Now using Fluxbox on Ubuntu 9.04


Since I just described some problems with Fluxbox out-of-the-box on Ubuntu 9.04, it would only be decent of me to share the solutions I’ve found to those issues, so that any readers who might be playing around with Fluxbox on this platform might avoid some of the troubleshooting I had to go through to figure this stuff out.

So I’ll go back through my list and describe what I have done to get around these items.

  • Can’t permanently disable the touchpad
    Sadly, I haven’t figured this one out yet. If anyone has any suggestions, do let me know. If one can’t disable the touchpad in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, I don’t honestly have any idea where else one would do it.
  • Mouse-wheeling over the Fluxbox toolbar does not switch workspaces
    Not sure why this was necessary, as I’ve never had to manually enter this into the /~/.fluxbox/keys file before to get this functionality, but I discovered on this syntax that needed to be added to my keys file:

    OnToolbar Mouse4 :NextWorkspace
    OnToolbar Mouse5 :PrevWorkspace

  • Double clicking on the titlebar of windows does nothing
    This was another problem whose solution was a simple addition of a few lines to the Fluxbox keys file. Again, I have no idea why this was necessary — maybe it’s the way Patrick Volkerding packages Fluxbox in his Slackware releases (which is the only other way I’ve used Fluxbox, to be honest) — but edit your /~/.fluxbox/keys file and add (one of) the following to it:

    (to maximize)
    OnTitlebar Double Mouse1 :MaximizeWindow

    (or, if you prefer, to shade)
    OnTitlebar Double Mouse1 :Shade

  • Right clicking on the titlebar of windows does nothing
    Yep. You guessed it. This functionality was something else that needed to be added manually to the /~/.fluxbox/keys file:

    OnTitlebar Mouse3 :WindowMenu

  • No wireless!!!!
    This was just a matter of figuring out what GNOME uses as a daemon to talk to the wireless device on this machine. I found this via Googling all over the place, and remedied the situation by adding one simple line to my /~/.fluxbox/startup file’s “Applications you want to run with fluxbox” section:

    nm-applet &

As an added bit of necessity (for me, anyway), I added another couple of lines to my /~/.fluxbox/startup file right after the “nm-applet &” line, to start up my Xscreensaver daemon, and to fire up GKrellM:

xscreensaver --nosplash &
gkrellm &

After all this, Fluxbox on Ubuntu 9.04 seems to be behaving itself so far. I of course manually edited my /~/.fluxbox/menu to add in the apps I normally use and like to have there, and I did some of my usual tweaks to Fluxbox, but after all this, aside from the touchpad annoyance, it looks like Fluxbox runs stable, crisp, and fast on top of Ubuntu, which is good.

I’ll post more on this subject as it comes up.

11 thoughts on “Now using Fluxbox on Ubuntu 9.04

  1. Pingback: How to disable the touchpad in Ubuntu « The Linux Critic
  2. Pingback: Fluxbox on Ubuntu: two more problems, two more solutions « The Linux Critic
  3. These solutions have been a great help! I don’t know what they are thinking not having these things working by default.

    • Well, to be fair, these are mostly things that are running as a part of GNOME. Fluxbox, as a general rule, ONLY does what you tell it to do, and it has no knowledge of things like “nm-applet” (the wifi stack) or “gnome-power-manager”.

      But yeah, you’d think that some base functions would run at startup on any Ubuntu box, regardless of what window manager or desktop environment one is running at the time.

      It’s been frustrating slogging through all of this minutiae in setting up Fluxbox on an Ubuntu box, but now (I think) I have all these little things worked out.

      Glad it helped someone out besides just myself. I made these posts as notes for myself as much as anything else, but I know that SOMEBODY besides me has to be trying out Fluxbox on an Ubuntu setup. 🙂

    • Also, I think that a lot of this is stuff that is normally in the Fluxbox keys file that whomever packaged this for Debian/Ubuntu didn’t bother setting up correctly.

      I suspect that if I’d downloaded Fluxbox from source and compiled it myself, some of this may not have been a problem.

  4. Also, I was sort of annoyed by the fact that you couldn’t move/resize by holding alt and pressing either of the mouse keys, so here’s what you need to add to the keys file to do that:
    For Moving:
    OnWindow Mod1 Mouse1 :StartMoving

    For resizing:
    OnWindow Mod1 Mouse3 :StartResizing NearestCorner (or BottomRight, etc etc)

    • I actually make a point not to do that. I have Diablo 2 Expansion set up in WINE, and holding down the ALT key is used in-game for viewing all dropped items, so I don’t like my window manager subverting that key binding. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Now using Fluxbox on Ubuntu 9.04 | Ubuntu-News - Your one stop for news about Ubuntu
  6. Pingback: Destillat KW35-2009 | - GNU/Linux, Open Source, Softwareentwicklung, Selbstmanagement, Vim ...
  7. Thanks for this post. My problem has been no video or audio with Web videos. You helped me get MP3 audio problems licked. Rhythmbox called for a couple of gstreamer plugins to be added.

    All the audio and video is now working, except YouTube videos hosted on a site other than YouTube, which is strange. But since I can see them by clicking the YouTube link, it’s not a problem.

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