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Welcome to the community maintained documentation for Openbox! Please help out and add your own articles or improve the ones that are already here.


Getting started

See the getting started guide for instructions on getting Openbox up and running.

The compiling guide details what you need to build the latest version of Openbox, and how to install it correctly.

The upgrading to 3.4 guide walks through all the changes made since version 3.3, and there is a lot of them. Some of them mean new configuration options and features available to you, that you need to update your configuration to access.

This guide to using Openbox in GNOME has instructions for running Openbox in the GNOME desktop environment and getting things to work how you want.

This guide to using Openbox in KDE has instructions for running Openbox in K Desktop Environment.

This guide to using Openbox in XFCE has instructions for running Openbox in the XFCE desktop enviroment.

The details of the default configuration page lists all the default key bindings.

A list of some features found in Openbox.

This guide to using Git shows how to get the latest and greatest Openbox code for testing or developing with.


Frequently asked questions.


Configuration Guide

ObConf provides a simple interface to configuring much of Openbox.

The autostart guide gives instructions on how to launch programs with Openbox at startup (when not running Openbox inside KDE or GNOME).

The key and mouse bindings guide shows how to bind actions to keys and mouse buttons.

The actions documentation lists all of the actions available for key and mouse bindings and the options which can affect their behavior.

Per-app settings let you set properties such as borderless or omnipresent on specific apps.

See the inline comments in the default rc.xml file for now for other options you can set.


A configuration file for focus-follows-mouse. This configuration is similar to the default configuration, but has more suitable mouse bindings for focus-follows-mouse that won't interfere with your windows' stacking order.

A configuration file for vi-styled bindings (by Clay Barnes).

How to use Irssi-style window switching.


The complete theme specification details all of the elements found in an Openbox theme.

Theme file changes in Openbox 3.4.

A tool to help with converting blackbox/fluxbox themes to Openbox themes. (For non-xpm-based themes.)


The menu documentation decribes how to set up your own menus in Openbox.

The actions documentation lists all of the actions available for use in Openbox menus.

Pipe menus are menus that are generated dynamically when you open them. There are a number of pipe menus available for download through here.

Generating an Applications Menu

There are a number of pipe menus that can generate your applications menu from what packages are installed on the system. See this section for a complete list.

Other resources

Many Openbox questions have been answered in forums around the internet. Trying a search may be fruitful.

See Openbox:Community portal for other community resources and related projects.

Cool programs to run with Openbox

Menu Generation

Pipe menus are applications that dynamically generate your Openbox menu. They can provide a dynamic applications menu, system information, amongst other fun things.

Panels, Widgets, Desktops, Pagers, etc..

Besides the programs included in GNOME and KDE...

ROX Desktop

Avant Window Navigator




visibility (click snapshot to download a .tar.gz)




pypanel - PyPanel is a lightweight panel/taskbar. It can be easily customized to match any desktop theme or taste.

Tint Task Manager (official site)

Tint Task Manager (new release) - Tint is a simple panel/taskbar intentionally made for openbox3, but should also work with other window managers






Super Karamba





nitrogen - Background manager

feh - Image viewer



BBDock (untested. EWMH capable) Tested by CrossWind, Fully operational!

Set Layout - small program to set your desktops into a grid if you do not use a pager

You can find lots of dockapps at Some nice ones are wmCalClock, wmnd, wmix and wmpinboard.

There are other programs of interest in the Community portal.

Installing Openbox on Foresight Linux

To install the latest version of Openbox on Foresight Linux, from the command line, execute:

sudo conary update group-openbox

Here's a nice user-contributed tutorial, which includes advice on setting up your Openbox desktop: Installing Openbox in Foresight Linux

Installing Openbox on PCLinuxOS

To install the latest version of Openbox on PCLinuxOS, from the command line, execute:

apt-get install openbox

Or you can use 'synaptic' as usual.

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