upgrading are advised to drop the .sh extension.}}
+
$ chmod +x ~/.config/obpanelmenu.sh
{{Note|All the programs in the autostart file should be run as daemons or run in the background,otherwise the items in {{ic|/etc/xdg/autostart/}} won't be started!}}
+
  
=== Autostart directory ===
+
Executing it will bring up the Openbox desktop menu. Consequently, where using a panel that supports drag-and-drop functionality to add new launchers, simply drag the executable script onto it before changing the icon to suit personal taste.
  
Openbox also starts any *.desktop files in {{ic|/etc/xdg/autostart}} - this happens regardless of whether a user startup script is present. {{ic|nm-applet}}, for example, installs a file at this location, and may cause it to run twice for users with the usual {{ic|(sleep 3 && /usr/bin/nm-applet --sm-disable) &}} in their startup script. There is a discussion on managing the effects of this at [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=993738].
+
== Desktop theming ==
  
== Themes and appearance ==
+
{{Tip|It is '''strongly advised''' to install the {{Pkg|obconf}} and {{Pkg|lxappearance-obconf}} GUI applications to configure visual settings and theming. The latter is particularly important as it is responsible for generating the {{ic|~/.gtkrc-2.0}} file (see [[GTK+#GTK+ 2.x]]).}}
  
{{Box||See the main article: [[Openbox Themes and Apps#Themes and appearance]]|#E5E5FF|#FCFCFC}}
+
It is important to note that a substantial range of both '''Openbox-specific''' and generalised, '''Openbox-compatible''' [[GTK]] themes are available to change the look of window decorations and the desktop menu. ''Generalised'' themes are designed to be simultaneously compatible with a range of popular desktop environments and/or window managers, commonly including Openbox. See these [https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/?O=0&C=0&SeB=n&K=gtk-theme-&outdated=&SB=n&SO=a&PP=50&do_Search=Go package descriptions] for examples.
  
=== Openbox themes ===
+
=== Configuration ===
  
Themes control the appearance of windows, titlebars, and buttons. They also control menu appearance and on-screen display (OSD). Some Openbox themes can be installed with the package {{Pkg|openbox-themes}}, available in the [[official repositories]].
+
{{Pkg|obconf}} and/or {{Pkg|lxappearance-obconf}} should be used to select and configure available GTK themes. See [[Uniform Look for Qt and GTK Applications]] for information about theming Qt based applications like [[VirtualBox]] or [[Skype]].
  
=== Cursors, icons, wallpapers ===
+
=== Installation: official and AUR ===
  
Xcursor themes can be installed with the package {{Pkg|xcursor-themes}}, available in the official repositories, or with other packages from such as {{Pkg|xcursor-bluecurve}}, {{Pkg|xcursor-vanilla-dmz}} or {{Pkg|xcursor-pinux}}. Many other themes can be found in the official repositories or the [[AUR]].
+
A good selection of {{Pkg|openbox-themes}} are available from the official repositories.
  
Icon themes are also available in the repositories, for example {{Pkg|lxde-icon-theme}}, {{Pkg|tangerine-icon-theme}} or {{Pkg|gnome-icon-theme}} can be found in the official repositories with many more in the [[AUR]].
+
Both Openbox-specific and Openbox-compatible themes installed from the [[Official_repositories|official repositories]] and/or the [[AUR]] will be automatically installed to the {{ic|/usr/share/themes}} directory. Both will also be immediately available for selection.
  
Wallpapers are easily set with utilities such as [[Nitrogen]], [[Feh]] or {{ic|hsetroot}}.
+
=== Installation: other sources ===
  
Please see [[Openbox Themes and Apps]] for information on these GUI customizations.
+
[https://www.box-look.org/browse/ord/latest/ box-look.org] is an excellent and well-established source of themes. [http://www.deviantart.com/ deviantART.com] is another excellent resource. Many more can be found through the utilisation of a search engine.
  
== Recommended programs ==
+
=== Troubleshooting ===
  
{{Box||See the main article: [[Openbox Themes and Apps#Recommended programs]]|#E5E5FF|#FCFCFC}}
+
There are two particular problems that may be encountered on rare occasions, especially where downloading themes from unsupported websites. These have been addressed below.
  
== Tips and tricks ==
+
==== Theme cannot be used ====
  
===Window snap behaviour===
+
If for any reason the newly extracted theme cannot be selected, open the theme directory to first ensure that it is indeed compatible with Openbox by determining that an {{ic|openbox-3}} directory is present, and that within this directory a {{ic|themerc}} file is also present. An {{ic|.obt}} ('''O'''pen'''B'''ox '''T'''heme) file may also be present in some instances, which can then be manually loaded in {{Pkg|obconf}}.
Windows 7 and other VMs supports a window behaviour to snap windows when they are moved to the edge of the screen. This effect can also be achieved through an Openbox keybinding. More information [http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1796793 here].
+
  
=== File associations ===
+
Where expected files and directories are present and correct, then on occasion it is possible that the theme author has not correctly set permission to access the file (e.g. permission may still be for the account of the author, rather than for '''root'''). To eliminate this possibility, ensure the folder and file permissions are for '''root''':
Because Openbox and the applications you use with it are not well-integrated you might run into the issues with your browser. Your browser may not know which program it is supposed to use for certain types of files.
+
  
A package in the AUR called {{AUR|gnome-defaults-list}} contains a list of file-types and programs specific to the Gnome desktop. The list is installed to {{ic|/etc/gnome/defaults.list}}.
+
# chown -R root /user/share/themes
  
Open this file with your text editor. Here you can replace a given application with the name of the program of your choosing. For example, replace '''totem''' with '''vlc'''  or  '''eog''' with '''mirage'''. Save the file to {{ic|~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list}}.
+
==== Theme looks broken ====
  
Another way of setting file associations is to install package {{Pkg|perl-file-mimeinfo}} from the official repositories and invoke '''mimeopen''' like this:
+
Of course, the first line of enquiry would be to check that it is not just a badly made, broken theme! Otherwise, ensure that the [[Openbox#GTK+ 2|Openbox GTK fix]]{{Dead link|2014|11|28}} has been implemented, and then re-start the session. Unfortunately some older themes can simply break if not maintained sufficiently to keep pace with the changes incurred by [[GTK]] updates. To avoid such occurrences, it is best to check that desired themes have recently been created or at least updated / patched.
mimeopen -d /path/to/file
+
You are asked which application to use when opening {{ic|/path/to/file}}:
+
Please choose a default application for files of type text/plain
+
        1) notepad  (wine-extension-txt)
+
        2) Leafpad  (leafpad)
+
        3) OpenOffice.org Writer  (writer)
+
        4) gVim  (gvim)
+
        5) Other...
+
Your answer becomes the default handler for that type of file. Mimeopen is installed as {{ic|/usr/bin/perlbin/vendor/mimetype}}.
+
  
=== Copy and paste ===
+
=== Edit or create new themes ===
  
From a terminal {{Keypress|Ctrl+Ins}} for copy and {{keypress|Shift+Ins}} for paste.
+
{{Tip|Where deciding to modify an existing theme (e.g. the colour scheme), it would be best to work on a copy of it, rather than the original. This will retain the original should anything go wrong, and ensure that your changes are not over-written through an update.}}
  
Also {{keypress|Ctrl+Shift+c}} for copy and '''mouse middle-click''' for paste (in terminals).
+
The process of creating new or modifying existing themes is covered extensively at the official [http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:Themes openbox.org] website. {{AUR|obtheme}} is a user-friendly GUI for doing so.
  
