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Thread: HOWTO: get a Fluxbox menu (and customization)

  1. #1
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    HOWTO: get a Fluxbox menu (and customization)

    Contents

    General Information

    The Default Menu

    Tips for Creating a Custom Menu

    More Fluxbox Information and Links


    *****


    General Information

    Basic Requirements for the Fluxbox Menu

    The Fluxbox menu is created from a simple text file.

    The default menu configuration file is created automatically using the menu package.

    The menu package is a dependency for fluxbox. If you installed the fluxbox package from the Ubuntu repositories, the menu package was installed automatically when you installed fluxbox.



    Editing the Fluxbox configuration files

    The Fluxbox configuration files that you will be editing are located in the directory ~/.fluxbox.

    If you have another window manager or desktop environment installed on your system (Openbox, IceWM, GNOME, KDE, XFCE, etc.), you can edit all of your Fluxbox configuration files from there, if you prefer. The next time you run Fluxbox you will see the changes you made.

    If you are running Fluxbox and you edit the menu configuration file (~/.fluxbox/menu), you can see the changes you made by simply right-clicking on the desktop to bring up the menu; there is no need to restart Fluxbox to see the changes.


    Backups

    Before you edit a configuration file, it is a good idea to make a backup in case something goes wrong.

    Example:

    Code:
    cp ~/.fluxbox/menu ~/.fluxbox/menu.backup




    Fluxconf


    fluxconf has some nasty bugs, particularly in fluxkeys.

    My recommendation is to avoid the program altogether and learn to configure Fluxbox by editing the configuration files directly.



    Testing

    This tutorial has been tested on the following systems:


    • Fluxbox 1.0.0 on Ubuntu 8.04
    • Fluxbox 1.1.1 on Ubuntu 9.04
    • Fluxbox 1.1.1 on Ubuntu 9.10
    • Fluxbox 1.1.1 on Ubuntu 10.04





    *****



    The Default Menu

    In your ~/.fluxbox directory, you have a file named menu. It is a text file.

    The contents of the default menu file look like this:

    Code:
    [begin] (fluxbox)
    [include] (/etc/X11/fluxbox/fluxbox-menu)
    [end]
    As you can see, the default ~/.fluxbox/menu uses the contents of the file /etc/X11/fluxbox/fluxbox-menu as the menu.

    If for any reason you need to recreate a default fluxbox menu, simply create a text file with the above three lines and save it as ~/.fluxbox/menu.

    Steps:

    1. Open the menu file using a text editor:

    Code:
    nano -w ~/.fluxbox/menu
    2. Copy and paste the following three lines:

    Code:
    [begin] (fluxbox)
    [include] (/etc/X11/fluxbox/fluxbox-menu)
    [end]
    3. Save and Close the file.





    Tips for Creating a Custom Menu

    Read the section from the man page that deals with the menu syntax

    Run (in a terminal):
    Code:
    man fluxbox

    Look for the section entitled, "MENUS".

    Press "q" when you have finished reading the man page.



    Sample file

    The default menu is a good place to look for ideas. Make a copy of the default menu:

    Code:
    cp /etc/X11/fluxbox/fluxbox-menu ~/.fluxbox/fluxbox-menu_ideas


    Helpful Menu Sections


    Backgrounds Menu

    This will create a menu item that lists all of the backgrounds (wallpapers) in the directories you supply. Adjust the paths to suit wherever you store your wallpapers.

    Code:
    [submenu] (Backgrounds)
     [wallpapers] (/usr/share/backgrounds)
     [wallpapers] (~/.fluxbox/backgrounds)
     [wallpapers] (~/misc/wallpapers)
    [end]
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Debian Menu

    Most of the applications on your system can be found in this menu. When you install new programs, the menu is updated automatically to include them.

