xfce4-panel with openbox - how

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xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby wayover13 » 2012-03-08 16:04

I've installed wheezy on an imac (powerpc) and built the system up from scratch to the XFCE4 desktop. Worked great for awhile--long enough for me to a fair amount of tweaking and invest some serious time in it. Then, things started to go a bit haywire on me. That could well be due to flaky hardware, since this machine was given to me as being of questionable integrity.

As a last ditch effort at rescuing it, I decided to install an alternate GUI interface to see whether that would restore things to sanity. Surprisingly, under openbox, everything seems to work fine. I also do note quite a boost in system performance with openbox vs XFCE4. So now I'm trying to run the system under openbox, augmenting that with xfce4-panel.

I've managed that so far by opening a terminal and issuing xfce4-panel &. But I want the panel to be present when the graphical interface comes up, rather than it needing to be started from the CLI. So far, I've not discovered how to do that. Anyone have tips?

Oh, and I should mention that the login manager on this machine is slim. And, by the way, how does one get desktop icons to appear under openbox?

Thanks,
James
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby dasein » 2012-03-08 16:14

Another way to frame the question you're asking is this: How do I make an application start automatically in openbox?

Have a look here: http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:Autostart
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby wayover13 » 2012-03-08 16:22

dasein wrote:Another way to frame the question you're asking is this: How do I make an application start automatically in openbox?

Have a look here: http://openbox.org/wiki/Help:Autostart

Thanks for your reply, dasein. I actually already read that page and had tried what's suggested there. But that doesn't work on this system, perhaps because slim is invoking the openbox executable as opposed to invoking openbox-session? I've tried editing the autostart file both in the user's home directory (I actually had to create one there since it wasn't present) and in /etc/xdg/openbox, but no joy yet. Right now I'm looking at the possibility of creating an .xsession file in the user's home directory that contains the line exec openbox-session. Think that'll do it? I also need to make xmodmap run when the desktop starts, since I've had to do some tweaking to the key bindings, so I'd like for it to autostart as well.

James
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby dasein » 2012-03-08 16:35

wayover13 wrote:I actually already read that page and had tried what's suggested there.

I got this far and quit reading.

Does it occur to you to include important information about what you've already tried in your initial post?

No one here is telepathic, and very few people have the patience to play "20 questions."

Good luck.
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby wayover13 » 2012-03-08 16:41

Well, let's wait and see, dasein. Maybe others here will be more tolerant. Anyone else have input on the issue I'm facing getting xfce4-panel to run under openbox on this system? Think my idea of invoking openbox-session might do the trick? I'm considering putting that into slim.conf in place of the current line, which reads simply "openbox." Anyway, I'll post the resolution here if I manage to discover it on my own.

Thanks,
James
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby cynwulf » 2012-03-08 16:49

Make sure autostart is executable or it simply won't run.
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby wayover13 » 2012-03-08 17:56

cynwulf wrote:Make sure autostart is executable or it simply won't run.

Thanks for your reply, cynwulf. The files permissions were set as 644, owned by the user and in the user's group. Once I entered openbox-session as the sole menu entry in slim.conf, openbox began to start properly, i.e., it began reading values set in /etc/xdg/openbox/autostart as well as those set in ~/.config/openbox/autostart. So just changing the slim.conf entry from "openbox" to "openbox-session" resolved the xfce4-panel part of this puzzle: it now runs automatically once openbox starts. The 644 permissions on the autostart file I created in ~/.config/openbox do not seem to have been an issue.

I'm not sure this is the best way to do this. It works, but maybe it would be better to use an .xsession or .xinitrc file and to put "exec openbox-session" in there? Then there's the matter of the Xsession script (/etc/X11/Xsession) that gets created by the system and which slim wants to invoke on log-in. Quite confusing.

I'm still unable to get xmodmap to run on login, however. I thought that problem might be unique to XFCE4, but it seems to apply to openbox as well. If I run it manually from the command line after the system is up, the necessary key bindings get applied and all is well. But I'm trying to get it to auto-run on log-in, which is proving quite a challenge. Any ideas on that, anyone? Also, suggestions for getting desktop icons under openbox?

