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Thread: Oubuntu! (Clean Install Ubuntu With Openbox!)

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Note: I am not sure if this method of install would work with Fluxbox... This is my first HOW-TO.
    Introduction: After using linux for about three months now I have learned a great deal in thanks to the patient people in the ubuntu and ubuntuforums chatroom (and the ubuntu forum itself). While Gnome is fine and dandy, and KDE is more than useful, both still use a fair amount resources. Xfce seems like a logical choice with it's KDE chic and its lightweight but it still doesn't feel fast enough. If you feel this way why not use a WM? My WM of choice, of course, is Openbox. Most people suggest to install Gnome/KDE first, then sudo apt-get install openbox obconf, and finally exit into the GDM and select openbox. This is a good method however the only problem is you still have the bulk of Gnome or KDE on your HD. So then why not just delete Gnome/KDE? The answer to this my friends is that many of the apps you already (might) have depends on Gnome/KDE libraries. Therefore, the best solution is to clean/server/base install and apt-get openbox! So with no further a due the HOW-TO.
    Step 1: The easy part.
    a.)I will assume you have backed up all your data and no longer (or never had) a fear of command line. Ok... Now pop that beautiful ubuntu/kubuntu cd into your cdrom drive. When you are prompted on what kind of install you want to do type "server" and then press enter.
    b.)Proceed with the installation (I.E. Set up the language, hostname, username, etc.)
    c.)Log into CLI.
    Step 2: The other easy part with a pinch of difficult.
    a.)Before we go messing with the sources.list lets take precaution by backing it up shall we? Type sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list_backup.
    b.)Now we mess with the sources.list. Using your favorite CLI text editor (nano seems to be a popular choice i prefer VI) sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list
    c.)Uncomment: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu breezy universe
    deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu breezy universe
    in order to activate repos.
    d.)Type sudo apt-get update
    e.)Type sudo apt-get upgrade
    f.)Type sudo apt-get install irssi-text (you can use this to get help!)
    g.)Type sudo apt-get install elinks (a very helpful text browser) (this is optional you can use w3m if you wish).
    Step 3: The hard part.
    a.)sudo apt-get install x-window-system-core
    b.)sudo apt-get install xbase-clients
    c.)sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg
    d.)sudo apt-get install openbox obconf
    e.)You can make a choice here. If you want you may choose any of the various terminals supplied to you. Therefore, you can have gnome-terminal, kterminal, xfce4-terminal, or xterm. I chose xfce4-terminal because its easier to read, customizable, and lighter than gnome-terminal and kterminal. So sudo apt-get install (one of the above terminals)
    f.)You may get any web browser you so choose. If you want to sudo apt-get install mozilla you may. However, If you want to have the newest version of Firefox (which is the great part of a clean install) with this fresh install you can simply get it from the Firefox website using w3m or elinks! If you choose to do this make sure you decompress and untar Firefox before proceeding to the next step.
    g.)Now run updatedb
    h.)Type Locate menu.xml and cd to the location.
    i.)Using your favorite editor open menu.xml (sudo vi/nano menu.xml)
    j.)Now for where it says:
    <item label="Terminal">
    <action name="Execute"><execute>x-terminal-emulator</execute></action>
    </item>
    replace x-terminal-emulator with the emulator you apt-get installed in step 3 part e. For example, since i chose xfce4-terminal this is how my xml coding looks like
    <item label="Terminal">
    <action name="Execute"><execute>xfce4-terminal</execute></action>
    </item>
    k.)To set up the browser button find where it says
    <item label="Web browser">
    <action name="Execute"><execute>x-webrowser</execute></action>
    </item>
    and where it says x-webrowser type the browser you chose in step 3 part f. If you got the newest version of firefox it is pertinent you put the whole string, meaning the directory and such. For example,
    <item label="Web browser">
    <action name="Execute"><execute>/home/n0dl/firefox/firefox/./firefox</execute></action>
    </item>
    Step 4: Moment of truth!
    a.) Type startx
    God speed!
    If you have problems you should check your .xsession-error. Its a log that tells you what went wrong. To access it type sudo vi (or nano) /home/username/.xsession-errors and scroll down... The newest problem is at the very bottom... Most likely you edited your xml script wrong
    Well the background is an unfriendly shade of gray and the cursors are a tad different. But I will leave the cutomization to you. Here are some links to help you out to customizing your new openbox!
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Openbox (official wiki)
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=75471 (fun with alt-tab!)
    http://www.boxwhore.org/modules/news/ (disregard the name... Its a themes site)
    Here are some screenshots of my openbox! (I am using the bluish theme)
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    Last edited by ecto; December 18th, 2005 at 10:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Cologne
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    15
    Distro
    Ubuntu Breezy 5.10