    Code:
    [submenu] (Debian Menu) </usr/share/pixmaps/debian-logo.png>
    [include] (/etc/X11/fluxbox/menudefs.hook)
    [end]
    The Debian menu contains the same entries as the default menu, but without the Fluxbox configuration entries. You can see this in the following screenshots:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Fluxbox Configuration Menu


    Here is an example:

    Code:
    [submenu] (Fluxbox Menu)
    
          [config] (Configure) 
    
          [submenu] (System Styles) {Choose a style...}
            [stylesdir] (/usr/share/fluxbox/styles) 
          [end]
    
          [submenu] (User Styles) {Choose a style...}
            [stylesdir] (~/.fluxbox/styles)  
          [end] 
    
          [workspaces] (Workspace List) 
          [reconfig] (Reload config) 
          [restart] (Restart) 
          [exit] (Exit) 
    
    [end]
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Icons

    Locations for icon files that you may wish to use in your menu can be found by looking in the sample menu file mentioned above. You can start by looking in the following directories:

    /usr/share/pixmaps
    /usr/share/icons

    A Fluxbox menu with icons:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Menu delay/click to open or close submenus

    (from the man page and the Fluxbox source code Changelog)

    Menu Behavior

    The behavior of the submenus in a menu can be configured in the init
    file, with the following entries (default for both is 0):

    session.screen0.menuDelay: <msec>
    session.screen0.menuDelayClose: <msec>

    The menuDelay is the delay to open an submenu.

    The menuDelayClose is so you don't need to aim that much when
    you're moving the cursor to the submenu, over the item below
    or above, so it stays visible.

    "menuMode: Click" => this means you need to click on the menu item to open it.

    session.screen0.menuMode: can be either Click or Delay (default: Delay)
    session.screen0.menuDelay: in msec (default: 0 )
    session.screen0.menuDelayClose: in msec (default: 0 )

    example:

    session.screen0.menuMode: Delay
    session.screen0.menuDelay: 400
    session.screen0.menuDelayClose: 300

    Notice how the menuDelay is a bit larger than menuCloseDelay.
    This is so the previous menu can close before you open the next.


    *****



    More Fluxbox Information and Links

    The man pages for fluxbox and fluxstyle are definitely worth reading.

    Code:
    man fluxbox
    Code:
    man fluxstyle
    Here are some links you might find helpful:

    Main Fluxbox site
    http://fluxbox.org

    Fluxbox wiki (This is an excellent reference.)
    http://fluxbox-wiki.org










    Credits

    1. Fluxbox wiki -- http://fluxbox-wiki.org

    2. posts on ubuntuforums.org (especially by yabbadabbadont and kerry_s)

    3. the man page for fluxbox

    4. the Changelog of the fluxbox source code
    Last edited by RedSquirrel; April 29th, 2010 at 05:34 PM. Reason: Updated for Ubuntu 10.04

  2. #2
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    Re: HOWTO: get a Fluxbox menu (and customization)

    Thankyou! You've helped a lot!

  3. #3
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    Re: HOWTO: get a Fluxbox menu (and customization)

    Glad I could help.

    Thank you for taking the time to say Thank you! I was having a pretty good day already and your post made it even better, Cheers!

  4. #4
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    Re: HOWTO: get a Fluxbox menu (and customization)

    Thanks for that info! I'm a long time fluxbox/blackbox user from other distros, and that automatic menu config was driving me nuts.

  5. #5
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    Re: HOWTO: get a Fluxbox menu (and customization)

    Glad you found it useful.

  6. #6
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    Thumbs down Re: HOWTO: get a Fluxbox menu (and customization)

    Great how-to RedSquirrel.

    This is a common question.

    You *might* want to mention fluxconf. It is in the ubuntu repository

    Screenshot

    Also, if anyone just wants to check out Fluxbox and what it can do, it is on the gparted cd, DSL, and wolvix. All 3 distro's have a polished, mauture Fluxbox interface.

    Fluxbuntu is based on Ubuntu and is due out in a few weeks.
    There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.
    --Prince Gautama Siddharta

    #ubuntuforums web interface

  7. #7
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    Re: HOWTO: get a Fluxbox menu (and customization)

    sweet tutorial dude.

  8. #8
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    Re: HOWTO: get a Fluxbox menu (and customization)

    Quote Originally Posted by bodhi.zazen View Post
    Great how-to RedSquirrel.

    This is a common question.
    Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by bodhi.zazen View Post
    You *might* want to mention fluxconf. It is in the ubuntu repository
    Done.


    Quote Originally Posted by foureight84 View Post
    sweet tutorial dude.
    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Re: HOWTO: get a Fluxbox menu (and customization)

    thnks a ton mate,ur how to really helped me a lot :cheers:

  10. #10
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    Re: HOWTO: get a Fluxbox menu (and customization)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thug14 View Post
    thnks a ton mate,ur how to really helped me a lot :cheers:
    Glad I could help. Enjoy your Fluxbox!

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