Other applications most likely use the conventional keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste.
+
== Compositing effects ==
  
=== Window transparency ===
+
Openbox does not provide native support for [[Wikipedia:Compositing window manager|compositing]], and thus requires an external compositor for this purpose.
  
The program {{Pkg|transset-df}} is available in the official repositories. With ''transset-df'' you can enable window transparency on-the-fly.
+
Although compositing is not a necessary component, it may specifically avoid issues such as screen distortion with [[#oblogout|oblogout]], and visual glitches with terminal window transparency. See [[Xorg#Composite]] for common choices.
  
For instance by placing the following in the ''<mouse>'' section you can have your mouse adjust window transparency by scrolling while hovering over the title bar:
+
== Mouse cursor and application icon themes ==
{{hc|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml|<nowiki>
+
<context name="Titlebar">
+
    . . .
+
    <mousebind button="Up" action="Click">
+
        <action name= "Execute" >
+
        <execute>transset-df -p .2 --inc  </execute>
+
        </action>
+
    </mousebind>
+
    <mousebind button="Down" action="Click">
+
        <action name= "Execute" >
+
        <execute>transset-df -p .2 --dec </execute>
+
        </action>
+
    </mousebind>
+
      . . .
+
</context>
+
</nowiki>}}
+
{{Warning|It appears to work only when no additional actions are defined within the action group.}}
+
  
=== Xprop values for applications ===
+
See [[Cursor themes]] and [[Icons]] for details.
Xprop can be installed with the package {{Pkg|xorg-xprop}}, available in the official repositories.  
+
  
If you use per-application settings frequently, you might find this bash alias handy:
+
== Desktop icons and wallpapers ==
  
alias xp='xprop | grep "WM_WINDOW_ROLE\|WM_CLASS" && echo "WM_CLASS(STRING) = \"NAME\", \"CLASS\""'
+
{{Merge||This section is applicable to most [[window manager]]s when used without [[Desktop environment]]}}
  
To use, run {{ic|xp}} and click on the running program that you would like to define with per-app settings. The result displays only the info that Openbox requires, namely the {{ic|WM_WINDOW_ROLE}} and {{ic|WM_CLASS}} (name and class) values:
+
Openbox does not natively support the use of desktop icons or wallpapers. As a consequence, it will be necessary to install additional applications for this purpose, where desired.
$ xp
+
WM_WINDOW_ROLE(STRING) = "roster"
+
WM_CLASS(STRING) = "gajim.py", "Gajim.py"
+
WM_CLASS(STRING) = "NAME", "CLASS"
+
  
==== Xprop for Firefox ====
+
=== Desktop management using file managers ===
  
For whatever reason, Firefox and like-minded equivalents ignore application rules (e.g. ''<desktop>'') unless {{ic|class&#61;"Firefox*"}} is used. This applies irrespective of whatever values {{ic|xprop}} may report for the program's {{ic|WM_CLASS}}.
+
Some file managers have the capacity to fully '''manage the desktop''', meaning that they may be used to provide wallpapers and enable the use of icons on the desktop. The [[LXDE]] desktop environment itself uses PCManFM for this purpose.
  
=== Linking the menu to a button ===
+
See [[PCManFM#Desktop_management]] and [[SpaceFM#Desktop_management]].
  
Some people want to link the Openbox menu (or any menu) to an object. This is useful for creating a panel button to pop up a menu. Although Openbox does not provide this, a program called {{Pkg|xdotool}} simulates a keypress. Openbox can be configured to bind that keypress to the ''ShowMenu'' action.
+
=== Wallpaper ===
  
After installing ''xdotool'', add the following to the ''<keyboard>'' section:
+
See [[List_of_applications#Wallpaper_setters]]
{{hc|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml|<nowiki>
+
<keybind key="A-C-q">
+
    <action name="ShowMenu">
+
        <menu>root-menu</menu>
+
    </action>
+
</keybind>
+
</nowiki>}}
+
Then execute {{ic|openbox --reconfigure}} or {{ic|openbox --restart}} to use the new configuration. The following command summons a menu at your cursor position. The command may given as-is, linked to an object, or placed in a script.
+
$ xdotool key ctrl+alt+q
+
  
Of course, change the key shortcut to your liking. Here is a snippet from a [[Tint2]] configuration file which pops up a menu when the clock area is clicked. Each key combination is set to open a menu within Openbox's {{ic|rc.xml}} configuration file. The right‑click menu is different from the left‑click menu:
+
=== Icon programs ===
clock_rclick_command = xdotool key --clearmodifiers "ctrl+XF86PowerOff"
+
clock_lclick_command = xdotool key --clearmodifiers "alt+XF86PowerOff"
+
  
=== Urxvt in the background ===
+
While there are programs dedicated to enabling desktop icons alone, it would seem that they have greater drawbacks than the utilisation of file managers for the task. These programs are discussed briefly, below.
  
With Openbox, running a terminal as desktop background is easy. You will not need [[Wikipedia:Devil's Pie (software)|devilspie]] here.
+
==== idesk ====
  
First you must enable transparency, open your {{ic|~/.Xdefaults}} file (if it does not exist yet, create it).
+
[[idesk]] is a simple program that can enable icons in addition to managing wallpaper. It will be necessary to create an {{ic|~/.idesktop}} directory, and desktop icons must also be manually created. To use idesk to provide icons, add the following command to the {{ic|~/.config/openbox/autostart}} file:
URxvt*transparent:true
+
URxvt*scrollBar:false
+
URxvt*geometry:124x24    #I do not use the whole screen, if you want a full screen term do not bother with this and see below.
+
URxvt*borderLess:true
+
URxvt*foreground:Black  #Font color. My wallpaper is White, you may wish to change this to White.
+
  
Then add the following to the ''<applications>'' section:
+
idesk &
{{hc|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml|<nowiki>
+
<application name="urxvt">
+
    <decor>no</decor>
+
    <focus>yes</focus>
+
    <position>
+
        <x>center</x>
+
        <y>20</y>
+
    </position>
+
    <layer>below</layer>
+
    <desktop>all</desktop>
+
    <maximized>true</maximized> #Only if you want a full size terminal.
+
</application>
+
</nowiki>}}
+
The ''magic'' comes from the '''<layer>below</layer>''' line, which place the application under all others. Here [[Rxvt-unicode|urxvt]] is displayed on all desktops, change it to your convenience.
+
  
{{Tip|Instead of using ''<application name&#61;"urxvt">'', you can use another name ("urxvt-bg" for example), and use the {{ic|-name}} option when starting uxrvt.  That way, only the urxvt terminals which you choose to name {{ic|urxvt-bg}} would be captured and modified by the application rule in {{ic|rc.xml}}.  For example:
+
==== xfdesktop ====
$ urxvt -name urxvt-bg
+
}}
+
====ToggleShowDesktop exception====
+
  
