Topic: Openbox and Fluxbox

I remember someone, asem, I think, commented that they preferred openbox.  (Of course, I'm too lazy to STFF--the second F is for forum).

At any rate, I'm wondering what people find better about openbox. I'm playing with it (writing this from it as a matter of fact).   It doesn't seem lighter to me.  Actually, top showed it using more resources.

Also, I confess, I like a clock, so had to find a separate app.  I don't really need a toolbar, so that's not a big deal. 

Syntax wise, fluxbox is much easier for me.  For example, it's

Mod4 h  :MoveLeft 50
vs

<keybind key="W-h">
    <action name="MoveRelative">
<x>-50</x>
</action>
  </keybind>

So, I figure  I'm missing something.  What are the reasons that folks like Openbox better?  Is it something that (as happens too often) everyone knows but me?

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

I basically liked Openbox better because it looks nicer.

the config files are totally a pain because they're all XML or XHTML or something.

I also like the absence of a toolbar, but I think Fluxbox can do that somehow.

Openbox felt a bit more polished to me, in the sense that random stuff that I found weird about Fluxbox didn't happen, like being able to drag the root window contextual menu (is there any use for this?).

but yeah, basically it all boiled down to it looking nicer. and neat stuff like switching virtual desktops and shading windows with the mouse wheel (I bet Fluxbox can do this too, though.).

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

I also like the absence of a toolbar, but I think Fluxbox can do that somehow.

--disable-toolbar (FreeBSD port knob WITHOUT_TOOLBAR)
And you can also turn it off in the config file.
I never quite understood why fluxbox comes with a toolbar.

Openbox felt a bit more polished to me, in the sense that random stuff that I found weird about Fluxbox didn't happen, like being able to drag the root window contextual menu (is there any use for this?).

Yes, I used fluxbox for a few years but it seemed that the closer they got to 1.0 release the buggier the releases became, I had all sorts of weird and inconsistent behaviour.
I also had to patch fluxbox every time in order to use the Meta ("Windows") keys to drag windows (Instead of Alt), for some reason the fluxbox devs never implemented a proper config option for this.

the config files are totally a pain because they're all XML or XHTML or something.

Bah, this sort of misuse of XML should be punishable by law sad

Trust me, I know what I'm doing.

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

I use Openbox too. Basically it seems lighter and faster to me. And I agree that it looks better.

The only problem I have is I can't seem to get conky to run without taking over the root window and making the Openbox menu unusable from the left mouse button.

The only thing I like about the XML config files is that geany automatically closes the tag for you.  I kind understand why someone would want XML config files.....

"An educator never says what he himself thinks, but only that which he thinks it is good for those whom he is educating to hear."
-Nietzsche

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

Ah well we vi users get things like starting x, hitting a keyboard shortcut, seeing nothing happen, try to exit by bringing up the menu with mouse and still seeing nothing happen, use ctl+alt+backspace to see a message in console to the effect of, "You fat fingered boob--close your freaken' brackets."  (It doesn't actually say that of course.)

One can easily hide the toolbar or disable it in fluxbox.  I'm not sure if it's cleaner or if it's just that everyone's told me it's cleaner so I'm being brainwashed.

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

scottro wrote:

see a message in console to the effect of, "You fat fingered boob--close your freaken' brackets."  (It doesn't actually say that of course.)

It says, "YFFB" where the first F is still "fat"?

Last edited by drhowarddrfine (2008-04-02 04:50:39)

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

I also tried many WMs like fluxbox, openbox and pekwm, as most of you know I prefer fluxbox, not because it is superior to the others, I just got used to it and sticked to the one I know best, but I also tried openbox and pekwm and I will share my experiences with them as a fluxbox user.

Generally all three WMs have the same footprint in resources, but if you consider the fact that fluxbox also offers a panel, then fluxbox wins here.

Both fluxbox and pekwm are written in C++ but openbox is written in pure C, but I did not seen any difference in speed, nor in wm_torture test.

pekwm

Propably one of the most underrated WMs, if I would want to move from fluxbox, that would be the WM to go, it does not have panel same as openbox, but it offers more features then openbox:
- tabs same as in fluxbox (openbox does not have it)
- you can define (like ~/apps for fluxbox) where each app should be placed, which desktop and so
- corners actions (like in MacOSX) you can assign a script to any of the screen corners
- great documentation [ http://adresh.com/pekwm/docs.html ]
- better theming engine then fluxbox (left/right/bottom window border and buttons mostly)

About openbox, well it is also a good WM, but like I said pekwm offers more here.

Also if you do not ike openbox XML configs you may use obconf or other graphical tools to configure openbox.

"religions, worst damnation of mankind"
[color=Blue]Linux is not UNIX! Face it! It is not an insult. It is fact: GNU is a recursive acronym for

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

I never understand all these folks with their *box wm. I used once all of them (there are less active wms than active linux distros, I guess ...) and found them IMHO in simple words completely broken.