James
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby oswaldkelso » 2012-03-08 18:28

Here's a few pointers for you with info on rox-filer, openbox, tint2, fbpanel on PPC (if you search)

http://oswaldkelso.blogspot.com/search?q=rox#uds-search-results
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby wayover13 » 2012-03-08 18:34

I decided, after reading over the Xession man page (specifically an inference that can be drawn from reference to "users writing their own .xsession files") to create the .xsession file in the user's home directory and to put there the line "exec openbox-session."* That proved to be the step that got things working mostly as I need them (slim auto- log-in and xfce4-panel auto-starting). I also stumbled upon this little tidbit in the man page, which relates to my xmodmap problems:
Here is an example of how one might write a script, named 40custom_load-xmodmap, to invoke xmodmap(1):

SYSMODMAP="/etc/X11/Xmodmap"
USRMODMAP="$HOME/.Xmodmap"

if [ -x /usr/bin/X11/xmodmap ]; then
if [ -f "$SYSMODMAP" ]; then
xmodmap "$SYSMODMAP"
fi
fi

if [ -x /usr/bin/X11/xmodmap ]; then
if [ -f "$USRMODMAP" ]; then
xmodmap "$USRMODMAP"
fi
fi

Based on what's mentioned there, what I need to do is to create an /etc/X11/Xsession.d directory and to place there the script 40custom_load-xmodmap, containing the content listed above. Why in the world that information, if it really is the correct way to load xmodmap, is tucked away in that out-of-the-way man page is a mystery to me. What are the chances someone trying to get modmap to run automatically on their system are going to be consulting the Xsession man page? I've searched high and low and never run across anything like that, and now, only by chance, do I finally find it--a fortuitous accident if ever there were one. Well, I'm off to give it a try.

James

* I'd forgotten I read this, but a similar inference can be drawn from http://wiki.debian.org/Openbox#From_login_manager (it instructs that "To run Openbox from XDM you should setup a .xsession file in your home directory and . . ."
Last edited by wayover13 on 2012-03-08 19:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby wayover13 » 2012-03-08 18:54

oswaldkelso wrote:Here's a few pointers for you with info on rox-filer, openbox, tint2, fbpanel on PPC (if you search)

http://oswaldkelso.blogspot.com/search?q=rox#uds-search-results

Wow, that's a lot of information! Thanks, looks interesting. I'll be having a read.

Sadly, the 40custom_load-xmodmap solution outlined in the Xsession man page is not working for me (does not seem to load values from the .Xmodmap file I've created). I'll have to keep trying on that one.

James
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby bengeance » 2012-03-08 21:20

Oh, and I should mention that the login manager on this machine is slim [...] slim is invoking the openbox executable as opposed to invoking openbox-session

You don't have to mess around with xsession scripts: install a login manager that allows you to choose openbox-session. I know wdm does this, and gdm should also. As long as the autostart.sh file is set properly, everything should work.
And, by the way, how does one get desktop icons to appear under openbox?

One good way is to install the pcmanfm file manager, which handles icons and backgrounds. Read the man page for all the options, but putting this line in your autostart.sh will give you the default desktop after login:
Code: Select all
pcmanfm --desktop


Hope that helps
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby wayover13 » 2012-03-08 22:50

Thanks for those tips, bengeance. I've experimented a bit with wbar to get a row of sort of pseudo-desktop-icons, but pcmanfm looks like it might be a better option. I'd thought of switching to wdm, so it's good to know it could resolve the openbox session issues. Still no resolution in sight for xmodmap, but I'll keep digging.

James
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Re: xfce4-panel with openbox - how

Postby cynwulf » 2012-03-08 22:54

Code: Select all
# aptitude install xfce4-panel slim


Started slim, logged in and openbox started up with xfce4-panel, but I'm using openbox-session.

Check the following:

Code: Select all
# update-alternatives --config x-session-manager
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