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#1 2015-02-27 11:49:32

photonucleon
Quantum Geek
From: Hogwarts
Registered: 2013-06-10
Posts: 952

Building Jessie+Openbox (getting XFCE to do some of the hard work)

OK... this is something I've been tinkering with. I'll say right now that anything you do with the following tutorial is done entirely at your own risk wink I hope I haven't made any mistakes hmm

So, I've built up a Jessie+Openbox setup, but I did it by stripping down XFCE (as #! has quite a few XFCE components, I thought that XFCE would be the closest DE to #! and hence my decision to use it as a starting point.)

Hopefully I haven't forgotten anything I did. And, although the instructions don't make this clear, you *should* end up with a networking menu in tint2 eventually (though you'll have to make sure this setting is set in the tint2rc once you're done) :

panel_items = TSC

then try restarting tint2 just to make sure that the systray is there wink

I'm assuming a certain level of Debian/CrunchBang knowledge in this tutorial - if you are familiar with #!, you should be OK with this...

Anyway, here goes:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You should be connected via Ethernet for this whole process. It will make things a LOT easier.

- Download Jessie netinstall image

- Install Jessie, choosing the XFCE desktop environment as the DE that you want to have installed

- Once installed, log in to XFCE

- Open a terminal window and

sudo apt-get install openbox obconf tint2 gmrun

- Next, enter the command

openbox --replace & exit

This will set up openbox as the window manager (the wallpaper will vanish, but we'll worry about that later)

- Using the XFCE menu, log out, but MAKE SURE you check the box marked "save session for future login"!

- Log back in. If all is well, you'll have an XFCE-Openbox hybrid desktop. Now run obmenu and add an entry for gmrun at the top of the Openbox menu.

- Create the file ~/.config/openbox/autostart (if it doesn't exist yet) and add the following lines:

##PolicyKit
/usr/lib/policykit-1-gnome/polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1 &

## Set root window colour
hsetroot -solid "#222222" &

## Enable power management
xfce4-power-manager &

## Start Thunar Daemon
thunar --daemon &

## Detect and configure touchpad. See 'man synclient' for more info.
if egrep -iq 'touchpad' /proc/bus/input/devices; then
    synclient VertEdgeScroll=1 &
    synclient HorizEdgeScroll=1 &
    synclient TapButton1=1 &
fi

## Set keyboard settings - 250 ms delay and 25 cps (characters per second) repeat rate.
## Adjust the values according to your preferances.
xset r rate 250 25 &

## Turn on/off system beep
xset b off &

- Log out. In the login screen, click on the session menu (in the top right) and select Openbox as the session you want to log in to. Log back in.

- Right-click menu > the gmrun entry you created earlier, then enter "synaptic-pkexec". Enter your password when prompted.

- Now comes the fun part: removing the bloat. Feel free to remove any bloat including LibreOffice, Orage, Notes - just mark anything you want to get rid of (as long as it's just an XFCE app and not something important, haha). It's best to play it safe here. You can basically remove anything that is listed inside the appfinder (xfce4-appfinder) if you don't want it (so don't remove the appfinder just yet - I like to keep it).

- 'But what about all the bloat that ISN'T just apps? What about the rest of the XFCE DE that still remains?' you might ask. If you sort the packages in Synaptic by 'Sections' (using the left-hand sidebar), and scroll to 'Xfce Desktop Environment' in order to only show XFCE packages, you can (probably) safely remove the following packages:
xfce4
xfce4-session
xfce4-settings
xfdesktop4
... and then basically all of the xfce panel plugins (but NOT the panel itself). Do NOT remove anything to do with thunar, the power manager, the notification daemon, the screenshooter, or tumbler. Remember - if in doubt, leave it. Hastily removing packages will probably break things wink

- Once you have applied the changes and removed all the packages that need removing, use the left sidebar in Synaptic again, but this time to arrange the packages by status. There should be a section called something like 'Installed (automatically)' and probably says something about autoremove. Select that section, then select all the packages in that section, then go to the Package menu (in the menu bar) and uncheck the 'Automatically Installed' option. This will prevent apt-get from completely uninstalling everything automatically (since you removed XFCE, it doesn't see a need for most of the GUI packages. You just need to tell it you want to keep them, which is what you just did...)

- Now to make everything look nice... install any packages whose names begin with gtk2-engines or gtk3-engines (there should be about 8 such packages in total, and some might already be installed). Then install lxappearance and nitrogen. Use lxappearance, nitrogen, and obconf to customise the appearance of the UI, just as you would on #! tongue You can install the Faenza icon set with apt-get or Synaptic if you want.

- Now install clipit, xscreensaver, and volumeicon-alsa. Then add the following to the openbox autostart file:

## Group start:
## 1. nitrogen - restores wallpaper
## 3. sleep - give compositor time to start
## 4. tint2 panel
(\
nitrogen --restore && \
sleep 2s && \
tint2 \
) &

## Volume control for systray
(sleep 2s && volumeicon) &

## Start xscreensaver
xscreensaver -no-splash &

## Start Clipboard manager
(sleep 3s && clipit) &

- And that's the basic setup done! Now you should make sure your preferred applications are installed (you might have to right-click files and set them to always open with your application of choice the first time, as I found most files would try and open in Iceweasel first...)

- Next, use obmenu or edit menu.xml to build up the menu with the programs you have installed. You can also edit rc.xml to set up keyboard shortcuts as appropriate (see the equivalent files in a CrunchBang install for reference...)

- And that's how to set up the basic OS and UI... what you do now with it is up to you! big_smile
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hopefully this tutorial will be useful to someone... I've certainly learned a lot from doing this. Don't be afraid to google for help wink

Last edited by photonucleon (2015-02-28 16:49:40)


- Ai! Aníron Undómiel. -
- Some things are certain. -
- Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta. -

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#2 2015-02-27 11:58:40

brontosaurusrex
#! Red Menace
Registered: 2012-06-15
Posts: 1,643

Re: Building Jessie+Openbox (getting XFCE to do some of the hard work)

Thanks for sharing, added to my "places to steal from" section.

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#3 2015-02-27 17:17:57

Head_on_a_Stick
CatMod
From: A world of pure imagination
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 4,797

Re: Building Jessie+Openbox (getting XFCE to do some of the hard work)

Nice guide, thank you!

Do you have any screenshots?

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#4 2015-02-27 21:31:27

photonucleon
Quantum Geek
From: Hogwarts
Registered: 2013-06-10
Posts: 952

Re: Building Jessie+Openbox (getting XFCE to do some of the hard work)

Just the one, so far:

1423512603.png


- Ai! Aníron Undómiel. -
- Some things are certain. -
- Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta. -

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#5 2015-03-03 19:00:49

ride2grin
New Member
Registered: 2013-03-19
Posts: 2

Re: Building Jessie+Openbox (getting XFCE to do some of the hard work)

Thanks for this how-to.  You've inspired me to try Jessie/OB again.  I tried muddling through this setup a couple months ago but ran into some problems, so I moved on to something else.  Looking at how you did it shows me how to fix some of the mistakes I made.

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#6 2015-03-03 20:08:36

photonucleon
Quantum Geek
From: Hogwarts
Registered: 2013-06-10
Posts: 952

Re: Building Jessie+Openbox (getting XFCE to do some of the hard work)

Glad to hear that! Have fun!


- Ai! Aníron Undómiel. -
- Some things are certain. -
- Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta. -

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