If you use '''ToggleShowDesktop''' to minimize all your application and show the desktop it will also minimize the urxvt window. Several methods are available to bypass this, but none works properly:
+
{{Pkg|xfdesktop}} is the desktop manager for [[Xfce]]. The [[Thunar]] file manager will also be downloaded as a dependency. Where this is used, the Openbox desktop menu will no longer be accessible by right-clicking the background.  
* one method is explained in this [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=865844#p865844 forum post]. This involves editing Urxvt's source code.
+
{{Warning|This method seems to have been broken in a recent update, now leading to a memory leak when the patched Urxvt is run.}}
+
* the best method is outlined [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=929792#p929792 here]. It still has a big disadvantage: it makes ''ToggleShowDesktop'' a one-way action, not restoring the other desktop applications when ''ToggleShowDesktop'' is run for a second time. It does create the opportunity to use a different terminal emulator than Urxvt, however.
+
  
=== Switching between keyboard layouts ===
+
As such, it will consequently be necessary to access it by other means, such as by [[#Desktop menu|creating a keybind]], and/or by - where permitted - re-configuring an installed panel to use the [[#Desktop menu as a panel menu|desktop menu as a panel menu]]. To use xfdesktop to provide icons, add the following command to the {{ic|~/.config/openbox/autostart}} file:
If you don't want to use a separate program for managing keyboard layouts, you can manually configure X to switch layouts on certain key combinations. See [[Xorg#Switching_Between_Keyboard_Layouts]] for instructions.
+
  
=== Keyboard volume control ===
+
xfdesktop &
====ALSA====
+
If you use [[ALSA]] for sound, you can use the {{ic|amixer}} program (part of the {{Pkg|alsa-utils}} package) to adjust the sound volume. You can use Openbox's keybindings to map different shortcuts to actions. If you want to use the multimedia keys, but do not know their names, you could look at the [[Multimedia Keys]] page to find out.
+
  
For example, add the following in the ''<keyboard>'' section:
+
=== conky reconfiguration ===
{{hc|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml|<nowiki>
+
<keybind key="W-Up">
+
    <action name="Execute">
+
        <command>amixer set Master 5%+</command>
+
    </action>
+
</keybind>
+
</nowiki>}}
+
This binds {{Keypress|Super+&uarr;}} to increase your master ALSA volume by 5%. Corresponding binding for volume down:
+
{{hc|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml|<nowiki>
+
<keybind key="W-Down">
+
    <action name="Execute">
+
        <command>amixer set Master 5%-</command>
+
    </action>
+
</keybind>
+
</nowiki>}}
+
As another example you can also use the {{ic|XF86Audio*}} keybindings:
+
{{hc|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml|<nowiki>
+
<keybind key="XF86AudioRaiseVolume">
+
    <action name="Execute">
+
        <command>amixer set Master 5%+ unmute</command>
+
    </action>
+
</keybind>
+
<keybind key="XF86AudioLowerVolume">
+
    <action name="Execute">
+
        <command>amixer set Master 5%- unmute</command>
+
    </action>
+
</keybind>
+
<keybind key="XF86AudioMute">
+
    <action name="Execute">
+
        <command>amixer set Master toggle</command>
+
    </action>
+
</keybind>
+
</nowiki>}}
+
The above example should work for the majority of multimedia keyboards. It should enable to raise, lower and mute the Master control of your audio device by using the respective multimedia keyboard keys. Notice also that in this example:
+
  
* The "Mute" key should unmute the Master control if it is already in mute mode.
+
Particularly where using a file manager to manage the desktop, it will be necessary to edit {{ic|~/.conkyrc}} to change the {{ic|own_window_type}} command in order for [[conky]] to continue to be displayed (where used). The revised command that should be used is:
* The "Raise" and "Lower" keys should unmute the Master control if it is in mute mode.
+
  
====Pulseaudio====
+
own_window_type normal
If you are using [[PulseAudio]] with ALSA as a backend the above keybinding are slightly different as {{ic|amixer}} must be told to use PulseAudio. As always, add the following to the ''<keyboard>'' section to get the proper behaviour:
+
 
{{hc|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml|<nowiki>
+
== oblogout ==
<keybind key="XF86AudioRaiseVolume">
+
 
 +
See the [[Oblogout]] article for an overview on how to use this useful, graphical logout script.
 +
 
 +
== Openbox for multihead users ==
 +
 
 +
While Openbox provides better than average multihead support on its own, {{AUR|openbox-multihead-git}} provides a development branch called '''Openbox Multihead''' that gives multihead users per-monitor desktops. This model is not commonly found in floating window managers, but exists mainly in tiling window managers. It is explained well on the [http://xmonad.org/tour.html#workspace Xmonad web site]. Also, please see [https://github.com/BurntSushi/openbox-multihead/blob/multihead/README.MULTIHEAD README.MULTIHEAD] for a more comprehensive description of the new features and configuration options found in Openbox Multihead.
 +
 
 +
Openbox Multihead will function like normal Openbox when only a single head is available.
 +
 
 +
A downside to using Openbox Multihead is that it breaks the EWMH assumption that one and only one desktop is visible at any time. Thus, existing pagers will not work well with it. To remedy this, you can install {{AUR|pager-multihead-git}} alongside Openbox Multihead. It will work without Openbox Multihead if only one monitor is active.
 +
 
 +
== Tips and tricks ==
 +
 
 +
=== Launch a complex command with hotkey ===
 +
 
 +
If you need to execute a complex command, use shell functionality.
 +
 
 +
Special character replacement are as follows:
 +
 
 +
* {{ic|&}}: &amp;amp;
 +
* {{ic|<}}: &amp;lt;
 +
* {{ic|>}}: &amp;gt;
 +
 
 +
This example will turn off display immediately and lock screen with {{Pkg|slock}}. It was taken from [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=903057 this thread].
 +
  <keybind key="W-l">
 
     <action name="Execute">
 
     <action name="Execute">
        <command>amixer -D pulse set Master 5%+ unmute</command>
+
      <command>sh -c 'slock &amp;amp; (sleep .5 &amp;amp;&amp;amp; xset dpms force off)'</command>
 
     </action>
 
     </action>
</keybind>
+
  </keybind>
<keybind key="XF86AudioLowerVolume">
+
 
 +
Sometimes one need to specify environment variable for application:
 +
  <keybind key="A-F7">
 
     <action name="Execute">
 
     <action name="Execute">
        <command>amixer -D pulse set Master 5%- unmute</command>
+
      <command>sh -c "LC_ALL=C obconf"</command>
 
     </action>
 
     </action>
</keybind>
+
  </keybind>
<keybind key="XF86AudioMute">
+
 
 +
Another example will launch application preserving all stdout and stderr output to file:
 +
  <keybind key="A-f">
 
     <action name="Execute">
 
     <action name="Execute">
        <command>amixer set Master toggle</command>
+
      <command>sh -c sh -c "exec gimp &amp;gt;/tmp/gimp.out 2&amp;gt;&amp;amp;1"</command>
 
     </action>
 
     </action>
</keybind>
+
  </keybind>
</nowiki>}}
+
This keybindings should work for most of the systems. Other examples can be found [http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=987149 here].
+
  
== Troubleshooting Openbox 3.5 ==
+
=== Switch desktops using the mouse ===
=== X server crashes ===
+
Problems have been detected after upgrade to version 3.5, that the X server might crash in attempt to start Openbox, ending with this error message:
+
(metacity:25137): GLib-WARNING **: In call to g_spawn_sync(), exit status of a child process \
+
                    was requested but SIGCHLD action was set to SIG_IGN and ECHILD was received by waitpid(), so exit \
+
                    status can't be returned. This is a bug in the program calling g_spawn_sync(); either do not request \
+
                    the exit status, or do not set the SIGCHLD action.
+
xinit: connection to X server lost
+
waiting for X server to shut down
+
In this particular case, some problem with '''metacity''' package has been identified as the cause of the X server crash issue. To solve the problem reinstall the {{Pkg|metacity}} and {{Pkg|compiz-decorator-gtk}} packages. If that does not solve the problem, try removing them.
+
  
