Back to Openbox

I became a little disenfranchised with my pretend Windows XP Classic desktop almost a month ago, and switched gears slightly.

Soon afterward I realized my disappointment with the desktop was rooted in IceWM, and not just in the theme I had built up around it. So I’m back to Openbox now.

And because I was feeling a little nostalgic, I put that together to mimic a desktop I was using about four years ago, also at Christmas. The machine has changed, the distro is different, but the look is similar.

I still have a little bugs to iron out, here and there. I haven’t relied singularly on Openbox for the better part of a year, and there are some shortcuts and configurations to learn.

And it has been even longer since I tinkered with conky. I know: What I have there is rather primitive, compared to what it can do.

But this will suffice for now, and should keep me fairly busy over the next few days. My real-world obligations peak today and then I should be able to coast into a nice, long, well-deserved end-of-year holiday. And I have a few things planned. 😈

Stay tuned. πŸ˜‰

16 thoughts on “Back to Openbox

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I am vaguely surprised. I never thought it that interesting. Oh well, here goes:

      background yes 
      use_xft yes 
      xftfont Dejavu Sans:size=8 
      xftalpha 0.8 
      update_interval 2 
      own_window no 
      double_buffer yes 
      draw_shades yes 
      draw_outline no 
      border_margin 0 
      border_width 1 
      default_color white 
      default_shade_color black 
      alignment bottom_left 
      minimum_size 1006 
      gap_x 9 
      gap_y 9 
      use_spacer no 
      no_buffers yes 
      uppercase no 
      ${alignc}${color white}$sysname $kernel ${color darkgrey}on ${color white}$nodename ${color darkgrey}[${color white}${freq}Mhz ${execi 1000 cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep -m 1 'model name' | sed -e 's/model name.*: //' | sed -e 's/  //g'}${color darkgrey}] | ${color white}$uptime_short ${color darkgrey}uptime at ${color white}$cpu% ${color darkgrey}cpu load with ${color white}${mem}${color darkgrey} of ${color white}${memmax}${color darkgrey} (${color white}$memperc%${color darkgrey}) used by ${color white}$processes ${color darkgrey}processes 
      ${alignc}${color white}${fs_used /}${color darkgrey} of ${color  white}${fs_size /}${color darkgrey} root partition used, ${color  white}${fs_used /home}${color darkgrey} of ${color white}${fs_size  /home}${color darkgrey} home partition used | ${color white}${downspeed  eth0} kbps${color darkgrey} down (${color white}${totaldown eth0}${color  darkgrey} total), ${color white}${upspeed eth0} kbps${color darkgrey} up  (${color white}${totalup eth0}${color darkgrey} total) on ${color  white}${addr eth0}

      Be careful, enjoys eating code even when it’s tagged for source code.

      The sed-fu in there only strips out excess spaces from /proc/cpuinfo, so you might want to remove or edit it. Have fun! πŸ™‚

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Sure! Although LXDE adds a lot of cool tools to the entire experience. And using LXDE doesn’t necessarily require you to use openbox, I don’t think.

    1. anon

      The sheer stagnation and boredom of realizing that you’ve basically been only using it to impress nerds like us with your blasphemous IceWM desktop?

      1. K.Mandla Post author

        No, although any time I can impress a nerd, I call it a successful day. 😈

        Mostly I was having problems with windows migrating southward after they were closed and reopened. That, and editing the menu was somehow corrupting it and making it unreadable to the running session.

        Little things like that were starting to annoy me. I should have probably just started over from scratch, with a blank IceWM installation. But the idea of building these things up from nothing is sometimes intimidating. 😦

        1. mulenmar

          I don’t know if IceWM has a function to store the screen position of windows or not, but if you want a menu just use menumaker and then add or change a few lines as you see fit. πŸ™‚

          1. K.Mandla Post author

            I think this had something to do with the way the closing application was storing its last window position, and how IceWM was interpreting that location when the application was reopened. I hadn’t ever noticed it before, but every time I opened the application, the box shifted downward slightly. It’s not a big deal, but it was one of those things I couldn’t seem to correct without undue labor.

            And I don’t know if menu maker would have solved the menu problem or not. I literally entered one blank line in a working .icewm/menu file, and suddenly the file was unreadable. Very strange.

            No matter. I’m sure I will be back to it in the future. I just need a little break, that’s all. πŸ˜‰

  1. anticapitalista

    I’d also like to know what has made you unhappy with icewm. Personally, I prefer fluxbox, though I have dabbled with some tiling wms and find wmii more to my liking if I want tiling.

  2. technologyunit

    I have always been impartial to very simple desktops, but always found my self dragged back to Gnome. Heck my gnome desktop doesn’t have any gnome panels, but instead I use AWN docks because they are more fun and versatile However it always seame as though you stick to small little Linux distros than the big fat fat-clients like Ubuntu. Why is this? Is it just a preference or is it hardware condition, or …..

    Thanks… Like the wallpaper as well.


    Tobias Mann

  3. samspade10

    How different is Openbox to Fluxbox/ I’ve been using Fluxpup (Puppy Linux with Fluxbox) for nearly two years but I think Fluxbox is now no longer updated (what is the proper word for that?) so I’ll have to make the switch at some point I guess.

    Is Openbox as easy to configure for keyboard shortcuts?


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