Openbox (w/ Arch Linux)

On my home system, I use Openbox as a stand-alone WM and I love it! It's lightweight and highly configurable. So, I decide to go with Openbox on my new notebook.

Information below is gathered mostly from the Arch Linux Wiki page and changed here and there for my liking. This information below is solely used for my purpose and may not be suitable for others.


Install openbox package. # pacman -S openbox

Openbox configuration files:

There are four openbox configuration files and they need to be copied to ~/.config/openbox.

Execute below as a regular user, NOT as root. $ mkdir -p ~/.config/openbox $ cp /etc/xdg/openbox/{rc.xml,menu.xml,autostart,environment} ~/.config/openbox

  • rc.xml - Main configuration file. It defines keyboard shortcuts, themes, virtual desktops, etc...
  • menu.xml - It defines the content of the right-click menu.
  • autostart - This file is read by openbox-session at startup. It contains the programs that are run at startup. It is typically used to set environment variables, launch panels/docks, set background image or execute other startup scripts.
  • environment - This file is sourced by openbox-session at startup. It contains environment variables to be set in Openbox's context. Any variables you set here will be visible to Openbox itself and anything you start from its menus.

Executing Openbox as a stand-alone WM

I like its simplicity. So, I run it as a stand-alone WM.

Append the following to ~/.xinitrc $ cat >> ~/.xinitrc exec openbox-session ^D

This is how to start Openbox from the command shell. $ xinit /usr/bin/openbox-session

That's all!

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