The optional comment is not displayed, but can be useful for internal documentation or script parsing of menu files. [nop] (label). Insert a non- operational. Fluxbox provides a number of window management features such as tabbing All Fluxbox configuration is stored in plaintext files, however some . Content is available under GNU Free Documentation License or later. Some information on the Fluxbox window manager. Contents Fluxbox themes; Debian-based Fluxbox Distros . Fluxbox documentation.

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Fluxbox is an open-source stacking window manager for X11 that was originally forked from Blackbox. This guide provides instructions on how to set up the Fluxbox window manager for X For those documsntation are unfamiliar with Linux’s desktop model, window managers WMs are the applications which are run by X11 to manage other graphical programs. WMs control where each window is placed, its size, and which desktop s have access to it.

FluxBox – Debian Wiki

This can be done automatically via a set of user-defined rules, or can be done at runtime with the mouse and possibly keyboard shortcuts, depending on the specific WM. Lfuxbox WMs, however, take docjmentation more functionality than just window management. Fluxbox also provides a platform for launching applications, configuring keyboard shortcuts and background images, as well as displaying information with the slit.

Thus, one cannot truly say that Fluxbox is a lightweight WM. For example, some people find that Metacity, GNOME’s window manager, simply does not have the flexibility they need, but that Fluxbox does not have all the built-in applications and integration they desire from a complete desktop environment. Note, however, that with this setup there are some issues caused by overlapping feature sets. Fluxbox can also be expanded by third party software. This is often ideal in situations where hardware resources are limited, or as a matter of personal taste.

The article will also illustrate how to get more yet quite optional functionality by using third party programs that work well with Fluxbox. First, make sure a working X environment has been installed, as shown in the X Server’s configuration article. There is a vim-syntax flag to make configuration easier later on.

fluxbox-menu(5) Manual Page

This flag will install fluxbox-syntaxa special Fluxbox color scheme for the vim text editor. This enables users to more readily see the contents of their keys and init files for Fluxbox.

It is a tiny extension for vim and is highly recommended if Fluxbox is documnetation be configured at all.

There are three flags that customize the functionality of Fluxbox: These flags are provided so that users who do not need the slit or the toolbar can compile Fluxbox without them. This is useful when documfntation to run an extremely minimal environment, or when planning to use different applications that provide these features, such flxbox standalone panels or docks. For example, the following command will setup Fluxbox to use truetype and vim-syntax:.

That is it; Fluxbox is now installed! However, it is likely it will not be used efficiently with just those tools. The following sections will help install other potentially necessary packages, and configure Fluxbox and the third party programs to work better for the user.

Keep in mind that all these steps are optional, so feel free to pick and choose from what is presented as best suited. Fluxbox is simply another program that runs on X If desired, one can startx and then type fluxbox at in an xterm window.


However, to say the least, this is annoying. If one does not desire to boot to the GUI, but instead wants to start X11 manually, it is possible to have X automatically load Fluxbox by executing, as doxumentation normal non-root user:. The above method is also not ideal for most users, as they want to have the desktop environment all the dpcumentation it is a pain to type startx when desiring to use a GUI every time the system boots. It also presents a security risk to the flxbox. If the X11 display is locked using xlockbut vocumentation X11 from a console, then someone with physical access to the system can switch to that console, kill X11, and use whatever account is logged in.

The only way to prevent this is to docuemntation background X11 or run it in screendetach the screen documentatiln, then logout of the console.

This tedious task should not have to be performed. When graphical login manager this problem does not exist. However, graphical login managers require running X11 as root, which may be a bad thing. There are, as of this writing, no exploits that the author is aware of for the current version, but if one is concerned, then do not use X11 at all or use the above method with screen.

Note that this is not a Fluxbox issue; it is an issue with X11 itself. There are a number of graphical login managers to choose from; another manager can be chosen at discretion of the user, however SLiM will be used for the purpose of this article.

When dealing with WMs a must have is a program lock to the X display for preventing unauthorized system access. It is also advisable to enable autolocking of the screen when the system is idle.

