So you got Openbox rolling on your machine, you got xcompmgr working and the effects tweaked just the way you like them, transset-df is compiled and functioning, and you tied your transparency to your mouse wheel and/or key bindings. What’s the final sparkle?
A year ago (actually about 15 months, if memory serves), before Beryl and before Compiz, 3ddesktop was a popular toy. It doesn’t compare to a full-scale Beryl rig with all the bells and whistles, but it’s light enough not to need extraordinary hardware and easy enough to set up that it doesn’t need much explanation.
Under Openbox, the keybindings are practically set up for you. Install the 3ddesktop package, and edit
~/.config/openbox/rc.xml, adding the 3ddesk command where you want the keystroke.
I put it in for the CTRL+ALT+RIGHT and CTRL+ALT+LEFT keys; I’m actually more inclined to switch desktops with the mouse wheel, so binding the 3ddesktop effect to the keyboard means I can switch panels quickly with the wheel, or casually with the keyboard.
As a side note, there are a lot of flags you can add; it’s worth looking at
3ddesk --help to see what’s available. The configuration file is in
But as you can see in the screenshots, all the window effects and transparency hold over from xcompmgr to 3ddesktop. So the net effect is … pretty cool.
The sad part is, you really, really have to meet a minimum hardware requirement to do this. My spunky little 300Mhz laptop can handle xcompmgr and transset-df, but 3ddesktop is an impossibility for it since it doesn’t handle GLX. I can’t guarantee it’ll work on your machine; install it and start it with the
3ddesk command from a terminal window. If you get error messages, it won’t work. Sorry.
Additionally, it is a bit more taxing than xcompmgr alone. In fact, running all three together is rather burdensome. It doesn’t seem as all-encompassing as the entire Beryl package, but it’s still going to keep your graphics card buzzing.
(I get a slight lag on this 1Ghz machine with a 64Mb Geforce4 at 1600×1200; I will mention that this setup will run Beryl as well, with about the same amount of effort.)
All told it’s a great way to spruce up (and show off) Openbox, without sacrificing your minimalist principles to the Gnome/KDE/Beryl juggernaut. Happy tweaking!
P.S.: If you’re sitting in a eye-candy induced reverie, admiring your lovely 3ddesktop array and suddenly it starts to spazz out, spinning wildly and uncontrollably … that’s not a mistake. That’s what we, in the old days of arcade and video games, used to call attract mode. Suffice to say 3ddesktop is entertaining itself with screensaverish behavior. Do not adjust your TV set. Remain calm. All is well.