Basic Openbox X-Session
|Initial release||September 18, 2002|
|Stable release||3.5.2 / August 12, 2013|
Openbox is a free, stacking window manager for the X Window System, licensed under the GNU General Public License. Originally derived from Blackbox 0.65.0 (a C++ project), Openbox has now been totally rewritten in the C programming language and since version 3.0 is no longer based upon any code from Blackbox.
Openbox is designed to be small, fast, and fully compliant with the Inter-Client Communication Conventions Manual (ICCCM) and Extended Window Manager Hints (EWMH). It supports many features such as menus by which the user can control applications or which display various dynamic information. Openbox is the standard window manager in LXDE, and is used in Linux distributions such as CrunchBang Linux, Lubuntu, TinyMe and Trisquel Mini.
Openbox allows a right-click (or any other binding) "root menu" on the desktop, and allows users to configure the way windows are managed. When a window is minimized it becomes invisible. To bring windows up again most use Alt+Tab or the Desktop menu, accessible from the right-click (or, again, any other binding the user wants) menu. Extending Openbox with other small programs that add icons, taskbars, launchers, eyecandy and others is common.
There are only two configuration files, both located in ~/.config/openbox. They are named menu.xml and rc.xml. These can either be edited manually or with ObConf and obmenu, both graphical configuration tools.
All mouse and keyboard bindings can be configured. For example, a user can set a window to go to desktop 3 when the close button is clicked with the middle mouse button or when scrolling on an icon to move to the next/previous desktop and raise or not raise when clicking/moving a window, is also fully configurable.
Openbox's menu system has a method for using dynamic menus called "pipe menus". This is done by accepting the output of a script and using that output as the source for a menu. Each time the user points their mouse at the sub-menu, the script is re-run and the menu is regenerated. This capability allows users and software developers more flexibility than the static menus found in other window managers.
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