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What is Fluxbox?

Fluxbox is a fast, lightweight and highly customizable window manager for X. Along with JWM, Fluxbox is one of the default window managers in DSL.

Using Fluxbox

To start a program using Fluxbox right click on the desktop. This should bring up a menu. Find the application you wish to run in the menu and left click on its name to start it.

By default the Fluxbox taskbar lies at the bottom of the screen. It shows the name of the application currently in focus. You may cycle between running applications by pressing the left and right arrows to the right of the application name on the taskbar. Alternatively you can use the key combinations Alt + Tab and Alt + Shift + Tab. The taskbar also tells you which workspace is currently in view and allows you to cycle between workspaces.

The Fluxbox slit is an area of the screen used to display DockApps. DSL comes with DockApps to display network usage, to display CPU usage, to display memory usage, to mount partitions, display the workspace layout and to change the sound volume. A large number of alternative DockApps are available as DSL extensions.


Multiple windows can be grouped together as follows:

  1. Pick two windows that you'd like to group together.
  2. Click the third mouse button (middle mouse button) on tab for the first one, and drag it onto the tab for the second.
  3. To ungroup the two windows again click the third mouse button on a grouped tab and drag it away.

Configuring Fluxbox

A lot of customisation can be carried out though Fluxbox's interface. Right clicking on the taskbar or slit presents various options. The look of Fluxbox can be changed by choosing a different theme from Desktop, Styles in the desktop menu. Yet more configuration options are available under Desktop, Configuration.

For the greatest degree of control over Fluxbox's behavour it is necessary to edit Fluxbox's configuration files directly. The important files are:

  • ~/.fluxbox/menu - The desktop menu
  • ~/.fluxbox/init - General configuration
  • ~/.fluxbox/keys - Fluxbox key bindings
  • ~/.fluxbox/slitlist - Controls the order that applications loaded into the slit appear in
  • /usr/share/fluxbox/styles - Directory containing fluxbox styles
  • ~/.fluxbox/styles - Directory containing user defined fluxbox styles
  • /usr/share/fluxbox/backgrounds - Directory containing fluxbox backgrounds
  • ~/.fluxbox/backgrounds - Directory containing user defined fluxbox backgrounds