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Openbox Configuration

My current linux desktop configuration is in Openbox and looks like this (click on image for larger view.)
you can also see the bottom bar, and the embeded terminal in the next image.
This desktop is built on top of openbox with fbpanel, conky, sakura, mpd, feh, gmrun, and nautilus. 


Fbpanel is the program that runs the top and bottom panels. Here is my configuration for the Top and for the bottom. These should be saved to the folder /home/(your username)/.config/fbpanel/top and  /home/(your username)/.config/fbpanel/bottom. I will tell you what to do to make them actually appear later. the meus that appear as Menu and Paul Martin are actually based off of pictures that I made in gimp. I stored them in /home/(your username)/.config/icons/ directory. you may need to edit the fbpanel top configuration file accordingly. You will need to edit the top configurationfile regardless as it has $HOME for your home directory which you should substitute for /home/(your username)


Conky is the system information application you see at the right hand side of the screen in the background. It is highly configurable, and I would advise that you look it up, but my configuration(which is a simple modification of the one found here) can be found here. It should be saved as /home/(your username)/.conkyrc notice the . before the name conkyrc it is important. files with dots in front of them are hidden files. you can find them in the terminal using the command ls -a.


Sakura is the terminal that is running in the background just on top of the wallpaper. Most of the actual manipulation of sakura goes on in the configuration of openbox, but the sakura configuration file that I use can be found here, and should be saved to /home/(your username)/.config/sakura/sakura.conf.


MPD(Music Player Daemon) is a wonderful music player that works by having the daemon(program that runs in the background) that actually plays the songs, separate from the user interface. Because of this, there are multiple user interfaces that you can use to connect to MPD (possibly at the same time.) Conky is displaying the song I am playing(which you can see was paused when I took the screenshot), as well as the progress. It does not however, (at least as I have configured it) allow any controll over what music plays. One of my favorite user interfaces for mpd is ncmpc(NCurses Music Player daemon Client). This is a terminal application, but allows for a very nice user experience. another extremely useful mpd client is mpc which stands for MPD Client. It doesn't have an NCurses based fullscreen user interface, but instead allows you to pass commands to mpd such as next or pause example:

$mpc next    

$mpc back        # skip forward, backword

$mpc toggle        # toggles pause

$mpc play

$mpc stop

even $mpc add (the name of a file or folder in your music directory)

there are many more uses for mpc, these will just come up later. 

Another great user interface for MPD is Sonata. Sonata is graphical and can stay in a system tray.  It has a polished gtk look as well. Another similar possibility is Gimmix. 


I am using Nautilus as a file manager, but there are other options, of course. One great one is Thunar. 

And Finally, OpenBox

Openbox is the window manager that glues all these parts together into a single whole. Openbox has very little built in to it, but it is highly configurable. It allows for almost any keybinding to do almost any action. It also allows you to configure how certain programs appear, and things like that. The configuration file for Openbox is in /home/(your username)/.config/openbox/ and is called rc.xml you can find mine here. As with the earlier fbpanel configuration, $HOME should be replaced with /home/(your username). I have many keybindings defined in there that may or may not fit your needs. One that is not likely to be something you will need is Alt-c, which opens the grpn Reverse Polish Notation calculator in a mode that is always above other windows. It also points to a lot of scripts that were installed in a bin/ folder in my home directory. They are attatched here as a gziped tar archive. it should be extracted with the command "tar -zxf bin.tar.gz" from the home directory(/home/(your username)/) followed by the command sudo chown -R (your username) bin. Finally the autostart file, which you should edit to suit your own needs, starts everything you want to run at startup. the file can be found here and should be stored next to the rc.xml file in the /home/(your username)/.config/openbox/ directory.  

I am using the IndustrialWhiteBlack theme which can be found here, or an archive of it when I downloaded it can be found here. I used the gtk-theme-switch2 program.


I am not going to share my wallpaper as it it is a photograph I took myself, and have sold before.  However if you simply invoke the command feh --bg-scale (your wallpaper picture name) it will set your background and will reload each time.

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