Quest for Window Manager: Fluxbox
I am sure much has been written about different window managers under GNU/Linux operating system. Here I present my journey and experience with them. This is how it started.
I was a Windows user. I started to hear about Linux and got inspired to try knoppix live cd. It was really a nice experience and I started admiring how Linux stays out of your way when you want to work with your system. Then I decided to install a suitable distribution on my hard disk, but the problem was that I had only 4.5 GB hard disk at that time, so I started searching for a light distribution which could fit. The choice then fell on feather linux. It is really a very light (under 128mb) but nice knoppix based distribution, so after installation it is essentially debian with some knoppix quirks. The only problem I faced with feather linux at that time was that it came with fluxbox as the default window manager.
To be honest, at first, fluxbox looked frightening due to my KDE background, no launch button, only right-click menu and even for a simple task like getting the same wallpaper every time you boot, you have to edit a configuration file. But after leaning to work with it, I started admiring fluxbox. I also found it easy to configure by editing simple text based config files. With time, I got so fond of fluxbox that even when I had ample disk space to install KDE, I opted for fluxbox when I installed my first real debian based (as feather linux was based on knoppix) distribution, sidux. As the name suggests sidux is based on debian sid and one of the most cutting edge and fastest distros, more on sidux some other time. Here is how my desktop looks running sidux and fluxbox tweaked to my taste and with some other gadgets I like.
Fluxbox is highly configurable and very well documented. The wiki here a good place to start to learn how to configure fluxbox.
My fluxbox configuration files can be found here:
I can also provide the supporting scripts which I have written and may be referenced by the above files.
Now, the only short coming of fluxbox in my opinion is that there is a limit how much you can configure it. After some time I had a feeling that my desktop was becoming monotonous. Also considering the resource consumption, fluxbox is not the slimmest among the light window managers.
Moreover, I had started following the monthly screenshot threads on the highly geeky archlinux and ubuntu forums. There the posts are like “pimp my desktop” shows, the screenshots are so tempting that you are compelled to ask them how they achieved that look or what program was that little clock in the corner. So, I also had a wish to “pimp my desktop” and try something new.