Also, plenty of similar cases have been found on the Internet, that not only metacity package might be causing the X server to crash.
+
It is possible to switch desktop by moving the mouse cursor to the edges of the screen. First install {{Pkg|xdotool}} and add the following two lines to your {{ic|~/.xinitrc}}:
Thus, whatever else instead of metacity you get in the error output message, try to reinstall it (or remove if necessary) in an attempt to get rid of this X server crash.
+
  
=== Autostarting unwanted applications in 3.5 ===
+
xdotool behave_screen_edge --delay 500 left set_desktop --relative -- -1 &
If unwanted applications start with your Openbox session even though they are not listed in your {{ic|~/.config/openbox/autostart}}, check the {{ic|~/.config/autostart/}} directory, it might contain the residues from your previously used desktop environment (GNOME, KDE, etc.), and remove unwanted files.
+
xdotool behave_screen_edge --delay 500 right set_desktop --relative -- +1 &
  
=== SSH agent no longer starting ===
+
=== Set default applications / file associations ===
Whereas Openbox 3.4.x allowed launching an SSH agent from {{ic|~/.config/openbox/autostart}}, with 3.5 that no longer seems to work. You need to put the following code in {{ic|~/.config/openbox/environment}}:
+
  
{{bc|<nowiki>
+
See the [[Default applications]] article.
SSHAGENT="/usr/bin/ssh-agent"
+
 
SSHAGENTARGS="-s"
+
=== Stop continous mouse wheel desktop switching ===
if [ -z "$SSH_AUTH_SOCK" -a -x "$SSHAGENT" ]; then
+
 
        eval `$SSHAGENT $SSHAGENTARGS`
+
By default Openbox switches from the last desktop back to the first desktop on mouse wheel scroll. Use {{ic|<wrap>no</wrap>}} in the {{ic|mousebind}} section to disable this behaviour.
        trap "kill $SSH_AGENT_PID" 0
+
 
fi
+
    <context name="Desktop">
</nowiki>}}
+
      <mousebind button="Up" action="Click">
 +
        <action name="GoToDesktop">
 +
          <to>previous</to>
 +
          <wrap>no</wrap>
 +
        </action>
 +
      </mousebind>
 +
      <mousebind button="Down" action="Click">
 +
        <action name="GoToDesktop">
 +
          <to>next</to>
 +
          <wrap>no</wrap>
 +
        </action>
 +
      </mousebind>
 +
    </context>
 +
 
 +
=== Ad-hoc window transparency ===
 +
 
 +
{{Warning|This may not work where other actions are defined within the action group.}}
 +
The program {{Pkg|transset-df}} is available in the official repositories, and can enable window transparency on-the-fly.
 +
 
 +
For example, using the following code in the {{ic|<mouse>}} section of the {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}} file will enable control of application window transparency by hovering the mouse-pointer over the title bar and scrolling with the middle button:
 +
 
 +
<context name="Titlebar">
 +
    ...
 +
    <mousebind button="Up" action="Click">
 +
        <action name= "Execute" >
 +
        <execute>transset-df -p .2 --inc  </execute>
 +
        </action>
 +
    </mousebind>
 +
    <mousebind button="Down" action="Click">
 +
        <action name= "Execute" >
 +
        <execute>transset-df -p .2 --dec </execute>
 +
        </action>
 +
    </mousebind>
 +
    ...
 +
</context>
 +
 
 +
=== Using obxprop for faster configuration ===
 +
 
 +
The {{Pkg|openbox}} package provides a {{ic|obxprop}} binary that can parse relevant values for applications settings in {{ic|rc.xml}}. Officially {{ic|<nowiki>obxprop | grep "^_OB_APP"</nowiki>}} is recommended for this task. Start the process by running the command shown, then click a window to see its properties in the terminal.
 +
 
 +
=== Xprop values for applications ===
 +
 
 +
{{Pkg|xorg-xprop}} is available in the official repositories, and can be used to relay property values for selected applications. Where frequently using per-application settings, the following [[Bash#Aliases|Bash Alias]] may be useful:
 +
dy:
 +
 
 +
alias xp='xprop | grep "WM_WINDOW_ROLE\|WM_CLASS" && echo "WM_CLASS(STRING) = \"NAME\", \"CLASS\""'
 +
 
 +
To use Xorg-XProp, run using the alias given {{ic|xp}}, and click on the active program desired to define with per-application settins. The results displayed will only be the information that Openbox itself requires, namely the {{ic|WM_WINDOW_ROLE}} and {{ic|WM_CLASS}} (name and class) values:
 +
 
 +
WM_WINDOW_ROLE(STRING) = "roster"
 +
WM_CLASS(STRING) = "gajim.py", "Gajim.py"
 +
WM_CLASS(STRING) = "NAME", "CLASS"
 +
 
 +
==== Firefox ====
 +
 
 +
For whatever reason, Firefox and like-minded equivalents ignore application rules (e.g. ''<desktop>'') unless {{ic|class&#61;"Firefox*"}} is used. This applies irrespective of whatever values '''xprop''' may report for the program's {{ic|WM_CLASS}}.
 +
 
 +
=== Switching between keyboard layouts ===
 +
 
 +
See the article section [[Keyboard configuration in Xorg#Switching between keyboard layouts|switching between keyboard layouts]] for instructions.
 +
 
 +
=== Set grid layout for virtual desktops ===
 +
 
 +
Install {{AUR|obsetlayout}}. To set a 2x2 grid for example:
 +
 
 +
obsetlayout 0 2 2 0
 +
 
 +
Run it without arguments to know what the arguments mean.
 +
 
 +
== Troubleshooting ==
 +
 
 +
=== Windows load behind the active window ===
 +
 
 +
Some application windows (such as Firefox windows) may load behind the currently active window, causing you to need to switch to the window you just created to focus it. To fix this behavior add this to your {{ic|~/.config/openbox/rc.xml}} file, inbetween the {{ic|1=<openbox_config>}} and {{ic|1=</openbox_config>}} tags:
 +
 
 +
{{bc|1=
 +
<applications>
 +
  <application class="*">
 +
    <focus>yes</focus>
 +
  </application>
 +
</applications>
 +
}}
  
=== Openbox not registering with D-Bus ===
+
== See also ==
Just like with SSH agent, lots of people used to have D-Bus code in {{ic|~/.config/openbox/autostart}} - which no longer works (e.g. Thunar does not see any removable devices anymore).
+
  
==See also==
+
* [http://openbox.org/ Openbox Website] - Official website
* [http://openbox.org/ Openbox Website] &ndash; The official website
+
* [http://www.box-look.org/ Box-Look.org] - A good resource for themes and related artwork
* [http://planetob.openmonkey.com/ Planet Openbox] &ndash; Openbox news portal
+
* [http://www.box-look.org/ Box-Look.org] &ndash; A good resource for themes and related artwork
+
 
* [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=93126 Openbox Hacks and Configs Thread] @ Arch Linux Forums
 
* [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=93126 Openbox Hacks and Configs Thread] @ Arch Linux Forums
 
* [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=45692 Openbox Screenshots Thread] @ Arch Linux Forums
 
* [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=45692 Openbox Screenshots Thread] @ Arch Linux Forums
* [http://snott.net/linux/using-gnome3-with-openbox/ Using GNOME 3 with Openbox Tutorial]
+
* [http://urukrama.wordpress.com/openbox-guide/ An Openbox guide]

Latest revision as of 11:07, 7 September 2016

Openbox is a lightweight, powerful, and highly configurable stacking window manager with extensive standards support. It may be built upon and run independently as the basis of a unique desktop environment, or within other integrated desktop environments such as KDE and Xfce, as an alternative to the window managers they provide. The LXDE desktop environment is itself built around Openbox.