This section can be skipped for a minimal footprint, however it is nice to allow users to customize their WM’s appearance. Now Fluxbox ready to run for the first time. If SLiM or another display manager has been installed, be sure to start it by becoming root and running:. Once Fluxbox is running, it will look quite plain. A blank desktop with a toolbar at the bottom should be visible. Right-clicking anywhere on the desktop should bring up the menu. From there X applications can be started, or a terminal can be opened run console programs.

Fluxbox comes with a very weak set of default keysets. It enables a user to switch windows and desktops, and no more. Before changing it, there are a few things necessary to know. In the Fluxbox keys file, there are some strange modifiers. Control and Shift are Ctrl and Shift.

However, it is usually best to use Mod1 or Mod4 because other X11 programs tend to use Control and Shift for their own shortcuts. All of these are independent, so feel free to leave out anything not desired, or to modify the given example to meet special needs.

This guide uses what the author assumes to be the most common programs, so also substitute the name of the binary used if it differs from what appears. For more information, read the man page for Fluxbox man fluxbox. It is a common desire to setup a system monitor for X11 on desktop systems. If desired, use another monitor; there are plenty of instructions elsewhere on the wiki.

The default configuration file for Conky is rather weak, but more info can be found by reading the man page or the Conky guide.

Fluxbox does not come with a utility or program to draw icons to the desktop; everything is handled by keyboard shortcuts, or the right-click menu.


It is aimed at users of minimal WMs like Fluxbox who want to display icons in the root window, and it even supports funky graphic effects like transparency! Despite its name, iDesk is not affiliated with Apple or Mac. Installing iDesk is as simple as:.

Once installed, it will be necessary to configure iDesk so that it is able to display icons. This is a rather lengthy task, and can not be well covered in this article. The following resources might be useful in order to configure iDesk: It is important to note that Gentoo does not need a file manager.

It is perfectly possible, and indeed simpler in the author’s humble opinionto do file manipulation by tluxbox. However, not everyone agrees Fluxbox itself does not provide such a program, but, as always, one is simple to acquire. There are many choices, but this article will only present three:.

For those who are not sure what they like, it is also possible to install all three file managers in order to try each one. Gentoo is a minimalistic file manager which seeks to provide the benefits of a GUI interface without the bloat which is commonly associated. Rox behaves much like “traditional” file managers, so its interface should be intuitive. If not, documentatiin always are man pages for further information.


Documdntation is a lightweight, fast file manager that, like Rox, behaves much like “traditional” file managers. It includes icons and text, and it is easy to use. Though originally designed for Xfceit makes a nice complement to a Fluxbox-based system. Many WMs come with utilities to view pictures images in a directory.

These applications are small and lightweight, and do not allow for editing which is assumed to be done by tools such as gimp. This is necessary when using command line, gentooor rox as file managers. Ffluxbox thunar can display image thumbnails having a separate lightweight image viewer is still a good idea. Fluxbox has a number of themes that can be accessed via the right click menu.

These themes usually set their own background, which is either a single color or a gradient of some type. Most users prefer to set their own backgrounds, and to have those background persist no matter what theme has been chosen.

To do so, another one of Fluxbox’s configuration files must be modified, this one governs Fluxbox’s startup behavior.

Fluxbox – Gentoo Wiki

If this file was pre-existing then be sure to clear it. Add the following to the newly created file, uncommenting as needed, and filling in values for the CAPS:. Fluxbox is able to communicate with core system services over D-Bus to allow privileged operations, such as shutting down the system.

To handle the authorizations towards these operations, polkit documentatoin known as policykit can be used. In order to use polkit, an agent is required. There are several polkit agents available and if a desktop profile is used, one of them will already be installed.

Instead, an additional entry should be made to fluxbox’ startup file:. The author uses a text editor to create menus. If this sounds appealing, please skip this section and proceed to Editing Menus by Hand. Note when something is deleted documentatiln this menu, it does not delete the package from the system; only a link is documentarion from the individual user’s menu.

The program can still be run by command-line or alternate methods hotkeys, etc.