Fvwm offers much more than any of wm mentioned here.

So my wm is bigger, better, nicer, faster, stronger, need less resources (but not less resources like useless small stuff like: dwm, wmii, ..) and etc then yours.

I am really sorry if someone found my post rude, my apologies to all of them.

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

Why bother with window managers anyway? You can just launch applications with the -geometry argument. With some careful planning, that works well, and no valuable space is wasted on useless things like titlebars and window borders! All you *box users are just spoiled, you have no idea of what minimalism and efficiency is!

/me now retreats back into his kwin corner.

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

I think flux has just become so (deservedly) popular it's lost its coolness factor. Vermaden, thanks for your input by the way, I was wondering about pekwm. 
In the end I went back to fluxbox.  There were a few reasons.
The toolbar is handy to me, primarily because it puts a small clock in a convenient position--if with openbox, I use a dockapp clock I have to either cover it or have it block something. I couldn't find anything as small as the flux toolbar's clock either.

The most important thing to me is keybinding.  While I eventually got it working on openbox, it's a pain.  obconf doesn't have a keybinding thingie.  I see that pekwm's keybinding syntax is a bit more complex--not horrible, but it would just take effort.  (Again, thanks to Vermaden for his comment that the speed on all is about the same--had he said pekwm is much faster, I would have probably tried it.)

Speed wise, at least on my machines, open and flux seemed about the same. So, were I to go for a real minimalist one, I think I'd choose KP's evilwm or weewm.  Both enable me to open apps and move windows with keystrokes, which are my two most important things.  Still, I like the rounded corners of the flux them I use, the taskbar, and the ability to open an app in the same place each time.  Those are bonuses, but since they're there, I'll stop worrying about the coolness factor for the moment.

Thanks to all who've responded--you helped answer my questions.
Maxlor, flux and open enable you to toggle borders on and off--weewm and evil just have one pixel borders which is ok for me.  smile

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

not wishing to add fuel to any fires - I'm actually for people using whichever wm makes them most efficient - I was recently introduced to "awesome" wm and find it to be the best wm for me as it allows me to be most productive!

"UBER" means I don't drink the coffee... I chew the beans instead
             -- Copyright BSDnexus

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

That is self-evident WIntellect.
This is not a bitchfight over Linux distro's or whatever, we are just sharing experiences, which is something completely different...

The toolbar is handy to me, primarily because it puts a small clock in a convenient position

Yes, I kept using a toolbar for the same reason, until I discovered this setting in tcsh:

set rprompt = "%m:%T"

Which sets a prompt on the right side of the screen (hostname:time), which looks like:

[~]# ls                                              phong:1:03

Very useful IMO! And it makes a toolbar obsolete...

Last edited by Carpetsmoker (2008-04-03 00:08:44)

Trust me, I know what I'm doing.

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

Wow, I wonder how you do that in zsh--and, I regret say, in bash, as I use that at work. 
Although actually, it wouldn't be what I wanted, since most of the time, I'm actually in X as a good deal of my time is spent googling for things I don't know. 

To add to Carpetsmoker's comment, I think this is more of a discussion among friends.  You notice none of us are raving that our WM is best, we're simply stating why we like the one we like.  I'm thinking of putting up a little page on the equivalent keybindings in openbox, since I'll probably play with it again before I die, and don't want to have to research it again. 

Their docs are pretty good, but they actually make it more complex than it has to be.  For example, to move a window 50 pixels right, they include a <y>0</y> line which turn out to be superfluous.

Habit is a strong force too.  I think that OB's way of changing desktops, ctl+alt+right arrow (to go from 1 to 2) is probably easier on the fingers than alt F2.  However, I'm so used to alt F2, from both console and fluxbox that me, it seems more natural.  That's habit and age.

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

In zshyou can do something like this:

RPS1="[%*]"

Bash doesn't have a right hand side prompt as far as I know.

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

Hrm, that is kind of neat, but I think I like my fluxbox clock better.  (On the other hand, I'm leaving  that in my .zshrc--thanks Maxlor)

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

Also, for everyone who would like to start using pekwm or openbox, I advice these pages for start:
http://urukrama.wordpress.com/category/pekwm
http://urukrama.wordpress.com/openbox-guide
http://urukrama.wordpress.com

and as usually you will find a lot more links about WMs on my page, I do not want to paste all of them here.

@scottro

You can use some small panel like fbpanel for clock, or one of the others: pypanel, perlpanel, fspanel, ...

A cloch in terminal is also great but it does not update, well, ou need to hit ENTER to update it which may be misleading sometimes, I would admit using gnu/screen with clock, like that for example:

~/.screenrc

hardstatus alwayslastline '%{= M} %H%{= G} %l %= %{= w}%-w%{+b r}%n*%t%{-b r}%{w}%+w %= %{c}%d %D %{B}%c '

it looks like that:
http://toya.net.pl/~vermaden/gfx/vermad … .04.16.jpg

@richardpl

I genearally consider FVWM as a king of the WMs, you can do EVERYTHING with it and even create config that will behave identically to fluxbox or any other WM, but I am propably too lazy to learn its config, and also I am happy with fluxbox currently.

