Fluxbox basic setup

Basic Fluxbox Setup

You may wish to read this even If you already have Fluxbox already installed.

If your looking for a good distro for your fluxbox installation, I would suggest sidux as my first choice.  Sidux comes with either KDE or XFCE, and both versions contain Fluxbox altready installed.

I personally use the XFCE version, but used to only use KDE and it works just fine. I like having one or the other for ‘just in case’ issues. When I first started using Fluxbox, It was nice to know I had a solid desktop environment for backup. It still is.

If you have KDE installed, and you would like to be able to use GTK themes for thunar, abiword, etc . . ., then you will need to download and install a couple of other items. These are explained in step 3. Read on.

Step 1.

apt-get update && apt-get install fluxbox

If you are using sidux, Fluxbox is already installed on your system.

You will find a hidden folder in your /home/username directory named .fluxbox. Make sure that .fluxbox exists. If not, just right click anywhere in your /home folder and make a new folder named .fluxbox . All of the Fluxbox configuration files are stored there.

My user name is sleek, but any info I post is username independant because I am using ~ in place of /home/sleek when I write paths to programs or files.

The term ‘~’ in this case, is an alias for ‘/home/username’. This allows the shortening of /home/sleek/.fluxbox, to just ~/.fluxbox. Pretty cool, yes? This can be used to shorten any path in your /home folder. Because of this, you should be able to copy and paste any file info that I share.

The folder: ~/.fluxbox is the central point for all configuration files for Fluxbox, and if set up correctly, can be placed on any machine to allow instant use of your own personal Fluxbox desktop, and be saved for future use as well.

I make a lot of changes to my system in my attempts to find new and better ways to utilize my computer. My last re-install, with all my programs and functions in place took less than 20 minutes. That is from the moment I put the sidux Live CD in the drive. While this can be done with other setups, fluxbox sure makes it easy.

2. Log out of KDE/XFCE, change the session to Fluxbox, and log in. You should now be in an instance of Fluxbox. As it is at this point, Fluxbox is fully usable. If you right-click anywhere on the desktop, you will see the ‘debian’ Fluxbox menu. This is an auto generated menu just like the KDE or XFCE menu, will have all of your applications.

3. To use GTK themes easily.
For KDE .
If you originally installed KDE, you may want to download a few programs in order to use the GTK style interface for some of your programs. This is especially useful for changing the themes and icons in GTK applications.

The easy way to do this is to

apt-get install xfce4-mcs-manager xfce4-mcs-plugins xfce4-icon-theme gtk2-engines-xfce

This will allow you to use the light weight ‘xfce settings manager’ gui, for your GTK theme and icon changes.

Step 4 BOTH KDE and XFCE

In order to use the xfce-settings manager in Fluxbox, you will need to add an entry to your ~./fluxbox/startup file. Even if XFCE is your base, you will still want to do this in order to have your theme in fluxbox different than in XFCE.

~/.fluxbox/startup, is where you can add and remove programs to start when fluxbox starts. ‘xfsettingsd &’ must be listed here in order to have the XFCE desktop settings interface valuesupon Fluxbox startup. Simply place the line:

xfce-mcs-manager &

below these entries:

# unclutter -idle 2 &
# wmnd &
# wmsmixer -w &
# idesk &

This section of your startup file should now read:

# unclutter -idle 2 &
# wmnd &
# wmsmixer -w &
# idesk &
xfsettingsd &

Save your file and exit. The # symbol keeps the other items from starting up, which is good unless you have them installed and wish to use them from the git-go.

4.Log out of Fluxbox and back in. You should now be able to change your GTK themes and icons with ease.

The entry for XFCE-settings-show, should be found in the Fluxbox menu. go-to: menu> applications> system> administration> xfce-settings-show> user interface, in order to make changes to themes and icons. Enjoy fluxbox!


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