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New To Fluxbox...

Postby Gunmetal_Ghoul on Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:23 pm

I decided to try out the Fluxbox Edition this week. I'm a little bit confused since I'm pretty used to the GNOME desktop. Is there a tutorial, blog, PDF, or anything for that matter to get me started and hit the ground running with Fluxbox?
Life's too short to keep things in their "out-of-the-box" condition....
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby grimdestripador on Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:55 pm

not too many configuration option hidden from view. often you just download the gnome config utility, or edit the text files yourself.
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby Gunmetal_Ghoul on Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:55 pm

I made an outline (yeah, it's b/c I write a lot) of my problems/concerns w/ Fluxbox:

I. Hardware
A. Function keys don't respond @ all
B. Volume/multimedia buttons won't work either
C. Configuring graphics (it keeps on asking to run in low graphics mode)
1. LCD screen not properly detected
2. Video card not properly configured
3. I wanna have the Elisa Media Center work okay (as a goal)
D. Waking up from sleep/hibernate
1. I'm getting a blank screen
2. It takes too long to wake up (if it does)
3. I get a lot of scrambled screens
4. This could [potentially] make me lose any unsaved data
II. Menu system
A. Duplicate menus show up (where'd they come from?)
B. Any deleted menus stay in the menu like ghosts of deleted apps!
C. @ times freshly installed apps won't show up on the menu
D. Hey, how do you configure the menu anyway?!
III. Appearance
A. How do I change/remove wallpapers?
B. Are there any special (Compiz-like) effects possible?
C. What kinda eye candy is available/what can you expect to get from Fluxbox?

In the end, I feel that my frustration is only initial and I'm willing to take some time to learn this window manager. I wanna do it, but who will help me?
Life's too short to keep things in their "out-of-the-box" condition....
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby Gunmetal_Ghoul on Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:29 pm

Does anyone know where I can find the hardware specs for my laptop so I can configure my video card just right? A lot of the problems I'm having is probably video card related. I found the file for the Mint-MFM Menu and deleted the duplicate entries and am making some headway to learning the system. I still am having frustrations with my sound/media buttons not working (I don't know any way around that--keyboard settings, maybe?) and still don't know how to change wallpapers and get into setting up the menu.
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby Zwopper on Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:53 pm

I always use:
Code: Select all
sudo dmidecode

and
Code: Select all
lspci

when I want to find system hardware info, there are probably a million more ways, as usual in linux. :)

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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby shane on Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:54 pm

Gunmetal_Ghoul wrote:I made an outline (yeah, it's b/c I write a lot) of my problems/concerns w/ Fluxbox:

I. Hardware
A. Function keys don't respond @ all
B. Volume/multimedia buttons won't work either
C. Configuring graphics (it keeps on asking to run in low graphics mode)
1. LCD screen not properly detected
2. Video card not properly configured
3. I wanna have the Elisa Media Center work okay (as a goal)
D. Waking up from sleep/hibernate
1. I'm getting a blank screen
2. It takes too long to wake up (if it does)
3. I get a lot of scrambled screens
4. This could [potentially] make me lose any unsaved data
II. Menu system
A. Duplicate menus show up (where'd they come from?)
B. Any deleted menus stay in the menu like ghosts of deleted apps!
C. @ times freshly installed apps won't show up on the menu
D. Hey, how do you configure the menu anyway?!
III. Appearance
A. How do I change/remove wallpapers?
B. Are there any special (Compiz-like) effects possible?
C. What kinda eye candy is available/what can you expect to get from Fluxbox?

In the end, I feel that my frustration is only initial and I'm willing to take some time to learn this window manager. I wanna do it, but who will help me?


Quite a list you have there :o

The Fluxbox Wiki is a good place to look for Fluxbox related issues. http://fluxbox-wiki.org/index.php?title=Fluxbox-wiki

I. The backends of everything is the same as the XFCE CE and Xubuntu. Anything that works on those distros should work with Fluxbox CE.
- A & B: These buttons should work as long as they work with XFCE. Fluxbox CE uses the XFCE libraries to handle these functions. The standard Fluxbox method of handling keyboard shortcuts is to have them defined in ~/.fluxbox/keys. Look in the Wiki for more details.

You can also use the XFCE libraries to handle keyboard shortcut and special keys. Configure them in System Tools > Keyboard Settings > Shortcuts tab.

- C: I think is a driver issue. What graphics card are you using? lspci should give you this info or System Tools > Device Manager.

- D: Again, if Xubuntu can, Fluxbox CE should. Hibernate and suspend is a problematic issue in Linux and it is also inconsistent from one version of Ubuntu to another. Ask me how I know this :P You could try to disable xcompmgr (the graphical effects) and see if that gets you anywhere... This is explained in the release notes: http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_felicia_fluxbox.php

II.
- A, B & C: This sounds like a bug. The menu is created and updated by mint-fm2 and it should add new entries and remove old ones automatically. Can you please give me details as to which applications you installed and/or removed. As and interim fix you can force regeneration of the menu by enabling/disabling menu icons in mintDesktop or deleting the ~/.fluxbox/menu file, logging out and logging in. Does this still give you the same errors? Note that mint-fm2 is started in the ~/.fluxbox/startup file. Make sure it is there... it should be by default. Please read the "Whats New" page: http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_felicia_fl ... atsnew.php

- D: The root menu is stored in ~/.fluxbox/menu while the autoupdated submenus are located in ~/.mint-fm2/submenus/ They are all standard fluxbox menu files... Each entry in the submenus has a commented part (after a '#') to allow mint-fm2 to recognize which applications have been removed. Do not remove these 'tags'. For details on editing the menu, please read the Fluxbox Wiki.

III.
- A: Wallpapers in Fluxbox CE are handled by Nitrogen. If you do not want a wallpaper, simply remove Nitrogen from ~/.fluxbox/startup. To configure wallpapers run System Tools > Nitrogen Wallpaper Chooser.

- B & C: Fluxbox is quite minimalistic and so you wont get the eye-popping Compiz style effects. But, there is xcompmgr which is enabled automatically if 3D acceleration is detected. The default setup provides some shadows and light fade in/out effects. Run 'man xcompmgr' in a terminal for more info and change it to your wish in ~/.fluxbox/startup.

You can also have Fluxbox handled transparencies. Set it in the Fluxbox config files (see wiki) or int the menu Fluxbox > Fluxbox Menu > Transparency. Sorry, no wobbly windows :D Compiz does not work with Fluxbox because they are both window managers. You can only have one or the other.

Please give more info on the menu problems. Mint-FM2 is really my first attempt at creating an application that does anything substantial. So I wouldn't be surprised if there are problems.
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby Gunmetal_Ghoul on Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:28 pm

Thanks a lot, everybody! This helped make my transition process much easier.
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby shane on Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:39 pm

to get the audio buttons on your keyboard working, install aumix

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install aumix


Now they should be working. I should have installed that by default. My bad.
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby Gunmetal_Ghoul on Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:56 pm

I found out how to do some editing of a text editor in the .fluxbox folder (in the "lastwallpaper" file) and I learned how to open my file system on root to add myself some new wallpaper. It took some time, but it was worth it. The other issues, however, are still being looked into....
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby shane on Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:59 pm

Felicia fluxbox uses nitrogen to handle the wallpaper, and not fbsetbg like most other fluxbox distros... and fgsetbg is what you would configure in the lastwallpaper file. You can use whichever you want... I just thought you should know that.

You can ask if you need anything cleared. We're here to help.
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby Gunmetal_Ghoul on Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:11 pm

I installed aumix but there is no indication that my volume buttons (or any of my multimedia buttons) are working at all. I also used the lspci and sudo dmidecode and found a long list of the hardware for my HP Pavilion DV4000 laptop. Let me tell you, that list--it's confusing! How do I find just what the device manager is asking for so I can find the right type of screen make/model and video card?

BTW, how do you get rid of/add new Fluxbox Styles? You know, the changeable styles/themes under settings?
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby shane on Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:14 am

maybe this will help you setup your keyboard shurtcuts https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Fluxb ... 0Shortcuts

Fluxbox styles are located in /usr/share/fluxbox/styles Add/remove them from here for system wide changes or in ~/.fluxbox/styles for your user only.
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby Gunmetal_Ghoul on Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:08 pm

It turns out that aumix seems a little weird to me, but I wonder if using keytouch would do any good?
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby shane on Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:30 pm

Gunmetal_Ghoul wrote:It turns out that aumix seems a little weird to me, but I wonder if using keytouch would do any good?


I have zero experience with keytouch... maybe you can try it and let us know the result...
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby Gunmetal_Ghoul on Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:49 am

I found a particular text file that listed the very same hotkeys (a seemingly perfect match) that my laptop has and am wondering if this is at all pertinent to getting it configured. The file is under the /usr/share/hotkey-setup and is the hp-v2000.hk file. I almost blindly tried to use Keytouch to import the file but it says: "keyboard invalid" and that it "does not contain keyboard element". Would this lead anywhere useful?
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby shane on Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:48 pm

Hi,

I'm assuming you are trying to configure the keyboard shortcuts for volume control using dedicated keys on your laptop.

Can you do the following and give us your feedback.

1. make sure 'xev' is installed. Run:
Code: Select all
apt install x11-utils


2. In a terminal run:

Code: Select all
xev


This will open a small white window with a black box.

3. xev gives you information about your mouse and keyboard input. We are interested in the keyboard inputs. Press the keys you would like to use to control volume and paste the output that will appear in the terminal. Here is an example on my laptop when I press the button to launch the email client.

Code: Select all
KeyPress event, serial 32, synthetic NO, window 0x3000001,
    root 0x6d, subw 0x0, time 111519511, (264,434), root:(648,456),
    state 0x0, keycode 163 (keysym 0x1008ff19, XF86Mail), same_screen YES,
    XLookupString gives 0 bytes:
    XmbLookupString gives 0 bytes:
    XFilterEvent returns: False

KeyRelease event, serial 35, synthetic NO, window 0x3000001,
    root 0x6d, subw 0x0, time 111519721, (264,434), root:(648,456),
    state 0x0, keycode 163 (keysym 0x1008ff19, XF86Mail), same_screen YES,
    XLookupString gives 0 bytes:
    XFilterEvent returns: False
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby Gunmetal_Ghoul on Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:33 pm

Right now I'm about 3 weeks from graduating from college and I need to be completely up to speed with getting my work done right now. I'm gonna have to put this in the back burner for now, but I wanna reward myself after graduation by trying out Slackware with Fluxbox installed. Cheers!
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby Gunmetal_Ghoul on Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:11 am

I squeezed in a little time to try out Linux Mint 6 Fluxbox CE, and what do you know, it all works just fine! Thanks a lot Shane! After school is done I'm gonna have a lot of time in my hands to learn to work with Fluxbox, but for now I'm sticking with the main Gnome edition. Great work on this release, guys.
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby ddalley on Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:49 am

After trying the Fluxbox version today, I'm not sure how much longer it will stay on the Live USB install.

The interface is too flat and has very little distiction between inactive and active elements. Windows pop up not centred on-screen and have to be moved. The file manager window pops up reduced to an unusable size. I accidently found out how to make it full-screen (right-click the header), but I shouldn't have to do that. The USB installer does not make the USB a persistent media - it should always be an option for installation on a USB device/media.

Since my intention is to replace a crappy netbook OS, this project has to pass the "granny" test for the target user and it already looks as if it will fail and Xfce will have to be the GUI of choice.
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Re: New To Fluxbox...

Postby shane on Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:06 pm

I'm very glad to hear that it is working well for you, Gunmetal_Ghoul. You did help to point out some bugs with the RC. Thanks!

ddalley: Changing themes can be easily performed from the menu (for Fluxbox) and from the Interface tool (for GTK). And there are quite a few themes available. The placement of new windows is controlled by Fluxbox. If the 'smart placement' doesn't suit you, you can always change it. The file selection dialog bug is a known upstream bug affecting all Intrepid based distros. Our main target installation media is an internal hard disk and we also support mint4win installations. We do everything we can to make sure these work as well as possible. I am sure that more advanced users may want to install to other media such as external hard drives or USB sticks... and there are ways to do this... which these users would know their way around. As for 'granny', Fluxbox surely isn't for everyone... either you get it or you don't. It's a matter of taste I guess... granny or kiddie is another issue... But it could also be an acquired taste :wink:
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