A beautiful, Minimal and Workable Openbox

Openbox is a simple, lightweight and highly configurable window manager and desktop-environment like the Ubuntu Unity, KDE and Gnome.
ahmadnurhadirmw - Openbox is a simple, lightweight and highly configurable window manager and desktop-environment like the Ubuntu Unity, KDE and Gnome. Here in this post I share some tips and set of configuration files that I have tweaked over the years to use on my laptop, desktop and servers.

The best part about Openbox is that you could install the Openbox-session alongside Ubuntu Unity, Gnome or KDE sessions and it does not interfere with any of them. Moreover, the Openbox session can be used on an xrdp-server while logging in remotely, where there is still no support for a Gnome-session. The procedure described here of installing Openbox-session applies to Ubuntu and all of its derivatives.

The purpose of this post is to prepare a workable, simple, snappy and responsive desktop environment for the users, yet maintaining a beautiful, aesthetically pleasant (yes, I care for this) desktop with modern touch of effects around the desktop objects and windows. This could especially revive your old machines with low resources.

Following steps summarise the procedure to prepare an Openbox Desktop session by yourself:
1. To begin with, one has to install some packages first. Open a terminal and issue the following commands:
sudo apt-get install openbox obmenu tint2 xfce4-panel xfce4-notifyd xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin wget unzip compton feh conky-all curl
One can skip installing the packages compton, feh, conky-all and curl if he does not care about desktop aesthetics.

2. Now we need to write some configuration files to use with some of the above packages, though I am not actually going to do it here. Instead I let you download my OpenboxInstall.zip file. Place the downloaded zip file in your home folder. [The whole point of supplying the configuration stuff in one zip file is to make the entire procedure simpler for everybody to implement.]
wget https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4TqZ8mUkz4BNFNPX1hoNHhldm8
mv OpenboxInstall.zip ~/
3. Make sure that the downloaded OpenboxInstall.zip file is in your home directory.
[Caution: If your operating system is Xubuntu or you are already using the XFCE desktop then first backup your original ~/.config/xfce4 directory since we are making changes to this directory.]

Extract this zip file such that the extracted contents merge with the existing folders and overwrites any existing files within the merged folders.

The following command will do this for you in one go:
cd ~/
unzip -o OpenboxInstall.zip
The -o option makes sure it overwrites the files without prompting. It's almost done now.

4. Open the 'gnome-tweak-tool' (or the unity-tweak-tool) and set the following:
File manager handle the desktop => Off
In newer versions of the gnome-tweak-tool (Like in Ubuntu 16.04), the corresponding option should read:
Icons on Desktop => Off

5. This step is optional.
Download and install the open-sans-elementary and raleway-elementary fonts from the source links provided in the 'Sources and References' section at the end of this post.
6. Download and install Moka, arc or MAC iOS icon themes. Also install the arc gnome shell theme.
wget https://github.com/horst3180/arc-theme/archive/master.zip
unzip -o master.zip
mkdir -p ~/.themes/arc-theme
mv ./arc-theme-master/common/* ~/.themes/arc-theme
rm -r arc-theme-master master.zip
Now install the moka icon theme:
wget https://github.com/snwh/moka-icon-theme/archive/master.zip
unzip -o master.zip
mkdir -p ~/.local/share/icons
mv ./moka-icon-theme-master/Moka ~/.local/share/icons
rm -r moka-icon-theme-master master.zip
Now install the arc icon theme:
wget https://github.com/horst3180/arc-icon-theme/archive/master.zip
unzip -o master.zip
mkdir -p ~/.local/share/icons
mv ./arc-icon-theme-master/Arc ~/.local/share/icons
rm -r arc-icon-theme-master master.zip
Now open the gnome-tweak-tool and set the shell theme as arc and icon theme also as arc.

7. Log out of current session. Select the Openbox Session from the login screen and then log into your account. If all gone well, your beautiful Openbox Desktop Session should be ready to serve you!
(Just look for the "openbox gear" at the login screen and select it before logging into your account.)

Sources and References:

1. conky-google-now at : http://satya164.deviantart.com/art/Conky-Google-Now-366545753
2. Theme BreezeBox at: https://www.gnome-look.org/p/1017278/
3. conky-vision-icons at: https://github.com/zagortenay333/conky-Vision
4. Fonts open-sans-elementary at: https://github.com/frappe/fonts/tree/master/usr_share_fonts/truetype/open-sans-elementary
5. Fonts raleway-elementary at: https://github.com/frappe/fonts/blob/master/usr_share_fonts/truetype/raleway-elementary

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