"religions, worst damnation of mankind"
[color=Blue]Linux is not UNIX! Face it! It is not an insult. It is fact: GNU is a recursive acronym for

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

@vermaden

no problem, I will no more poison this *box thread with my wm of choice smile

But I may share my fvwm minimalistic configuration if anybody is interested in separate thread. (Or on completely another forum)

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

richardpl wrote:

@vermaden

no problem, I will no more poison this *box thread with my wm of choice smile

Why? You should share your experiences about FVWM, where to start, where to get good guides or just goto man fvwm directly, I always like to hear about other sollutions then I use, propably others also may find it interesting.

richardpl wrote:

But I may share my fvwm minimalistic configuration if anybody is interested in separate thread. (Or on completely another forum)

I think that small two links (screenshot + config.tar.gz) will not poison this thread that much, we are already talking WMs here wink

"religions, worst damnation of mankind"
[color=Blue]Linux is not UNIX! Face it! It is not an insult. It is fact: GNU is a recursive acronym for

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

As the thread originator, I have no issue with people mentioning other window managers.  @vermaden, yes, I played with a few panels--they were all less minimalistic than fluxbox's, adding start icons and all that stuff. 
I guess openbox is more unixy--do one thing and do it well, sort of like mutt as a mail client. 

I haven't played with fvwm in a long time, maybe I'll play with it again.
Back to toolbars, it's funny how you do get used to something and begin to rely on it to a certain extant.  At work, I use it to see how many xterms I have open (as I usually have a browser open on top).

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

>I haven't played with fvwm in a long time, maybe I'll play with it again.

I have used it for almost one decade, now it's fluxbox since some years big_smile

F!XMBR

Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it. --Pericles

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

I was tinkering with dwm a bit.  It takes some getting used to.  It's probably better for larger/multiple monitors but, on a laptop, windows get too small to keep track of.  It is cool that it's standalone and compiles very quickly.  You have a config file but it must be compiled in but, like I said, that only takes a couple of seconds.

I tried wmii but couldn't even get a window on the screen but I only looked at it for a few minutes.

xmonad seems the same as dwm but needed a lot more dependant programs.

I tried fvwm2 and fluxbox some time ago.  I'm sure it was because I was new to FreeBSD and I just couldn't get used to them.  I'll give them a shot again soon.

Believe it or not, I've been using twm for a long time, but I just landed on 'englightenment' a couple of days ago.  It's probably similar to fvwm and fluxbox (don't know).  I tried the 'alt-arrow' keys and they work the same as above.  Pretty cool.

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

I think Enlightenment is one of those love or hate ones.  It's got all this eye candy, surprising in what is considered a lightweight manager.  Some folks love it, others say it gives them headaches. 

I do feel I'm getting old though--when I went back to fluxbox, I realized I'd also missed the rounded corners I get from one of the default system styles.   (I'm sure there's an openbox theme with them, but I didn't notice that I missed it till I went back to flux, so I didn't check.)

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

Well, I've been using openbox on and off now for a few days.  It's nice enough, but I haven't seen any real advantage (for me.)

I was surprised to realize how I use the toolbar not just for time but to have an idea of how many xterms I have open.  I found both pypanel and fbpanel.  I like pypanel better but apparently it's no longer maintained.  My only complaint is that the config file has a thing to specify the width and to specify where it starts.  So, if I want it to run about 66 percent and be centered, I have to play with this--not only on different machines, but on the same machine with different Linux distros.   A width of 750 and a starting point of 150 is around the way I like it but I have to play with that, say 155, 748, etc. 

Apparently OB had a toolbar but dropped it in version 3.   Unfortunately, the developer has stopped working on it, though he leaves a section for patches, or I'd make a feature request. 

I like fbpanel too, but I've been leaning towards pypanel, for no special reason--I just like it a bit better.

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

I have recently discoverey bmpanel:
http://nsf.110mb.com/bmpanel/

Seems pretty customizable as for a small panel.

Also it was developed from fspanel, so you will be safe on resources.

"religions, worst damnation of mankind"
[color=Blue]Linux is not UNIX! Face it! It is not an insult. It is fact: GNU is a recursive acronym for

Re: Openbox and Fluxbox

Yes, but it requires libev and isn't seeing FreeBSD's libev (or Fedora's, which is what I use at work.)

Also, right now it only does 100 percent width--judging from the thread on the ArchLinux forums, he's not changing that yet, though it's planned for future releases.  If it weren't for the compiling problems and the 100  percent width thing, it would have been my choice.  Since that's one of the things I don't like with a panel, I didn't take that much effort to get it working on FreeBSD, but just gave up when it first failed to find libev.

<@andre> i would be so much more efficient if i wasn't so stupid