A comprehensive list of features are documented at the official Openbox website. This article pertains to specifically installing Openbox under Arch Linux.

Contents

Installation

Install the openbox package.

Standalone

Display managers will automatically detect Openbox, allowing for it to be run as a standalone session.

To start openbox with Xinitrc, add the following line:

exec openbox-session
Note: Specifying openbox instead of openbox-session will prevent autostart in /etc/xdg/autostart.

Other desktop environments

Note:

See Desktop environment#Custom window manager.

Configuration

Note: Local configuration files will always override global equivalents.

Four key files form the basis of the openbox configuration, each serving a unique role. They are: rc.xml, menu.xml, autostart, and environment. Although these files are discussed in more detail below, to start configuring Openbox, it will first be necessary to create a local Openbox profile (i.e for your specific user account) based on them. This can be done by copying them from the global /etc/xdg/openbox profile (applicable to any and all users) as a template:

$ cp -R /etc/xdg/openbox ~/.config/

rc.xml

Tip: Custom keyboard shortcuts (keybindings) must be added to the <keyboard> section of this file, and underneath the <!-- Keybindings for running aplications --> heading.

~/.config/openbox/rc.xml is the main configuration file, responsible for determining the behaviour and settings of the overall session, including:

  • Keyboard shortcuts (e.g. starting applications; controlling the volume)
  • Theming
  • Desktop and Virtual desktop settings, and
  • Application Window settings

This file is also pre-configured, meaning that it will only be necessary to amend existing content in order to customise behaviour to suit personal preference.

Note: Per-application settings pertaining to fixed placement of applications per monitor will only work if the x & y position have also been defined.

menu.xml

~/.config/openbox/menu.xml defines the type and behaviour of the desktop menu, accessable by right-clicking the background. Although the default provided is a static menu (meaning that it will not automatically update when new applications are installed), it is possible to employ the use of dynamic menus that will automatically update as well.

The available options are discussed extensively below in the Menus section.

autostart

The file ~/.config/openbox/autostart, if present, is executed by Openbox at startup. A basic example of this file consists of one command per line, like so:

xset -b
nm-applet &
conky &

Note that a single ampersand (&) causes the process in question to be run in the background, allowing the script to continue on to the next command. An ampersand is therefore needed after each command that launches a process of indefinite duration. Commands that are completed essentially instantly (e.g. xset -b) may be left alone.

Issues regarding commands in ~/.config/openbox/autostart being executed out of order (or skipped altogether) are often resolved by the addition of small delays. For instance:

xset -b
(sleep 3s && nm-applet) &
(sleep 3s && conky) &
Note: In addition to running ~/.config/openbox/autostart, Openbox will also launch programs with .desktop files present in /etc/xdg/autostart. This is the global autostart directory, which is automatically sourced by XDG-compliant desktop environments (e.g. GNOME, KDE). Openbox will source this directory as well, provided that the package python2-xdg is installed, and Openbox is launched as openbox-session (rather than simply openbox, as noted earlier). Duplication between ~/.config/openbox/autostart and /etc/xdg/autostart is a common cause of programs launching twice at startup (e.g. two network manager tray icons).

The /usr/lib/openbox/openbox-xdg-autostart python2 script runs applications based on the XDG autostart specification.

environment

~/.config/openbox/environment can be used to export and set relevant environmental variables such as to:

  • Define new pathways (e.g. execute commands that would otherwise require the entire pathway to be listed with them)
  • Change language settings, and
  • Define other variables to be used (e.g. the fix for GTK theming could be listed here)

GUI configuration

Several GUI applications are available to quickly and easily configure your Openbox desktop. From the official repositories:

  • ObConf — A GTK2 based configuration tool for the Openbox window manager.
http://openbox.org/wiki/ObConf:About || obconf
  • LXAppearance ObConf — Plugin for LXAppearance to configure Openbox. Note that not all options to configure Openbox are available in this plugin, so you might want to install obconf anyway.
http://lxde.org || lxappearance-obconf
  • LXInput — LXDE keyboard and mouse configuration
http://lxde.org || lxinput
  • LXRandR — LXDE monitor configuration.
http://wiki.lxde.org/en/LXRandR || lxrandr
  • obkey — Configure Openbox keyboard shortcuts
https://code.google.com/p/obkey/ || obkeyAUR
  • ob-autostart — A simple autostart application for Openbox.
http://pastebin.com/012YgXTk || ob-autostartAUR

Programs and applications relating to the configuration of Openbox's desktop menu are discussed in the Menus section.

Openbox reconfiguration

Tip: where not already present, it would be worthwhile adding this command to a menu and/or as a keybind for convenience.

Openbox will not always automatically reflect any changes made to its configuration files within a session. As a consequence, it will be necessary to manually reload those files after they have been edited. To do so, enter the following command:

$ openbox --reconfigure

Where intending to add this command as a keybind to ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml, it will only be necessary to list the command as reconfigure. An example has been provided below, using the Super+F11 keybind:

<keybind key="W-F11">
  <action name="Reconfigure"/>
</keybind>

Keybinds

All keybinds must be added to the ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml file, and below the <!-- Keybindings for running aplications --> heading. Although a brief overview has been provided here, a more in-depth explanation of keybindings can be found at openbox.org. obkeyAUR is a utility for adjust key-binding. Before using obkey, you should use obconf to create ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml.

Special keys

While the use of standard alpha-numeric keys for keybindings is self-explanatory, special names are assigned to other types of keys, such as modifers, multimedia keys and navigation keys.

Modifiers

Modifer keys play an important role in keybindings (e.g. holding down the shift or CTRL / control key in combination with another key to undertake an action). Using modifers helps to prevent conflicting keybinds, whereby two or more actions are linked to the same key or combination of keys. The syntax to use a modifer with another key is:

"<modifier>-<key>"

The modifer codes are as follows:

  • S: Shift
  • C: Control / CTRL
  • A: Alt
  • W: Super / Windows
  • M: Meta
  • H: Hyper (If it is bound to something)

For example, the code below would use super and t to launch lxterminal

<keybind key="W-t">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>lxterminal</command>
    </action>
</keybind>

Multimedia keys

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with Extra keyboard keys in Xorg.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: please use the second argument of the template to provide more detailed indications. (Discuss in Talk:Openbox#)

Where available, it is possible to set the appropriate multimedia keys to perform their intended functions, such as to control the volume and/or the screen brightness. These will usually be integrated into the function keys, and are identified by their appropriate symbols. See Extra keyboard keys for details.

