Openbox on FreeBSD

So I was always a big fan of KDE till 3.5. When 4 was released I wasn’t pretty much pleased (though a lot of people like it). So I kept with 3.5 till I switched to Openbox.

Openbox is light-weight extensible window manager. It could be used in a desktop environment (GNOME and KDE) or as a standalone window manager without a desktop environment (The lightweight approach).

Openbox itself does not manage the desktop. That means installing Openbox won’t give you easy menu access to wallpaper options, a taskbar or system panel, or most of those other doo-dads. It does, however, give a framework to build incorporate other programs that do those things and usually with a greater degree of freedom over the style and interface.

So breaking what’s needed for a desktop…

  • A wallpaper, for fancying the background
  • A trayer, to keep track of system tray/notification area
  • A taskbar, to launch and monitor applications
  • Desktop Icons, for quick launching programs
  • Desktop Menu, provides a central launching point for application and tasks

Beautifying Openbox…

First thing I do upon configuring a new operating system, either Linux, FreeBSD or Windows, I set the wallpaper.

Install hsetroot for fancying the background
# pkg_add -r hsetroot
$ hsetroot -center /home/ahmed/.config/openbox/bg.jpg

Install trayer to keep track of system tray/notification area
# pkg_add -r trayer
$ trayer --edge bottom --align right --widthtype request --height 20 --SetDockType true --transparent true --alpha 255 --expand true

Install tint to launch and monitor applications
# pkg_add -r tint2
$ tint2 &

For the desktop icons, I use iDesk

The desktop menu is provided by right clicking anywhere on the desktop.