Sunday, July 15, 2012

Arch Linux Openbox Installation & Configuration

Smaller the better , better things come in smaller packs but it takes lot of efforts to make smaller delicate items .
I am an Arch Linux user for many years now and the simplicity of Arch has always fascinated me .But this is simplicity needs basic core knowledge and unless you subject yourself to manual editing of important files and make yourself familiar with commands in terminal you will face lot more difficulties than you expect . Plainly speaking Arch Linux is not a point and click Linux , it demands you to know what you are doing and why .
Openbox obsessed me recently and I refused to install and use available forks of Arch Linux with preconfigured openbox since it goes against the will to submit yourself to Arch`s simplicity as I mentioned above . Yes, I did consult these Arch Linux + Openbox forks to see what is hidden underneath the beautifully crafted desktops on these distributions and I admit that I learned a lot.
Next place is #archlinux@freenode , lot of devoted people are always there to help and I gained more core knowledge about openbox on arch Linux . Worth mentioning here are Arch Wiki and forum , they are loaded with information.
So after almost 2 weeks struggle and efforts I managed to install and configure my openbox and I want to put all those steps here stepwise .
1 . You are expected to know how to install and configure Arch Linux core installation or else this post is useless for you .
2 . You can install openbox with a simple pacman command and for more help you can consult arch wiki .
3. I will just mention the main steps I used to configure my openbox , there are many options , you can choose whatever suits your liking and requirements.
a) Panel : I use lxpanel , I find it easy to configure . You can use tint2 , fbpanel and even xfce4-panel

b) Slim : It is simple and it solved my issue of mounting all the partitions on my system . You can simply use startx , lxdm , lightdm , gdm-old or any other DM you like .
c) .xinitrc file

It should have these contents
export BROWSER=firefox
export DE=openbox
exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch openbox-session
d) openbox autostart file
It should have these contents
(sleep 3 && /usr/bin/nm-applet --sm-disable) &
lxpanel &
conky -q &
volumeicon -b &
nitrogen --restore &
openbox-menu &
xcompmgr -CcfF &
e) openbox environment file
# Set system-wide environment variables here for Openbox
# User-specific variables should be placed in $HOME/.config/openbox/environment
# To set your language for displaying messages and time/date formats, use the following:
# To set your keyboard layout, you need to modify your X config:
f ) “ /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/55-myconf.pkla “ file
[Storage Permissions]
Once you have all these settings as mentioned above your Arch Linux openbox will work without any issues. The rest of tweaking of the system is mainly cosmetic and you can do it according to your taste and needs.
This post shows the core of everything that works for me, it is not a replacement for Arch Wiki or forum at all , but it works for me and I am sure it will work for everyone .
Best of luck and welcome to Arch Linux + Openbox !


Dr.Saleem Khan said...

This is a good reference tutorial for openbox

manmath sahu said...

very nice and useful tutorial. thx for posting.

Dr.Saleem Khan said...

dear manmath sahu,

thanks for liking it, though it is not perfect and there are many other options to try and there are some packages e.g slim that are not considered to be the best but this whole thing just works , and since it works i wanted to share it with others as well. my next target to get my hands on is fluxbox very soon .