    Re: Oubuntu! (Clean Install Ubuntu With Openbox!)

    Hi,
    nice HowTo
    Myself I am also using OpenBox and I love it. It's fast, it's highly configurable *well ok a bit behind fluxbox but ....* and it's lightweighted.


    For your HowTo, why not using the firefox packages available?
    As for to further speed up your system:
    1) An alternative to thunderbird *nice* is sylpheed. It has an gtk1/2 frontend , is easy to configure and very, very fast.
    2) rxvt-unicode is a nice and very good terminal or xterm
    3) A nice run-dialog like we have it in Gnome: gmrun
    - Use a keybinding like A-F2 to execute gmrun
    4) For your background image use something like feh
    5) To have some EyeCandy you can use adesklet *personally I like the gdesklets more, though there are some Gnome dependencies on them* So it's possibly to have some icons on your "desktop" and a starter bar etc.
    6) A nice tool to show yout system status: conky
    7) Don't forget to grab your xscreensaver

    Here my Openbox starter:

    Code:
    #!/bin/sh
    # Openbox startet mit einigen kleinen Anwendungen. F&#252;r alle Benutzer startbar
    # /usr/bin/myopenbox
    ##
    # Daemon fuer Terminal
    exec urxvtd &
    # ein buntes Bild
    exec feh --bg-scale /home/i0109/.config/openbox/backgrounds/sleeper_1280x1024.jp
    g &
    #Bildschirmschoner
    exec xscreensaver -no-splash &
    # Conky
    exec conky &
    # gDesklets
    exec gdesklets &
    # und hier unser Fenstermanager
    exec /usr/bin/openbox
    iced-tux
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by iced-tux; December 29th, 2005 at 10:19 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Oubuntu! (Clean Install Ubuntu With Openbox!)

    How do you make a openbox starter? I was reading the openbox wiki before i made this How-to but could never find the "xsession." thingie which shows the sartup processes of xserver/xorg.? Is there a way to make a startup script that starts apps up on different desktops I.E. Web browser opens at start up on desktop 1, 4 terminals start up on Desktop 2, etc?
    Last edited by ecto; December 17th, 2005 at 07:09 AM.

  4. #4
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    Xubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Oubuntu! (Clean Install Ubuntu With Openbox!)

    Good howto indeed and Openbox seems very beatiful. But still, I prefer PekWM more .

  5. #5
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    Re: Oubuntu! (Clean Install Ubuntu With Openbox!)

    Quote Originally Posted by ecto
    How do you make a openbox starter? I was reading the openbox wiki before i made this How-to but could never find the "xsession." thingie which shows the sartup processes of xserver/xorg.? Is there a way to make a startup script that starts apps up on different desktops I.E. Web browser opens at start up on desktop 1, 4 terminals start up on Desktop 2, etc?
    its really easy.

    Code:
    $ nano ~/.xinitrc
    and add these lines

    Code:
    openbox &
    **optional**
    replace **optional** with the programs you like. important is the "&" at the end, so if you want to use a taskbar you may apt-get fbpanel and if you want to set a wallpaper you can use feh for example.

    so in the end your config file maybe looks like this

    Code:
    openbox &
    fbpanel &
    feh --bg-scale ~/images/wallpapers/mywallpaper.png &
    firefox
    good luck
    free speech and free beer

    When you create a new thread
    - post _all_ necessary logfiles

    - a good structure is essential

    - highlight important stuff

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Oubuntu! (Clean Install Ubuntu With Openbox!)

