Flux in Five

July 31, 2007

Howto: Fluxbox in 5mins

This guide requires you to have some knowledge of how to use fluxbox,the linux command line,is aimed at being a quick start guide and assumes you’re running ubuntu.

Lets start by installing fluxbox

$ sudo apt-get install fluxbox
By default a fluxbox.desktop is generated in your /usr/share/xsessions/ directory.

$ vim .fluxbox/startup #edit accordingly the config is self explanatory.

If you dont like the default taskbar in fluxbox and wana use some thing else like pypanel.
$ vim .fluxbox/init
and look for the line which reads:
session.screen0.toolbar.visible: True
change the boolean value to False to make it go away!

Fluxbox has some annoying menu structure at first if any at all. Here’s what you need to do to get a menu if you dont have one or you just want to get a new damn menu.

$ cd /usr/share/doc/fluxbox
$ sudo gunzip fluxbox-generate_menu.gz
$ sudo cp fluxbox-generate_menu /usr/bin/
$ sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/fluxbox-generate_menu

Then run:
$ fluxbox-generate_menu
to generate a decent menu for urself.

To edit the menu
open the .fluxbox/menu file in your favourite editor and edit accordingly.
Its a pretty simple structure to understand.

Untar/Uzip any themes you have to .fluxbox/styles and it should show up in your generated menu under fluxbox menu –> User Styles

Gtk apps in fluxbox are hideous by default…
So lets do something about it, Here’s how,
$ sudo apt-get install gtk-theme-switch

Then:
$ switch2 # or just switch if you have gtk1 theme’s installed
Select the gtk theme you want to use with fluxbox and you can even select the font!

lastly we want to edit the keys file…
$ vim .fluxbox/keys

The syntax for a keybinding is as follows:
<mod> [<mod> <mod>] key [key key] :command <command_options>

Mod1 == Alt
Mod4 == Windows key
Control == Ctrl
Shift == Shift

For example:
Control t :ExecCommand thunar
This brings up the xfce file manager if installed.

to enable drop shadows install xcompmgr and stick the following line into your .fluxbox/startup
xcompmgr -c &

Looks like we are all set.

Flux in Five

Things to take a look at for eyecandy
xcompmgr
rox
idesk
adesklets
fbdesk
conky

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