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Openbox Window Manager
Developer(s)Dana Jansens, Mikael Magnusson
Initial release18 September 2002 (2002-09-18)
Stable release3.6.1 Edit this on Wikidata / 1 July 2015
Written inC
Operating systemUnix-like
TypeStacking window manager
LicenseGPL 2.0 or later Edit this on Wikidata

Openbox is a free, stacking window manager for the X Window System, licensed under the GNU General Public License. Originally derived from Blackbox 0.65.0 (a C++ project), Openbox has been completely re-written in the C programming language and since version 3.0 is no longer based upon any code from Blackbox. Since at least 2010, it has been considered feature complete, bug free and a completed project. Occasional maintenance is done to keep it working, but only if needed.

Openbox is designed to be small, fast, and fully compliant with the Inter-Client Communication Conventions Manual (ICCCM) and Extended Window Manager Hints (EWMH). It supports many features such as menus by which the user can control applications or which display various dynamic information.

Openbox is the standard window manager in LXDE, and often set as the default for LXQt. It is used in Linux distributions such as BunsenLabs, ArchBang, Lubuntu, Trisquel and Manjaro.

The creator and primary author of Openbox is Dana Jansens of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Using Openbox

Openbox provides a right-click (or any other key-binding) "root menu" on the desktop, and allows users to configure the way windows are managed. When a window is minimized, it becomes invisible. To bring windows up again, most use Alt+Tab ↹ or the Desktop menu, accessible by right-clicking. Or, sometimes, by middle-button-clicking. Extending Openbox with other small programs that add icons, taskbars, launchers, eyecandy and others is common.


ObConf, a GUI configuration editor for Openbox

There are only two configuration files, both located in ~/.config/openbox. They are named menu.xml and rc.xml. These can either be edited manually or with the graphical configuration tools ObConf and obmenu.

All mouse and key-bindings can be configured. For example, a user can set:

Pipe menus

Openbox has a dynamic menu system that uses "pipe menus". A menu item in a piped menu system can accept the standard output of a shell script (or other executable) in order to generate a sub-menu. Because the script runs every time the pointer activates it, and because the script can assess environmental conditions, piped menus enable conditional branching to be built into the menu system. A static menu system as used on most window managers gets its layout once, when the window manager is restarted, and will not have the ability to modify the menu layout depending on environmental factors.

See also


  1. ^ a b Jansens, Dana (November 2007). "User:DanaJansens". Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  2. ^ Jansens, Dana. "Openbox Developer Dana Jansens". Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  3. ^ " Git - dana/openbox.git/summary". Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Openbox:Changelog".
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h * Saunders, Mike (March 2008). "Lightweight window managers". Linux Format (103). UK: Future Publishing.* Сондерс, Майк (March 2008). Легковесные ОМ (PDF). Linux Format (in Russian) (103). Russia: 21.
  6. ^ GentooWiki (March 2008). "HOWTO Openbox". Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
  7. ^ "is Openbox still being developed?". Reddit. June 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  8. ^ "EWMH Compliance Document". Archived from the original on 31 October 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
  9. ^ LXDEWiki (September 2008). "LXDE Wiki". Archived from the original on 7 April 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  10. ^ BunsenLabs Linux (December 2020). "BunsenLabs Linux". Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Rolling-release (Linux Wiki)". Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  12. ^ Lavergne, Julian (October 2010). "Lubuntu Applications". Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  13. ^ DistroWatch (August 2010). "Tiny Me". Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  14. ^ "Trisquel Mini GNU/Linux". The Trisquel Project. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  15. ^ "Openbox window manager grows up". 11 July 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Manjaro - Openbox - Stable". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Dana Jansens". Archived from the original on 30 October 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  18. ^ Openbox project (June 2007). "ObConf:About". Retrieved 7 April 2008.
  19. ^ obmenu:Index, retrieved 28 March 2012
  20. ^ "Openbox Wiki:Pipe menus".
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