[openbox] Openbox On A Mac

Paul openboxml023478 at rainslide.net
Thu Jul 7 10:06:18 EDT 2011

I got it working in Mac OS X:

Install Xcode (http://developer.apple.com/xcode/).
Xcode 4 is not free, but I hear Xcode 3 is.

Install Macports (http://www.macports.org/install.php).

Install Openbox (https://trac.macports.org/browser/trunk/dports/x11/openbox/Portfile) - "sudo port install openbox".
It will download and install a lot of dependencies.

Put "exec openbox-session" into ~/.xinitrc, chmod 700 it.

Run X11 (Go -> Applications -> Utilities -> X11).
That will start Openbox in an X11 session just as if it was another regular Mac program. Any X11 windows will be managed by Openbox, but any Mac OS X windows will be managed by the Quartz, the Mac OS X window manager. You can full screen Openbox by selecting it in the X11 preferences. That'll give you the Openbox background and you'll be able to left, right, and middle click to get the Openbox menus.

You can move and resize windows just like you can in Linux. The Option and Apple keys might even allow you more key combinations, but I wasn't able to try them, because I did all this in a Virtualbox VM, using a regular PC keyboard.

The only disadvantage I've found is that Mac OS X apps like Safari will be managed by Quartz, not Openbox, so when you run one when you're in Openbox, the X11 session will be minimised and you'll be taken back to Quartz.



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