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I am using Debian Squeeze and I have installed Openbox, obconf and obmenu. I would like some help in setting this up. Would like suggestions and help in doing this. I've read a bit, but not finding anything with practical steps. Not sure what all I need at this point, but would like help in figuring out how to configure Openbox and the menu. I also installed fbpanel, but don't know how to configure this and get it installed in Openbox. open to other programs that are easy to set up.
CrunchBang is a distribution based on Openbox. A great way to learn more about Openbox is to test-drive a Live DVD or USB of CrunchBang. You can get some nice inspiration what is possible by surfing the Screenshot threads on CrunchBang forums. People there are usually willing to help you if you're wondering "how did they do that?" Here is this month's Screenshot thread:
A word of warning: Openbox is popular with people who like to learn and tinker with the config files. If you do not have a "DIY" personality (nothing wrong with that) then I recommend Gnome/KDE/Xfce/LXDE/etc. for ease of configuration. I personally prefer a pre-configured, full-featured Desktop Environment (not Openbox) so I can more easily and quickly do the work/play that matters to me, instead of messing with config files.
With a simple window manager, it's easiest to get something that's actually ready to run and then start configuring/tinkering. The best Debian derivatives for Openbox are SalentOS and Semplice: see my reviews on this site. For help, have you visited http://openbox.org/
Thanks for the advice. I was looking at Openbox, because I wanted a lightweight desktop. I am also getting a laptop, so was thinking of installing Crunchbang for a distro that was easy on resources. I like the idea of Openbox (a menu and taskbar, maybe a couple more things), but I don't really have the time to do a lot of configuring. I will look at the alternatives.
Does Debian use low resources with a window manager like LXDE? or using SalentOS and Semplice? Are these stable distros?
What are your hardware specs? It is useless to discuss performance without talking about hardware. Certainly a laptop you purchase new in 2013 should be able to run any distro with any desktop environment no problem. I would be stunned if you could perceive a significant performance difference between, say, Debian + Openbox (ie CrunchBang) vs. Debian + LXDE vs. Debian + Xfce on modern hardware.
I used CrunchBang for a couple of years myself, it is certainly worth a test drive. If you are looking for a low-fuss distro, then I find that Mint is ready to go out-of-the-box for most hardware. It is available with either LXDE or Xfce, both of which would be considered "lightweight."
This computer has 1GB of RAM and a 32-bit AMD processor. It doesn't need a lightweight distro, although it's a bit sluggish loading KDE. My 10-year old laptop has a Pentium M, and that does need one. Anything you buy new doesn't need a lightweight distro.
If you compare LXDE and Xfce, there's a difference. LXDE is light by design: that's what the "L" stands for. In consequence, it has fewer features. Xfce is lighter than Gnome or KDE by accident, as it were. It doesn't have fewer features; it just has a policy of not adding eye-candy.
That being said, the default #!Crunchbang key bindings are usable for most people, and, IIRC, when you boot into X, they're right there in a display (That is, the keybindings are listed on your screen.)