    Quote Originally Posted by daschl
    its really easy.

    Code:
    $ nano ~/.xinitrc
    and add these lines

    Code:
    openbox &
    **optional**
    replace **optional** with the programs you like. important is the "&" at the end, so if you want to use a taskbar you may apt-get fbpanel and if you want to set a wallpaper you can use feh for example.

    so in the end your config file maybe looks like this

    Code:
    openbox &
    fbpanel &
    feh --bg-scale ~/images/wallpapers/mywallpaper.png &
    firefox
    good luck

    Hmm? I've always thought that first the apps you want to start and then the WM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Xubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Oubuntu! (Clean Install Ubuntu With Openbox!)

    http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t...t-xinitrc.html

    "As far as I know, it doesn't matter what order your ~/.xinitrc things are in, as long as the WM/DE script is the last thing on the list."
    Like that.

    But
    "I load the wm first otherwise fbpanel gets confused"

    and
    "I don't believe it does, because the amperstands at the end of each line background those process instantly... "

    So, I really don't know. Maybe it doesn't matter then .
    Last edited by Juippisi; December 20th, 2005 at 11:58 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Oubuntu! (Clean Install Ubuntu With Openbox!)

    I tried the to sudo vi ~/.xinitrc and make a new xinitrc script but x kept on crashing on me. I tried to locate to see if there are any other "xinitrc" scripts around and i found one besides the one I newly created
    n0dl@ubuntu:~$ locate xinitrc
    /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc
    I peeked into this file with vi and i found this:
    #!/bin/sh
    # $Xorg: xinitrc.cpp,v 1.3 2000/08/17 19:54:30 cpqbld Exp $

    # /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc
    #
    # global xinitrc file, used by all X sessions started by xinit (startx)

    # invoke global X session script
    . /etc/X11/Xsession
    So what do i do? Do i simply edit this initrc file? Or do i some how make it execute my script?
    Also btw. For some reason my keybinds dont work. I used to be able to switch desktops by simply using ALT-1 or ALT-2. I edited my rc.xml script but it still doesnt work. Thanks your help is much appreciated.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Re: Oubuntu! (Clean Install Ubuntu With Openbox!)

    Well i figured what happened with my xinitrc file
    apperently you dont simply state
    openbox &
    actually its
    exec openbox
    at the end of the file.
    That and i needed to add #!/usr/bin/env/bash
    to the beginning.
    but still my keybinds dont work... still need help with that
    thanx
    Last edited by ecto; December 21st, 2005 at 01:38 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Re: Oubuntu! (Clean Install Ubuntu With Openbox!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Juippisi
    http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t...t-xinitrc.html

    "As far as I know, it doesn't matter what order your ~/.xinitrc things are in, as long as the WM/DE script is the last thing on the list."
    Like that.

    But
    "I load the wm first otherwise fbpanel gets confused"

    and
    "I don't believe it does, because the amperstands at the end of each line background those process instantly... "

    So, I really don't know. Maybe it doesn't matter then .
    well i dont think that its really a problem

    just try, but "my" method works fine for me (openbox was the first windowmanager i used with slackware, so i read a tutorial about it a year ago and the author did it "my" way)

    Quote Originally Posted by ecto
    Well i figured what happened with my xinitrc file
    apperently you dont simply state

    actually its

    at the end of the file.
    That and i needed to add #!/usr/bin/env/bash
    to the beginning.
    but still my keybinds dont work... still need help with that
    thanx
    can you post your .xinitrc here?

    for your info: the xinitrc in the X11 directory is for global settings which affect all users. as the majority of the config files the dotfile in your homedirectory overwrites the settings which were set in the global file. so it doesnt matter what variables are set in the global config file, as long you override them in your personal dotfile.
    Last edited by daschl; December 21st, 2005 at 10:58 AM.
    free speech and free beer

    When you create a new thread
    - post _all_ necessary logfiles

    - a good structure is essential

    - highlight important stuff

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