HOWTO: ROX Desktop

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HOWTO: ROX Desktop

Postby bodhi.zazen » 2006-06-29 21:56

I first came across ROX on several live CD's, most notably (for me) dyne:bolic.

What is ROX you ask? Rox is a light weight GUI/file manager. It serves (for me) as a replacement to Nautilus or Konqueror. It can serve as an entire Desktop window manager (with customizable backdrop) or along side any other window manger (ie to runs within GNOME, KDE, XFCE, Enlightenment, Fluxbox, ...). Actually, I no longer run KDE/XFCE/Gnome as window managers due to "bloat" and degradation of performance.

I personally run a "light and fast" desktop (Fluxbox + ROX AKA FluxROX) and see a noticeable boot to speed with applications such as firefox, OOO, etc (although I use lighter applications vi, tea, Dillo, etc if possible) on my set-up. I find Fluxbox without ROX is a little too light for my tastes and ROX does not seem to slow Fluxbox down.

What do I mean performance? On my box (not the newest, fastest) the time to boot the window managers are as follows (ie time from GDM/KDM/XDM log-in screen to desktop):

KDE 30 seconds.
Gnome 25-30 seconds.
XFCE 20 seconds.
Fluxbox + Rox 1.5 seconds.

There are two ways of installing ROX. The first is via zero install.

If you have not heard of zeroinstall it is a way of running software without installing to your hard drive. Several distros are promoting it (dyne:bolic and others). I do not have any prior experience with it (zero install) and there may be some security concerns. I am running it on a "test" system at this time.

For ROX: ... 1c4eb1b6b7

For zeroinstall:

The second is via apt/synaptic:


deb binary/


to your /etc/apt/sources.list file, and then run:

$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install rox-desktop

I posted a "how to" in the Fluxbox thread for post-install configuration:


Quick start:

To start as a file manager (aka like Nautilis) type "rox" in a terminal. You may, of course, add an entry to your menu in your window manager of choice.

With Fluxbox as a window manager the comand becomes
"rox --pinboard=Default &"

To run as a window manager "rox-session" (although this could be wrong as I do not run ROX as my desktop).

Enjoy. 8)
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Postby ethyrdude » 2006-09-04 23:05

I played with Rox on the weekend and used rox-filer with icewm. What a great combination!

Rox Session and the whole Rox desktop thing was a bust, I couldn't get the desktop to fully install, I ended up with a next to useless interface. I used zero install and that's what I got, unfortunately so was the functionality, I had my home icon on the desktop, another home icon on the task bar and a cdrom icon and that was it. I tried to add a menu, it couldn't find any apps, I had no way to access a terminal and try fudging around with that, no way to log out except for 'alt,ctrl,bckspace', so finally I said BYE and uninstalled the whole Rox mess.

The rox-filer gives icewm the possibility of adding icons to the desktop. I didn't play with it too much but it does have potential.
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Postby fox_nxvjcg » 2006-11-26 16:38

couldn't find any apps, I had no way to access a terminal

Apps are in the same place as usual for Debian:


Click on them to run, or drag them to the panel to make links.

To get a terminal, either run one of the ones in the above directory, or choose "Terminal Here" from a filer window's menu (short-cut "`")
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Postby ethyrdude » 2006-11-27 00:04

After some experimentation, I think the best way to try out different desktops is to create a new user for each one you try. Kde, Gnome and GTK(2) can really mess up each other and other desktops if they happen to be the first ones to install and you try them all on one user.

For the longest time, I was running KDE, when I finally installed all of Gnome and Gtk, I ended up with all sorts of instability. When I created a user who started off with Gnome, there were no problems, especially with applets crashing on loading Gnome.

The same with xfce, I couldn't even get my old KDE user to load xfce without crashing but my new user had no problem, it ran smooth, and I'm sure that if I tried Rox with a new user, things would probably work much better also.

I know that when I first installed Debian, the desktop install loaded both gnome and kde, I think it's a mistake, the installer should ask which desktop you want, describe each one a bit, allow you to choose and then install your choice.
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Postby alidh » 2007-12-08 11:51

I've installed rox-desktop with apt-get.

The rox-desktop allone works great.

