Fluxbox and dockapps

Where the dockapps live: the Fluxbox slit

In Fluxbox, there is a home for these kinds of “dockable” applications, and it is known simply as the “slit”. I generally tend to think of the Fluxbox slit as a spot — like a tiny, narrow corkboard — where I can use a stickpin to attach something useful.

Before proceeding with anything else regarding the slit, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with its options by right-clicking on your Fluxbox desktop to get your Fluxbox menu, go to your Configuration section, and find the “Slit” submenu. From there you can control where the slit is placed (I have mine set to “Bottom Right”) and other options. Go through these options and decide where you want these dockapps to be. You can always change it later if you don’t like what you end up with.

The Fluxbox slit is managed simply by a text file, much like everything else in this window manager. The file is /~/.fluxbox/slitlist, and it can be edited using any text editor with which you are comfortable. However, you shouldn’t need to do anything with it just yet. The slitlist file will self-populate (in theory), if everything else runs correctly.

So, the first thing you should do to accomplish this is open up your ever-present /~/.fluxbox/startup file in your favorite text editor, and add the following three lines to it:

gkrellm -w &
wmix &
wmweather &

The “-w” after gkrellm tells it to dock to the Fluxbox slit (which is why I advised not setting GKrellM in a “docked” state in its configuration before).

Save your changes and exit out of Fluxbox and log back in, and all three applications should be running in the slit, stacked like the ones in my screenshot on page one of this post.

I had a little trouble with the order of mine at first, so if you’re picky about that, you can edit the /~/.fluxbox/slitlist file and switch the order around. What I actually ended up doing was creating a separate slitlist, to keep my order from being overwritten by Fluxbox itself. If you need to do this, simply open up /~/.fluxbox/slitlist, save it as /~/.fluxbox/myslitlist, and then edit /~/.fluxbox/init.

In the Fluxbox init file, find the line that designates where the slitlist file is located. It should say session.slitlistFile:. All I did with mine was change the word “slitlist” the the subsequent path to “myslitlist” and saved it.

After that, I arranged the apps in myslitlist to the order in which I wanted them (the same order I gave them for the startup file, above), saved it, exited out of Fluxbox and logged back in, and everything was where it should be.

Other dockapps

I can’t speak much of other dockapps, as I haven’t used any besides those I just discussed, but I know that there are other applications out there that can do CPU monitoring, thermal monitoring, mailbox checking, and other useful tasks. Since I use GKrellM, which does a lot of that already, I decided just to stick with that, but most of its individual functions can be replaced by several dockapps. Do a little searching around and I’m sure you’ll find plenty to keep you busy in that department.

As always, if you have any questions or trouble, I’d be happy to help out… just post a comment and let me know!

Happy hacking!

One thought on “Fluxbox and dockapps

  1. Pingback: Mint Enlightenment « The Linux Critic

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