The volume and brightness multimedia codes are as follows (note that commands will still have to be assigned to them to actually function):

  • XF86AudioRaiseVolume: Increase volume
  • XF86AudioLowerVolume: Decrease volume
  • XF86AudioMute: Mute / unmute volume
  • XF86MonBrightnessUp: Increase screen brightess
  • XF86MonBrightnessDown: Decrease screen brightness

Examples of how these may be used in ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml have been provided below.

Navigation keys

These are the directional / arrow keys, usually used to move the cursor up, down, left, or right. The (self-explanatory) navigation codes are as follows:

  • Up: Up
  • Down: Down
  • Left: Left
  • Right: Right

Volume Control

What commands should be used for controlling the volume will depend on whether ALSA, PulseAudio, or OSS is used for sound.

ALSA

If ALSA is used for sound, the amixer program can be used to adjust the volume, which is part of the alsa-utils package. The following example - using the multimedia keys intended to control the volume - will adjust the volume by +/- 5% (which may be changed, as desired):

<keybind key="XF86AudioRaiseVolume">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>amixer set Master 5%+ unmute</command>
    </action>
</keybind>
<keybind key="XF86AudioLowerVolume">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>amixer set Master 5%- unmute</command>
    </action>
</keybind>
<keybind key="XF86AudioMute">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>amixer set Master toggle</command>
    </action>
</keybind>

Pulseaudio

Where using PulseAudio with ALSA as a backend, the amixer program commands will have to be modifed, as illustrated below in comparison to the ALSA example:

<keybind key="XF86AudioRaiseVolume">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>amixer -D pulse set Master 5%+ unmute</command>
    </action>
</keybind>
<keybind key="XF86AudioLowerVolume">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>amixer -D pulse set Master 5%- unmute</command>
    </action>
</keybind>
<keybind key="XF86AudioMute">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>amixer -D pulse set Master toggle</command>
    </action>
</keybind>

OSS

Note: This option may be suitable for more experienced users.

Where using OSS, it is possible to create keybindings to raise or lower specific mixers. This allows, for example, the volume of a specific application (such as an audio player) to be changed without changing the overall system volume settings in turn. In this instance, the application must first have been configured to use its own mixer.

In the following example, MPD has been configured to use its own mixer - also named mpd - to increase and decrease the volume by a single decibel at a time. The -- that appears after the ossmix command has been added to prevent a negative value from being treated as an argument:

<keybind key="[chosen keybind]">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>ossmix -- mpd +1</command>
    </action>
</keybind>
<keybind key="[chosen keybind]">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>ossmix -- mpd -1</command>
    </action>
</keybind>

Media player control

The playerctlAUR command-line utility can be used to bind multimedia keys to player actions. It should work with most media players.

<keybind key="XF86AudioPlay">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>playerctl play</command>
    </action>
</keybind>
<keybind key="XF86AudioPause">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>playerctl pause</command>
    </action>
</keybind>
<keybind key="XF86AudioNext">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>playerctl next</command>
    </action>
</keybind>
<keybind key="XF86AudioPrev">
    <action name="Execute">
        <command>playerctl previous</command>
    </action>
</keybind>

Brightness control

The xbacklight program is used to control screen brightness, which is part of the Xorg X-Window system. In the example below, the multimedia keys intended to control the screen brightness will adjust the settings by +/- 10%:

<keybind key="XF86MonBrightnessUp">
     <action name="Execute">
       <command>xbacklight +10</command>
     </action>
</keybind>
<keybind key="XF86MonBrightnessDown">
     <action name="Execute">
       <command>xbacklight -10</command>
     </action>
</keybind>

Window snapping

Many desktop environments and window managers support window snapping (e.g. Windows 7 Aero snap), whereby they will automatically snap into place when moved to the edge of the screen. This effect can also be simulated in Openbox through the use of keybinds on focused windows.

As illustrated in the example below, percentages must be used to determine window sizes (see openbox.org for further information). In this instance, The super key is used in conjunction with the navigation keys:

<keybind key="W-Left">
    <action name="UnmaximizeFull"/>
    <action name="MaximizeVert"/>
    <action name="MoveResizeTo">
        <width>50%</width>
    </action>
    <action name="MoveToEdge"><direction>west</direction></action>
</keybind>
<keybind key="W-Right">
    <action name="UnmaximizeFull"/>
    <action name="MaximizeVert"/>
    <action name="MoveResizeTo">
        <width>50%</width>
    </action>
    <action name="MoveToEdge"><direction>east</direction></action>
</keybind>

However, it should be noted that once a window has been 'snapped' to an edge, it will remain vertically maximised unless subsequently maximised and then restored. The solution is to implement additional keybinds - in this instance using the down and up keys - to do so. This will also make pulling 'snapped' windows from screen edges faster as well:

<keybind key="W-Down">
   <action name="Unmaximize"/>
</keybind>
<keybind key="W-Up">
   <action name="Maximize"/>
</keybind>

This Ubuntu forum thread provides more information. Applications such as opensnap-gitAUR are also available to automatically simulate window snapping behaviour without the use of keybinds.

Desktop menu

It is also possible to create a keybind to access the desktop menu. For example, the following code will bring up the menu by pressing CTRL + m:

<keybind key="C-m">
    <action name="ShowMenu">
       <menu>root-menu</menu>
    </action>
</keybind>

Menus

It is possible to employ three types of menu in Openbox: static, pipes (dynamic), and generators (static or dynamic). They may also be used alone or in any combination.

Static

As the name would suggest, this default type of menu does not change in any way, and may be manually edited and/or (re)generated automatically through the use on an appropriate software package.

Fast and efficient, while this type of menu can be used to select applications, it can also be useful to access specific functions and/or perform specific tasks (e.g. desktop configuration), leaving the access of applications to another process (e.g. the synapse or xfce4-appfinder applications).

The ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml file will be the sole source of static desktop menu content.

menumaker

menumaker automatically generates xml menus for several window managers, including Openbox, Fluxbox, IceWM and Xfce. It will search for all installed executable programs and consequently create a menu file for them. It is also possible to configure MenuMaker to exclude certain application types (e.g. relating to GNOME or KDE), if desired.

Once installed and executed, it will automatically generate a new ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml file. To avoid overwriting an existing file, enter:

$ mmaker -v OpenBox3

Otherwise, to overwrite an existing file, add the force argument (f):

$ mmaker -vf OpenBox3

Once a new ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml file has been generated it may then be manually edited, or configured using a GUI menu editor, such as obmenu.

obmenu

Warning: obm-xdg - a pipe menu to generate a list of GTK+ and GNOME applications - is also provided with obmenu. However, it has long-running bugs whereby it may produce an invalid output, or even not function at all. Consequently it has been omitted from discussion.

obmenu is a "user-friendly" GUI application to edit ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml, without the need to code in xml.

xdg-menu

archlinux-xdg-menu will automatically generate a menu based on xdg files contained within the /etc/xdg/ directory for numerous Window Managers, including Openbox. Review the Xdg-menu#OpenBox article for further information.

logout menu options

Tip: The commands provided can also be attached to keybinds.

The ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml file can be edited in order to provide a sub-menu with the same options as provided by oblogout. The sample script below will provide all of these options, with the exception of the ability to lock the screen:

<menu id="exit-menu" label="Exit">
	<item label="Log Out">
		<action name="Execute">
			<command>openbox --exit</command>
		</action>
	</item>
	<item label="Shutdown">
		<action name="Execute">
			<command>systemctl poweroff</command>
		</action>
	</item>
	<item label="Restart">
		<action name="Execute">
		        <command>systemctl reboot</command>
		</action>
	</item>
	<item label="Suspend">
		<action name="Execute">
		        <command>systemctl suspend</command>
		</action>
	</item>
	<item label="Hibernate">
		<action name="Execute">
		        <command>systemctl hibernate</command>
		</action>
	</item>
</menu>

Once the entries have been composed, add the following line to present the sub-menu where desired within the main desktop menu (usually as the last entry):

<menu id="exit-menu"/>

Pipes

Tip: It is entirely feasible for a static menu to contain one or more pipe sub-menus. The functionality of some pipe menus may also rely on the installation of relevant software packages.

This type of menu is in essence a script that provides dynamic, refreshed lists on-the-fly as and when run. These lists may be used for multiple purposes, including to list applications, to provide information, and to provide control functions. Pre-configured pipe menus can be installed, although not from the official repositories. More experienced users can also modify and/or create their own custom scripts. Again, ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml may and commonly will contain several pipe menus.

Examples

Openbox.org also provides a further list of pipe menus.

Generators

This type of menu is akin to those provided by the taskbars of desktop environments such as Xfce or LXDE. Automatically updating on-the-fly, this type of menu can be powerful and very convenient. It may also be possible to add custom categories and menu entries; read the documentation for your intended dynamic menu to determine if and how this can be done.

A menu generator will have to be executed from the ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml file.

obmenu-generator

Tip: icons can still be disabled in obmenu-generatorAUR, even where enabled in ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml.

obmenu-generatorAUR is highly recommended despite being an unofficial package. With the ability to be used as a static or dynamic menu, it is highly configurable, powerful, and versatile. Menu categories and individual entries may also be easily hidden, customised, and/or added with ease. The official homepage provides further information and screenshots.

Below is an example of how obmenu-generator would be dynamically executed without icons in ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<openbox_menu>
    <menu id="root-menu" label="OpenBox 3" execute="/usr/bin/obmenu-generator">
    </menu>
</openbox_menu>

To automatically iconify entries, the -i option would be added:

<menu id="root-menu" label="OpenBox 3" execute="/usr/bin/obmenu-generator -i">

openbox-menu

Tip: If this menu produces an error, it may be solved by enabling icons in ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml.

openbox-menuAUR uses the LXDE menu-cache to create dynamic menus. The official homepage provides further information and screenshots.

Menu icons

To show icons next to menu entries, it will be necessary to ensure they are enabled in the <menu> section of the ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml file:

<applicationIcons>yes</applicationIcons>

Where using a static menu, it will then be necessary to edit the ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml file to provide both the icon = command, along with the full path and icon name for each entry. An example of the syntax used to provide an icon for a category is:

<menu id="apps-menu" label="[label name]" icon="[pathway to icon]/[icon name]">

Desktop menu as a panel menu

Tip: XDoTool can simulate any keybind for any action, and as such, it may therefore be used for many other purposes...

xdotool is a package that can issue commands to simulate key presses / keybinds, meaning that it is possible to use it to invoke keybind-related actions without having to actually press their assigned keys. As this includes the ability to invoke an assigned keybind for the Openbox desktop menu, it is therefore possible to use XDoTool to turn the Openbox desktop menu into a panel menu. Especially where the desktop menu is heavily customised and feature-rich, this may prove very useful to:

  • Replace an existing panel menu
  • Implement a panel menu where otherwise not provided or possible (e.g. for Tint2)
  • Compensate where losing access to the desktop menu due to the use of an application like xfdesktop to manage the desktop.

Once XDoTool has been installed - if not already present - it will be necessary to create a keybind to access the root menu in ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml, and again below the <!-- Keybindings for running aplications --> heading. For example, the following code will bring up the menu by pressing CTRL + m:

<keybind key="C-m">
    <action name="ShowMenu">
       <menu>root-menu</menu>
    </action>
</keybind>

Openbox must then be re-configured. In this instance, XDoTool will be used to simulate the CTRL + m keypress to access the desktop menu with the following command (note the use of + in place of -):

xdotool key control+m

How this command may be used as a panel launcher / icon is largely dependent on the features of panel used. While some panels will allow the above command to be executed directly in the process of creating a new launcher, others may require the use of an executable script. As an example, a custom executable script called obpanelmenu.sh will be created in the ~/.config folder:

$ text editor ~/.config/obpanelmenu.sh

Once the empty file has been opened, the appropriate XDoTool command must be added to the empty file (i.e. to simulate the CTRL + m keypress for this example):

xdotool key control+m

After the file has been saved and closed, it may then be made into an executable script with the following command:

$ chmod +x ~/.config/obpanelmenu.sh

Executing it will bring up the Openbox desktop menu. Consequently, where using a panel that supports drag-and-drop functionality to add new launchers, simply drag the executable script onto it before changing the icon to suit personal taste.

Desktop theming

Tip: It is strongly advised to install the obconf and lxappearance-obconf GUI applications to configure visual settings and theming. The latter is particularly important as it is responsible for generating the ~/.gtkrc-2.0 file (see GTK+#GTK+ 2.x).

It is important to note that a substantial range of both Openbox-specific and generalised, Openbox-compatible GTK themes are available to change the look of window decorations and the desktop menu. Generalised themes are designed to be simultaneously compatible with a range of popular desktop environments and/or window managers, commonly including Openbox. See these package descriptions for examples.

Configuration

obconf and/or lxappearance-obconf should be used to select and configure available GTK themes. See Uniform Look for Qt and GTK Applications for information about theming Qt based applications like VirtualBox or Skype.

Installation: official and AUR

A good selection of openbox-themes are available from the official repositories.

Both Openbox-specific and Openbox-compatible themes installed from the official repositories and/or the AUR will be automatically installed to the /usr/share/themes directory. Both will also be immediately available for selection.

Installation: other sources

box-look.org is an excellent and well-established source of themes. deviantART.com is another excellent resource. Many more can be found through the utilisation of a search engine.

Troubleshooting

There are two particular problems that may be encountered on rare occasions, especially where downloading themes from unsupported websites. These have been addressed below.

Theme cannot be used

If for any reason the newly extracted theme cannot be selected, open the theme directory to first ensure that it is indeed compatible with Openbox by determining that an openbox-3 directory is present, and that within this directory a themerc file is also present. An .obt (OpenBox Theme) file may also be present in some instances, which can then be manually loaded in obconf.

Where expected files and directories are present and correct, then on occasion it is possible that the theme author has not correctly set permission to access the file (e.g. permission may still be for the account of the author, rather than for root). To eliminate this possibility, ensure the folder and file permissions are for root:

# chown -R root /user/share/themes

Theme looks broken

Of course, the first line of enquiry would be to check that it is not just a badly made, broken theme! Otherwise, ensure that the Openbox GTK fix[dead link 2014-11-28] has been implemented, and then re-start the session. Unfortunately some older themes can simply break if not maintained sufficiently to keep pace with the changes incurred by GTK updates. To avoid such occurrences, it is best to check that desired themes have recently been created or at least updated / patched.

Edit or create new themes

Tip: Where deciding to modify an existing theme (e.g. the colour scheme), it would be best to work on a copy of it, rather than the original. This will retain the original should anything go wrong, and ensure that your changes are not over-written through an update.

