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Old 12-10-2008, 02:20 PM   #1
Chriswaterguy
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Registered: Apr 2007
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Accessing the menu in OpenBox & other lightweight WMs


I'm finding Openbox on Mandriva to work well, but I couldn't recommend it to relative newbies, as:
  • it can be hard to access the menu (I use shift+alt to move to a different desktop where I can actually see the desktop, and then hit right mouse button)
  • the menu doesn't list all my programs, so I have to launch from CLI
  • when I select the "Openbox configuration manager" or "Reconfigure openbox", via the system menu, nothing happens.
Also, is it possible to easily map the Windows key to the Openbox menu? Edit: Or is there a keyboard shortcut for the menu available by default? I found Help:Menus but nothing on shortcuts.

A few comments on window managers:

I've just discovered that it's possible to run with a window manager and no desktop environment, and that sometimes this avoids desktop specific problems such as wifi not working. (Wifi has stopped working on my Mandriva-Gnome install when it runs LXDE - tho I otherwise still love LXDE).

As I'm very interested in ICT4D, I'd like to see a really stable, newbie friendly lightweight window manager - and I think that about 60% of being newbie friendly is having good documentation, and having intuitive access to the menu would help too.

I tried IceWM but as with LXDE, wifi didn't work automatically on my machine. Haven't tried JWM or Fluxbox yet.

Thanks!

Last edited by Chriswaterguy; 12-10-2008 at 03:10 PM. Reason: Or - is there a keyboard shortcut by default
 
Old 12-11-2008, 10:50 PM   #2
gilead
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I use fluxbox when I need a gui here. The ~/.fluxbox/menu and ~/.fluxbox/keys are where you can customise the menu and shortcut keys respectively. The layout is simple to understand as long as you don't mind editing text files. I'm told there are guis for customising the menu but I haven't tried them.

As an example, to start aterm I use the Windows key and the letter 'a' with this entry:
Code:
Mod4 a :ExecCommand aterm
 
Old 12-12-2008, 09:54 AM   #3
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriswaterguy View Post
[LIST][*]it can be hard to access the menu (I use shift+alt to move to a different desktop where I can actually see the desktop, and then hit right mouse button)
No idea about this one. It's been long since I tried openbox the last time.

Quote:
[*]the menu doesn't list all my programs, so I have to launch from CLI
I don't think openbox does autofill your menu (I could be wrong). If I am right, you need to configure the menu yourself. There are probably apps to do this graphically. And there might be as well apps/scripts to autogenerate a menu config file automatically by looking on several standard places for applications.

In the openbox site you can see to the left links to docs, faq, getting started and such things. That's where you should start. All the basic config stuff including menus should be described there.

I am not an openbox user, but seeing how you didn't get so much feedback after more than one day, I thought that maybe I could put you in the right track even if I can't give more concrete info.

Quote:
[*]when I select the "Openbox configuration manager" or "Reconfigure openbox", via the system menu, nothing happens.
Maybe you need to install the application linked into that menu separately, obconf rings a bell, try to install obconf. If that is not it, then you will have to look the name of the tool that it tries to invoke by editing your menu and looking into that part.

Quote:
Also, is it possible to easily map the Windows key to the Openbox menu?
It should be possible to bing the menu to any key combo. That should be also described in the basic configuration doscs on their web site.


I hope your new experience with standalone wm's is developing well. Good luck in your new quest
 
  


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