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Fluxbox basic setup


 

Fluxbox How-to


I've been using Fluxbox for quite some time now and thought maybe I could share some hints, tricks, and such, with anybody who cared to look. This goes past just artwork. Some of the items I write about concern videos, transparency, conkys, and much much more.


All items I write about have been tested on a clean sidux install to make sure they are both user independent, and will work using my own directions.

That being said, please realize that I do not write code for a living. What I am posting are my own discoveries.

My user name is sleek, but any code I post is username independant because I am using '~' in place of '/home/sleek'  when I write paths to programs or files.

The term '~' in this case, is an alias for '/home/username'.  This allows the shortening of '/home/sleek/.fluxbox', to just ~/.fluxbox.  Pretty cool, yes?  This can be used to shorten any path in your /home folder. Because of this, you should be able to copy and paste any file info that I share.

The folder: ~/.fluxbox is the central point for all configuration files for Fluxbox, and if set up correctly, can be placed on any machine to allow instant use of your own personal Fluxbox desktop, and be saved for future use as well.

If you are new to Linux you should know that everything is infinitely customizable. A hash ' # ' mark placed at the beginning of a line, will comment out a line in any file, and a single hash mark can/will keep Conkys from loading, movies from being played, menu items from being displayed, etc . . . Very useful in Fluxbox.

Quotes around paths and other words are only to let you know that it is isolated.  Within any codebox you see, you should be able to copy and paste directly with no problems.

There are many more features within and around Fluxbox.  Most are covered here, but some are not  . . . yet.  If you do all of these tutorials, you will know them well.

Basic Fluxbox Setup

I use sidux as my main distro, and everything I write is based on using the XFCE base that sidux provides.  I would think that any Debian based system would work well with these guides.  Try them and let me know;)

If you wish, sidux can be downloaded with either KDE or XFCE. Both are fine choices, and both come with Fluxbox already installed.

I personally use the XFCE version, but used to use KDE with Fluxbox, and it works just fine. I like having one or the other for 'just in case' issues. When I first started using Fluxbox, It was nice to know I had a solid desktop environment for backup. It still is.

If you have KDE installed, and you would like to be able to use GTK themes for thunar, abiword, etc . . ., then you will need to download and install a couple of other items. These are explained in step 3. Read on.

Step 1.

apt-get update && apt-get install fluxbox

If you are using sidux, Fluxbox is already installed on your system.
You will find a hidden folder in your /home/username directory named .fluxbox. Make sure that .fluxbox exists. If not,  just right click anywhere in your /home folder and make a new folder named .fluxbox .  All of the Fluxbox configuration files are stored there.

My user name is sleek, but any info I post is username independant because I am using ~ in place of /home/sleek when I write paths to programs or files.

The term '~' in this case, is an alias for '/home/username'. This allows the shortening of /home/sleek/.fluxbox, to just ~/.fluxbox.  Pretty cool, yes?  This can be used to shorten any path in your /home folder. Because of this, you should be able to copy and paste any file info that I share.

The folder: ~/.fluxbox is the central point for all configuration files for Fluxbox, and if set up correctly, can be placed on any machine to allow instant use of your own personal Fluxbox desktop, and be saved for future use as well.

I make a lot of changes to my system in my attempts to find new and better ways to utilize my computer. My last re-install, with all my programs and functions in place took less than 20 minutes. That is from the moment I put the sidux Live CD in the drive. While this can be done with other setups, fluxbox sure makes it easy.

2. Log out of KDE/XFCE, change the session to Fluxbox, and log in. You should now be in an instance of Fluxbox. As it is at this point, Fluxbox is fully usable. If you right-click anywhere on the desktop, you will see the 'debian' Fluxbox menu. This is an auto generated menu just like the KDE or XFCE menu, will have all of your applications.

3. To use GTK themes easily.


_If you have KDE installed as your base, you may want to download a few programs in order to use the GTK style interface for some of your programs.

The easy way to do this is to open a terminal and: apt-get update && apt-get install xfce4-mcs-manager xfce4-icon-theme gtk2-engines-xfce

This will pull in the dependancies needed to allow you to use the light weight xfce settings manager for your GTK theme and icon changes.
This is useful for changing the themes and icons in GTK applications that you want to have different from KDE apps.

Step 4 BOTH KDE and XFCE

In order to use the xfce-settings manager in Fluxbox, you will need to add an entry to your ~./fluxbox/startup file. Even if XFCE is your base, you will still want to do this in order to have your theme in fluxbox different than in XFCE.

~/.fluxbox/startup, is where you can add and remove programs to start when fluxbox starts. 'xfsettingsd &' must be listed here in order to have the XFCE desktop settings interface valuesupon Fluxbox startup. Simply place the line: xfsettingsd & below these lines:

# unclutter -idle 2 &
# wmnd &
# wmsmixer -w &
# idesk &

This section of your startup file should now read:

# unclutter -idle 2 &
# wmnd &
# wmsmixer -w &
# idesk &
xfsettingsd &

Save your file and exit. The '#' symbol keeps the other items from starting up, which is good unless you have them installed and wish to use them from the git-go.

4.Log out of Fluxbox and back in. You should now be able to change your GTK themes and icons with ease.

You will find the entry for XFCE settings in the extended Debian part of the fluxbox menu, or you may add this entry to your ~/. fluxbox menu.

[exec] (xfce settings) {xfce4-settings-manager}

*note: Menu1 users from the second guide already have this entry under 'system settings.

I Currently have 16 items/guides listed. 

   1 Basic Fluxbox setup
   2 Fluxbox Menu
   3 Fluxbox Startup File
   4 Fluxbox Init File
   5 Fluxbox Keys
   6 Using the menu options to restart and shutdown your computer
   7 Choose Wallpapers from the fluxbox menu
   8 Using the menu for Internet links, open 2in1, toggle
   9 How to edit your Fluxbox syle
  10 Using and changing the appearance of gtk themes in fluxbox 
  11 Toggle Videos, Toggle Extras, Toggle Conky
  12 Sticky XFCE4-terminal  (Puts terminal instance in root window without frames and such)
  13 Using Feh, because it is there
  14 How to Canto (Canto is an RSS reader from the terminal that will open the browser of your choosing. Currently set for elinks)   
  15 Sound events for fluxbox  (system sounds)
  16 Transparency/Effects in Fluxbox

 Fluxbox links you may find usefull
http://fluxbox.org/        The Fluxbox home page.

http://fluxbox.org/features/        Features of Fluxbox

http://linux.die.net/man/1/fluxbox      Fluxbox Manual page

 

Enjoy;)

 

Please comment if you are using any of these guides.  All suggestions and comments welcome. 

 

 

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