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Openbox Window Manager
2010-04-24-133031 1280x800 scrot.png
Basic Openbox X-Session
Developer(s) Dana Jansens[1][2]
Initial release 18 September 2002; 12 years ago (2002-09-18)
Stable release 3.5.2 / 12 August 2013; 19 months ago (2013-08-12)
Written in C
Operating system Unix-like
Type Window manager
License GPLv2+[3]
A highly customized Openbox desktop based on the Elementary theme.

Openbox is a free, stacking window manager for the X Window System, licensed under the GNU General Public License.[3] Originally derived from Blackbox[3] 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.[4]

Openbox is designed to be small, fast, and fully compliant with the Inter-Client Communication Conventions Manual (ICCCM) and Extended Window Manager Hints (EWMH).[5] It supports many features such as menus by which the user can control applications or which display various dynamic information.[3] Openbox is the standard window manager in LXDE,[6] and is used in Linux distributions such as CrunchBang Linux,[7] ArchBang (similar to CrunchBang, but based on rolling-upgradeable[8] Arch Linux instead of Debian), Lubuntu,[9] TinyMe[10] and Trisquel Mini.[11]

The primary author of Openbox is Dana Jansens of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.[1]

Using Openbox[edit]

Openbox allows a right-click (or any other binding) "root menu" on the desktop,[3] 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,[3] launchers, eyecandy and others is common.


ObConf, a GUI configuration editor for Openbox.

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.[3][12][13]

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.

Pipe menus[edit]

Openbox's menu system has a method for using dynamic menus called "pipe menus".[3][14] 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jansens, Dana (November 2007). "User:DanaJansens". Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Jansens, Dana. "Openbox Developer Dana Jansens". Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h * Saunders, Mike (March 2008). "Lightweight window managers". Linux Format (UK: Future Publishing) (103). * Сондерс, Майк (March 2008). Легковесные ОМ. Linux Format (in Russian) (Russia: (103): 21. 
  4. ^ GentooWiki (March 2008). "HOWTO Openbox". Archived from the original on 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  5. ^ "EWMH Compliance Document". Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  6. ^ LXDEWiki (September 2008). "LXDE Wiki". Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  7. ^ CrunchBang Linux (December 2008). "CrunchBang Linux". Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  8. ^ "Rolling-release (Linux Wiki)". Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  9. ^ Lavergne, Julian (October 2010). "Lubuntu Applications". Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  10. ^ DistroWatch (August 2010). "Tiny Me". Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Trisquel Mini GNU/Linux". The Trisquel Project. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Openbox project (June 2007). "ObConf:About". Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  13. ^ obmenu:Index, retrieved 2012-03-28 
  14. ^ "Openbox Wiki:Pipe menus". 

External links[edit]