May 16, 2009

Using 'Feh' in Fluxbox

Fluxbox generally uses one of two programs to set wallpaper, Feh, and Esetroot (part of Eterm).  (Yes, I know there are several others).

I like to use Feh. Not because it is any faster. I can't tell any difference in speed between the two programs, but because Feh has some cool tools associated with it.

In a terminal, su to root:

apt-get update && apt-get install feh

Check to see which wallpaper setter Fluxbox is using by typing:

fbsetbg -i

in a terminal
The terminal will produce something like,

feh is a nice wallpapersetter. You won't have any problems

If it says esetroot in place of feh, you may have to manually change the default in your ~/.fluxbox/init file, or remove e-term.

I am using ~/pictures /wallpapers as the source for the pictures.

To make a collage and access the feh menu, open a terminal, copy/paste:

feh -z -c -F -y342 -E219 ~/pictures/wallpapers

This opens a full screen display of Feh, with all items in ~/pictures/wallpapers put into a collage at random.

'Right-click' to open the feh menu while in full screen.

"Exit" to leave, and/or try again, or just hit 'q' to quit). To save as wallpaper, go to file > background and "save as desktop". This will temporarily place the collage picture as your wallpaper with four different effects to choose from.

These collage pictures will also show up in your ~/home folder, and you can rename and drag them into your ~/pictures/wallpapers for later use. Look at 'man feh' for all of the options. (excellent manual by the way).

The cool part for me is how the StickyTerm blends with the pictures.
I'm not any kind of graphic artist. I just wanted to use one of the resources that comes with Fluxbox in inspiring ways, or in a way that may inspire.

I also use a different font than Monospace in mine since it's hanging out on my desktop. This can be changed on the fly if I need to get serious about something I'm working on.

Below shows one way to toggle through wallpaper from the menu,

[exec] (Random Wallpaper) {fbsetbg -f -r ~/pictures/wallpapers}

and for keys,

#mod4 b :Exec fbsetbg -f -r ~/pictures/wallpapers

Remember to check your other keys to make sure 'mod4 b' isn't being used by something else.

Makes thing easier to have a few ways to toggle through wallpaper without disrupting anything else you may have on screen.
Both of the above codes expect to find pictures in ~/pictures/wallpapers. Change to suit.

Please comment if you are using this  'how -to'.  All suggestions and comments welcome.

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