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Frequently Asked Questions for Openbox:

Q1 When I run bbkeys, bbdate, or some other bb tool, it doesn't use my Openbox theme. How can I make them look like Openbox?
A1 Since these are bb tools, they have been built to work with Blackbox. Not to fear however, it is easy to make them work with openbox right now too. These bbtools are looking for your ~/.blackboxrc file from which to get the current style, and then they use this style to decorate themselves. So, to make them look like Openbox, you need to have the bb tools read your ~/.openbox/rc instead. This can be done with a simple symlink, by using a command such as this:

ln -s ~/.openbox/rc ~/.blackboxrc

*Warning* If you use this, and then run blackbox, it will overwrite your Openbox configuration with its own. So be aware.

Q2 When I set a background and then restart, my background is overridden by the style's background. How can I set an image that overrides my styles?
A2 To override the background in the style files with your own, you need to add a setting to your openbox rc file. Any option found in styles can be put in your rc file, and it will then override any styles with that setting. So, to override the rootCommand in the styles, you would place something like this in your ~/.openbox/rc file:

rootCommand: bsetroot -solid black


rootCommand: bsetbg ~/pix/mywallpaper.png

Q3 How do I make some programs run when I start Openbox?
A3 To run programs on startup, you simply need to add the programs to your .xinitrc/.xsession file. Edit your ~/.xinitrc file if you use "startx" to start your X session. Edit your ~/.xsession if you use something like Xdm/Gdb/Kdm (you dont run "startx" from a prompt) to start your X session. Here's a quick example of a .xinitrc/.xsession:


# The following X clients are started up
# as part of the initial window system
# environment. Users can change or add
# to these default clients in order to
# set up a custom environment. All
# clients started up in this script
# should be run in the background,
# except for the window manager, which
# should be last.

# epist is the recommended way to bind keys
# to actions in Openbox.
epist &

# gkrellm is a system monitoring tool.
# -w puts it in the "Slit".
gkrellm -w &

# bbpager is a pager which uses blackbox
# themes to decorate itself.
# -w puts it in the "Slit".
bbpager -w &

# kicker is the panel for KDE (the K Desktop
# Environment). It is a member of the kdebase
# package.
kicker &

# run the window manager
exec openbox
Q4 I can't build Openbox, the configure script fails. What do I need to build it?
A4 To build the Openbox source code, you will need the X development package (for example, "xlibs-dev" on debian).
You will also need a C++ compiler such as g++ and its C++ standard library development package (for example, "libstdc++5-dev" on debian).
Q5 How can I get an icons on my desktop?
A5 There are several options for having icons on your desktop. In no particular order: