Using Fluxbox instead of Cinnamon under Mint 17.2?

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foersu
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Using Fluxbox instead of Cinnamon under Mint 17.2?

Post by foersu » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:04 pm

Hello,

I would like to try a windows manager instead of a desktop environment. I expect a simple but more responsive system.

My choice is fluxbox. I use currently Linux Mint 17.2 64 bit Cinnamon.
In Synaptic, Fluxbox Version 1.3.5-2 is available.

After installation, I figure out I can select Fluxbox when authenticating and the underlying Linux Mint will start without any components of Cinnamon, only with Fluxbox.

Questions:
- is my asumption correct?
- will the installed applications like Evolution, Firefox, Kupfer, VLC be available, only with another look & feel?
- when I start with Cinnamon again, will it be exactly the same as before installing and running Fluxbox?

Thanx for your answers

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vortex59
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Re: Using Fluxbox instead of Cinnamon under Mint 17.2?

Post by vortex59 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:06 am

Your assumption is quite correct. The main issue is how your applications will look (Cinnamon is based on GTK3 and maybe you have also some GTK2 apps) and Fluxbox isn't too friendly with GTK (2,3). I used Fluxbox on a MATE desktop and I needed Mate-settings to start with Fluxbox. On the other hand you may need a file manager (other than Midnight Commander). You have to use Nemo from Cinnamon or Pcfman, or Thunar or whatever... As you said Fluxbox is a window manager so you will have no icons, launchers on panel, etc. To have a "quasi-desktop" properties of fluxbox I installed Wbar an interesting panel application with launchers. Finally is your decision how you use fluxbox (I do not feel comfortable using right click mouse and menus in fluxbox).
"A scientist is someone whose curiosity survives education's assaults on it". Sir Hermann Bondi

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Flemur
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Re: Using Fluxbox instead of Cinnamon under Mint 17.2?

Post by Flemur » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:35 am

- I figure out I can select Fluxbox when authenticating and the underlying Linux Mint will start without any components of Cinnamon, only with Fluxbox. - is my asumption correct?
Probably.
- will the installed applications like Evolution, Firefox, Kupfer, VLC be available, only with another look & feel?
Yes. You might want to install "xsettingsd" if some apps don't look right (wrong fonts, no GUI icons, etc.).
Here's part of my ~/.xsettingd file to show some examples - most of it is generated by xsettingsd:

Code: Select all

Gtk/ColorScheme ""
Gtk/CursorBlinkTimeout 10
Gtk/CursorThemeName "DMZ-White"
Gtk/CursorThemeSize 40
Gtk/FontName "Arial Bold 11"
...
Net/FallbackIconTheme "Mint-X"
Net/IconThemeName "Mint-X"
Net/SoundThemeName "default"
Net/ThemeName "Industrial"
Xft/Antialias 1
Xft/DPI 98304
Xft/Hinting 1
Xft/HintStyle "hintslight"
Xft/RGBA "rgb"
- when I start with Cinnamon again, will it be exactly the same as before installing and running Fluxbox?
Probably.

Edit: I rarely use the fluxbox application menu; instead set up the numeric keypad to launch most programs, terminal for others. Here's part of the ~/.fluxbox/keys file:

Code: Select all

# "Control" = Ctrl
# "Mod4" = Windows key
# "Mod1" = Alt
# 79,80,81 = numeric keys 7,8,9
#
        79  :Exec xfce4-terminal
Control 79  :Exec lxterminal
Mod4    79  :Exec terminator
#Mod1   79  :Exec roxterm
#
        80  :Exec thunar  /mnt/DATA/download
Control 80  :Exec pcmanfm /mnt/DATA/download
Mod4    80  :Exec xfe     /mnt/DATA/download
You can get the key values (79,80,etc) with 'xev'.

And! For Mint based on xfce, I can run xfce4-panel while fluxbox is running.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 18.3 Xfce/fluxbox/pulse-less
Xubuntu 17.10/fluxbox/pulse-less

foersu
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Re: Using Fluxbox instead of Cinnamon under Mint 17.2?

Post by foersu » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:53 am

Thank you very much for the responses!

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MtnDewManiac
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Re: Using Fluxbox instead of Cinnamon under Mint 17.2?

Post by MtnDewManiac » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:14 am

I was going to suggest that another option that is probably lighter on system responses would be to add Xfce or even MATE (I believe it's lighter than Cinnamon and works okay even without hardware accelerated graphics?).

But then I started reading more of this thread, and you folks have gotten my curiosity aroused, lol. Can someone post some screenshots of "Mint Fluxbox?" Is there a main menu available in the desktop?

Regards,
MDM
Mint 18 Xfce 4.12.

If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.

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Flemur
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Re: Using Fluxbox instead of Cinnamon under Mint 17.2?

Post by Flemur » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:13 pm

Is there a main menu available in the desktop?
Yes; default is rt-click on background and you get the menu seen below (with thunar and a terminal).

However this menu is probably fluxbox's main shortcoming - there are a few "menu builders" but none seem to work very well, either there are items missing - which show up in the xfce menu - and/or there are entries for things that don't exist. I rarely use the menu for anything other shutting down, and start apps via numerical keypad or terminal, so I don't care!

On the other hand, the menu file is *very* easy to edit and you can control (menu content and which mouse-buttons make them appear) menus for: windows, window titlebars, taskbar.
Start of ~/.fluxbox/menu file:

Code: Select all

[begin] ( Fluxbox )
    [submenu] (apps)
        [exec] (xfce4 terminal) {xfce4-terminal}
        [exec] (gimp)           {gimp}
...
It's also very easy to make a given app start in a certain workspace and not have a titlebar, etc.
Edit: fluxbox will come up with the 'name' and 'class' values if you do something to make an entry into that file, like rt-click on the apps titlebar (or its entry in the taskbar), and choose something like Remember Workspace - then you can modify stuff.

Start of ~/.fluxbox/apps file:

Code: Select all

[app] (name=fbrun)
  [Position]    (CENTER)    {0 0}
  [Layer]   {2}
[end]
[app] (name=foobar2000.exe) (class=Wine)
  [Workspace]   {3}
  [Deco]    {0x6}
  [Maximized]   {yes}
[end]
...
That makes "fbrun" appear on top of other windows, and makes "foobar" (under wine) start fullscreen without a titlebar and in workspace #3 (counting starts at zero).

Part of ~/.fluxbox/init file:

Code: Select all

session.screen0.toolbar.alpha:  222
session.screen0.toolbar.tools:  prevworkspace,workspacename,nextworkspace, iconbar, systemtray, clock
session.screen0.toolbar.onhead: 1
session.screen0.toolbar.height: 22
session.screen0.toolbar.maxOver:    false
session.screen0.toolbar.placement:  TopCenter
session.screen0.toolbar.autoHide:   false
session.screen0.toolbar.visible:    true
session.screen0.toolbar.layer:  AboveDock
session.screen0.toolbar.widthPercent:   85
session.screen0.titlebar.left:  Stick
session.screen0.titlebar.right: Minimize Maximize Close
session.screen0.tab.placement:  TopLeft
...
session.keyFile:    ~/.fluxbox/keys
session.appsFile:   ~/.fluxbox/apps
session.cacheLife:  5
session.styleFile:  ~/.fluxbox/styles/simple0
session.menuFile:   ~/.fluxbox/menu
Those last values are all defaults except the "styles" line; the "simple0" file (56 lines - I use mostly defaults) controls how things look (e.g. titlebars and menus can have color gradients and other effects, but I don't use them):

Code: Select all

 menu.hilite:               flat
 menu.hilite.color:         Black
 menu.bullet:               triangle
 menu.bullet.position:      right
#menu.roundCorners:         TopLeft TopRight
 menu.title.justify:        center
 menu.title.color:          SeaGreen
#menu.title.colorTo:        White
 menu.title.textColor:      White
...
 toolbar.iconbar.focused.color:         Black
 toolbar.iconbar.focused.textColor:     White
 toolbar.iconbar.focused.font:          Arial-11:bold
 toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.color:       White
 toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.textColor:   Black
 toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.font:        Arial-10:bold
 toolbar.clock.textColor:               Black
handleWidth:        4
frameWidth:         0
bevelWidth:         0
borderWidth:        0
borderColor:        black
*font:              Arial-11:bold
Getting your initial setup is kind of a PITA but you can copy the ~/.fluxbox directory to different installs and all your stuff will work the same way(!).

Edit: the pic just shows the top part of the desktop - the rest is just the background picture (the "Mint Bar").
Attachments
fluxbox_desktop.jpg
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 18.3 Xfce/fluxbox/pulse-less
Xubuntu 17.10/fluxbox/pulse-less

chrisonmint
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Re: Using Fluxbox instead of Cinnamon under Mint 17.2?

Post by chrisonmint » Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:24 pm

Fluxbox is very simple, would Lxde be a better compromise?

niowluka
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Re: Using Fluxbox instead of Cinnamon under Mint 17.2?

Post by niowluka » Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:42 pm

foersu wrote:I would like to try a windows manager instead of a desktop environment. I expect a simple but more responsive system.

My choice is fluxbox.
Go for it. It takes a bit of time to set everything up, but once you do, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. I've been using Openbox (similar to Fluxbox) for years.

I use lxappearance to control ... well ... appearance (i.e. themes, fonts, icons, etc.). This is on Mate base, but it should work for Cinnamon.
Mint 17 Openbox (MATE) 64bit | Linux 4.1.6 (Vanilla)

Gigabyte GA-880GA-UD3H | AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4Ghz | G.Skill 8GB DDR3-1600 RipjawsX, F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM | MSI R7 260X 2048 MB GDDR5 OC

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