The process of creating new or modifying existing themes is covered extensively at the official openbox.org website. obthemeAUR is a user-friendly GUI for doing so.

Compositing effects

Openbox does not provide native support for compositing, and thus requires an external compositor for this purpose.

Although compositing is not a necessary component, it may specifically avoid issues such as screen distortion with oblogout, and visual glitches with terminal window transparency. See Xorg#Composite for common choices.

Mouse cursor and application icon themes

See Cursor themes and Icons for details.

Desktop icons and wallpapers

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with [[]].Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: This section is applicable to most window managers when used without Desktop environment (Discuss in Talk:Openbox#)

Openbox does not natively support the use of desktop icons or wallpapers. As a consequence, it will be necessary to install additional applications for this purpose, where desired.

Desktop management using file managers

Some file managers have the capacity to fully manage the desktop, meaning that they may be used to provide wallpapers and enable the use of icons on the desktop. The LXDE desktop environment itself uses PCManFM for this purpose.

See PCManFM#Desktop_management and SpaceFM#Desktop_management.

Wallpaper

See List_of_applications#Wallpaper_setters

Icon programs

While there are programs dedicated to enabling desktop icons alone, it would seem that they have greater drawbacks than the utilisation of file managers for the task. These programs are discussed briefly, below.

idesk

idesk is a simple program that can enable icons in addition to managing wallpaper. It will be necessary to create an ~/.idesktop directory, and desktop icons must also be manually created. To use idesk to provide icons, add the following command to the ~/.config/openbox/autostart file:

idesk &

xfdesktop

xfdesktop is the desktop manager for Xfce. The Thunar file manager will also be downloaded as a dependency. Where this is used, the Openbox desktop menu will no longer be accessible by right-clicking the background.

As such, it will consequently be necessary to access it by other means, such as by creating a keybind, and/or by - where permitted - re-configuring an installed panel to use the desktop menu as a panel menu. To use xfdesktop to provide icons, add the following command to the ~/.config/openbox/autostart file:

xfdesktop &

conky reconfiguration

Particularly where using a file manager to manage the desktop, it will be necessary to edit ~/.conkyrc to change the own_window_type command in order for conky to continue to be displayed (where used). The revised command that should be used is:

own_window_type normal

oblogout

See the Oblogout article for an overview on how to use this useful, graphical logout script.

Openbox for multihead users

While Openbox provides better than average multihead support on its own, openbox-multihead-gitAUR provides a development branch called Openbox Multihead that gives multihead users per-monitor desktops. This model is not commonly found in floating window managers, but exists mainly in tiling window managers. It is explained well on the Xmonad web site. Also, please see README.MULTIHEAD for a more comprehensive description of the new features and configuration options found in Openbox Multihead.

Openbox Multihead will function like normal Openbox when only a single head is available.

A downside to using Openbox Multihead is that it breaks the EWMH assumption that one and only one desktop is visible at any time. Thus, existing pagers will not work well with it. To remedy this, you can install pager-multihead-gitAUR alongside Openbox Multihead. It will work without Openbox Multihead if only one monitor is active.

Tips and tricks

Launch a complex command with hotkey

If you need to execute a complex command, use shell functionality.

Special character replacement are as follows:

  • &: &amp;
  • <: &lt;
  • >: &gt;

This example will turn off display immediately and lock screen with slock. It was taken from this thread.

 <keybind key="W-l">
   <action name="Execute">
     <command>sh -c 'slock &amp; (sleep .5 &amp;&amp; xset dpms force off)'</command>
   </action>
 </keybind>

Sometimes one need to specify environment variable for application:

 <keybind key="A-F7">
   <action name="Execute">
     <command>sh -c "LC_ALL=C obconf"</command>
   </action>
 </keybind>

Another example will launch application preserving all stdout and stderr output to file:

 <keybind key="A-f">
   <action name="Execute">
     <command>sh -c sh -c "exec gimp &gt;/tmp/gimp.out 2&gt;&amp;1"</command>
   </action>
 </keybind>

Switch desktops using the mouse

It is possible to switch desktop by moving the mouse cursor to the edges of the screen. First install xdotool and add the following two lines to your ~/.xinitrc:

xdotool behave_screen_edge --delay 500 left set_desktop --relative -- -1 &
xdotool behave_screen_edge --delay 500 right set_desktop --relative -- +1 &

Set default applications / file associations

See the Default applications article.

Stop continous mouse wheel desktop switching

By default Openbox switches from the last desktop back to the first desktop on mouse wheel scroll. Use <wrap>no</wrap> in the mousebind section to disable this behaviour.

   <context name="Desktop">
     <mousebind button="Up" action="Click">
       <action name="GoToDesktop">
         <to>previous</to>
         <wrap>no</wrap>
       </action>
     </mousebind>
     <mousebind button="Down" action="Click">
       <action name="GoToDesktop">
         <to>next</to>
         <wrap>no</wrap>
       </action>
     </mousebind>
   </context>

Ad-hoc window transparency

Warning: This may not work where other actions are defined within the action group.

The program transset-df is available in the official repositories, and can enable window transparency on-the-fly.

For example, using the following code in the <mouse> section of the ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml file will enable control of application window transparency by hovering the mouse-pointer over the title bar and scrolling with the middle button:

<context name="Titlebar">
    ...
    <mousebind button="Up" action="Click">
        <action name= "Execute" >
        <execute>transset-df -p .2 --inc  </execute>
        </action>
    </mousebind>
    <mousebind button="Down" action="Click">
        <action name= "Execute" >
        <execute>transset-df -p .2 --dec </execute>
        </action>
    </mousebind>
    ...
</context>

Using obxprop for faster configuration

The openbox package provides a obxprop binary that can parse relevant values for applications settings in rc.xml. Officially obxprop | grep "^_OB_APP" is recommended for this task. Start the process by running the command shown, then click a window to see its properties in the terminal.

Xprop values for applications

xorg-xprop is available in the official repositories, and can be used to relay property values for selected applications. Where frequently using per-application settings, the following Bash Alias may be useful: dy:

alias xp='xprop | grep "WM_WINDOW_ROLE\|WM_CLASS" && echo "WM_CLASS(STRING) = \"NAME\", \"CLASS\""'

To use Xorg-XProp, run using the alias given xp, and click on the active program desired to define with per-application settins. The results displayed will only be the information that Openbox itself requires, namely the WM_WINDOW_ROLE and WM_CLASS (name and class) values:

WM_WINDOW_ROLE(STRING) = "roster"
WM_CLASS(STRING) = "gajim.py", "Gajim.py"
WM_CLASS(STRING) = "NAME", "CLASS"

Firefox

For whatever reason, Firefox and like-minded equivalents ignore application rules (e.g. <desktop>) unless class="Firefox*" is used. This applies irrespective of whatever values xprop may report for the program's WM_CLASS.

Switching between keyboard layouts

See the article section switching between keyboard layouts for instructions.

Set grid layout for virtual desktops

Install obsetlayoutAUR. To set a 2x2 grid for example:

obsetlayout 0 2 2 0

Run it without arguments to know what the arguments mean.

Troubleshooting

Windows load behind the active window

Some application windows (such as Firefox windows) may load behind the currently active window, causing you to need to switch to the window you just created to focus it. To fix this behavior add this to your ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml file, inbetween the <openbox_config> and </openbox_config> tags:

<applications>
  <application class="*">
    <focus>yes</focus>
  </application>
</applications>

See also