But I want to use rox on fluxbox and that isn't working yet:

When I log in I get a message about something is not installed right or my disk is full (other sessions like Gnome start ok):
Code: Select all
etc/gdm/Pressesion/Default: Registering your session with wtmp and utmp
etc/gdm/Pressesion/Default: running: /usr/bin/sessreg -a -w /var/log/wtmp -u /var/run/utmp -x " /var/lib/gdm/:O.Xservers"  -h " " -l "-o" "dirk
etc/gdm/Xsession: Beginning session setup

I've a startup file in /home/dirk/.fluxbox with only these lines in it:
Code: Select all
rox --pinboard=Default &
exit 0

This is my init in .fluxbox
Code: Select all
session.screen0.iconbar.wheelMode:   Screen
session.screen0.iconbar.iconTextPadding:   10l
session.screen0.iconbar.mode:   Workspace
session.screen0.iconbar.alignment:   Relative
session.screen0.iconbar.usePixmap:   true
session.screen0.iconbar.iconWidth:   70
session.screen0.iconbar.deiconifyMode:   Follow   16   True   Left   Top   64
session.screen0.toolbar.maxOver:   false
session.screen0.toolbar.height:   0
session.screen0.toolbar.widthPercent:   66
session.screen0.toolbar.layer:   Desktop
session.screen0.toolbar.onhead:   0
session.screen0.toolbar.alpha:   255
session.screen0.toolbar.onTop:   False
session.screen0.toolbar.autoHide:   false   workspacename, prevworkspace, nextworkspace, iconbar, systemtray, prevwindow, nextwindow, clock
session.screen0.toolbar.visible:   true
session.screen0.toolbar.placement:   BottomCenter
session.screen0.overlay.lineWidth:   1
session.screen0.overlay.lineStyle:   LineSolid
session.screen0.overlay.joinStyle:   JoinMiter
session.screen0.overlay.capStyle:   CapNotLast   255
session.screen0.window.focus.alpha:   255
session.screen0.window.unfocus.alpha:   255
session.screen0.slit.onTop:   False
session.screen0.slit.maxOver:   false
session.screen0.slit.autoHide:   false
session.screen0.slit.direction:   Vertical
session.screen0.slit.onhead:   0
session.screen0.slit.layer:   Dock
session.screen0.slit.placement:   BottomRight
session.screen0.slit.alpha:   255
session.screen0.autoRaise:   false
session.screen0.workspaceNames:   one,two,three,four,
session.screen0.fullMaximization:   false
session.screen0.windowPlacement:   RowSmartPlacement
session.screen0.menuDelayClose:   0
session.screen0.focusLastWindow:   true
session.screen0.menuDelay:   0
session.screen0.imageDither:   false
session.screen0.menuMode:   Delay
session.screen0.showwindowposition:   true
session.screen0.focusNewWindows:   true
session.screen0.resizeMode:   Bottom
session.screen0.workspaces:   4
session.screen0.edgeSnapThreshold:   0
session.screen0.colPlacementDirection:   TopToBottom
session.screen0.focusModel:   ClickFocus
session.screen0.tabFocusModel:   ClickToTabFocus
session.screen0.strftimeFormat:   %k:%M
session.screen0.followModel:   Ignore
session.screen0.desktopwheeling:   true
session.screen0.opaqueMove:   false
session.screen0.windowScrollReverse:   false
session.screen0.sloppywindowgrouping:   true
session.screen0.clickRaises:   true
session.screen0.decorateTransient:   false
session.screen0.workspacewarping:   true
#session.screen0.rootCommand:   fbsetbg -l
session.screen0.antialias:   true
session.screen0.rowPlacementDirection:   LeftToRight
session.titlebar.left:   Stick
session.titlebar.right:   Minimize Maximize Close
session.numLayers:   13
session.menuFile:   ~/.fluxbox/menu
session.colorsPerChannel:   4
session.focusTabMinWidth:   0
session.cacheLife:   5l
session.imageDither:   True
session.iconbar:   true
session.tabs:   true
session.forcePseudoTransparency:   false
session.tabPadding:   0
session.doubleClickInterval:   250
session.appsFile:   ~/.fluxbox/apps
session.tabsAttachArea:   Window
session.slitlistFile:   ~/.fluxbox/slitlist
session.styleFile:   /usr/share/fluxbox/styles/Twice
session.autoRaiseDelay:   250
session.opaqueMove:   False
session.cacheMax:   200l
session.keyFile:   ~/.fluxbox/keys
session.ignoreBorder:   false
session.useMod1:   true
session.groupFile:   ~/.fluxbox/groups
session.screen0.rootCommand: /home/dirk/.fluxbox/startup

I've runned
Code: Select all
$ chmod a+x /home/dirk/.fluxbox/startup
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Postby kc1di » 2007-12-16 23:52

I've just installed Rox-Desktop and love it.
Working great.
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