Appendix B. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. What is the Slit?
2. Is there a way to have Slit dockapps be in a certain order?
3. How do I change the toolbar Time format?
4. I make changes to my ~/.fluxbox/init, but they are getting overwritten.
5. How do tabs work?
6. It seems that I can't use the old fonts like Snap with AA... What's the deal?
7. I keep hearing about these Artwiz fonts. What gives?
8. How do I set my background?
9. My background changes to an ugly one when I change themes.
10. Can I use my existing .blackboxrc for Fluxbox?
11. How do i launch apps automatically on Fluxbox startup?
12. Can I use Blackbox styles (themes) with Fluxbox?
13. How do I set up my .xinitrc/.xsession?
14. Is there KDE support?
15. Is there Gnome support?
16. BBtools don't use my current style settings, even after restart.
17. The tabs look ugly with some styles, how to fix it?
18. How do I put icons on Fluxbox' desktop?
19. Fluxbox 0.9.6 is slow...

1. What is the Slit?

The first thing to know about the Slit is that it is not the Fluxbox taskbar.

The Slit is a place where dockable applications can 'dock'. We have an entire chapter devoted to the Slit: Chapter 7. Read it before asking any questions about what the slit is and how it works.

2. Is there a way to have Slit dockapps be in a certain order?

In Fluxbox versions after 0.1.10, yes. There's an explanation in Chapter 7.

3. How do I change the toolbar Time format?

Change this line in your init:

session.screen0.strftimeFormat: %a %d %H:%M

For information on the format, run man 3 strftime on your machine.

4. I make changes to my ~/.fluxbox/init, but they are getting overwritten.

This is a bug in versions of Fluxbox prior to 0.1.8-bugfix2. Please upgrade to the latest version / bugfix before reporting this.

5. How do tabs work?

See Chapter 4.

6. It seems that I can't use the old fonts like Snap with AA... What's the deal?

As soon as you activate AA with Fluxbox, it relies on Freetype2 to render the characters. If you don't use AA, X11s native font rendering can be used. As FT2 does not support all the formats that X11 supports, the choice of fonts for Fluxbox becomes limited. As of this writing, FT2 supports the following formats:

  • TrueType files (.ttf) and collections (.ttc)

  • Type 1 font files both in ASCII (.pfa) or binary (.pfb) format

  • Type 1 Multiple Master fonts

  • Type 1 CID-keyed fonts

  • OpenType/CFF (.otf) fonts

  • CFF/Type 2 fonts

  • Adobe CEF fonts (.cef)

  • Windows FNT/FON bitmap fonts

Freetype 1, on the other hand, does only support TrueType fonts, although support for GX and OTF fonts can be enabled by using another library. Details can be found on the Freetype homepage.

7. I keep hearing about these Artwiz fonts. What gives?

There is an explanation in Appendix D

If you like the Artwiz fonts, but don't like the way they look in terminals, consider checking out the LFP fontpack, from the Linux Font Project. There are two sets of fonts there, The LFP Fixed-Width Fonts (good for terminals), and LFP Variable-Width Fonts (good for other things). The fixed-width fonts are also available for the Linux console.

8. How do I set my background?

This is explained in Chapter 6.

9. My background changes to an ugly one when I change themes.

There is a solution in Chapter 6.

10. Can I use my existing .blackboxrc for Fluxbox?

You may certainly, be sure to add some lines for titlebar and keygrabbing, though. It may also be wise to symlink your blackboxrc and ~/.fluxbox/init together somehow.

11. How do i launch apps automatically on Fluxbox startup?

12. Can I use Blackbox styles (themes) with Fluxbox?

Yes. The tarballs for both packages should be 100% interchangeable. This should also stay true for the Waimea and Openbox projects, although I can't guarantee it. I've not seen such a promise from either of the two projects, but one of the goals of Fluxbox is to stay compatible with Blackbox styles.

13. How do I set up my .xinitrc/.xsession?

14. Is there KDE support?

Yeah, use the configure option --enable-kde. This ensures that KDE tray icons will appear in the slit.

15. Is there Gnome support?

Yeah, use the configure option --enable-gnome. This enables the Gnome hints. In Fluxbox versions 0.1.12 and later this is the default.

16. BBtools don't use my current style settings, even after restart.

Simply link your ~/.blackboxrc to your ~/.fluxbox/init, for example with this command:

    $ ln -s ~/.fluxbox/init ~/.blackboxrc

17. The tabs look ugly with some styles, how to fix it?

0.1.14 or preceeding versions.

To make the tabs look (even more) pretty you'll need to add some extra entries to your desired style (theme). However, note that you don't have to do this, Fluxbox is very capable of setting the tabs to a proper color/style by itself, but if you want to have more control of how they look, you might want to add a few lines like this:

Example B-1. Customized tabs in style file

    ! -- tab style (for Fluxbox)
    window.tab.justify:                     Right
    window.tab.label.unfocus:               Flat Solid
    window.tab.label.unfocus.color:         rgb:AC/AC/AC
    window.tab.label.unfocus.textColor:     black
    window.tab.label.focus:                 Raised Solid
    window.tab.label.focus.color:           rgb:CC/CC/CC
    window.tab.label.focus.textColor:       black
    window.tab.borderWidth:                 1
    window.tab.borderColor:                 rgb:10/10/10
    window.tab.font:                        fixed
    ! --- end, tab style

Okay, so what does all this do then? Well the same stuff as any other thing in a theme, I'm sure you get it if you have ever made a Blackbox theme before (Chapter 10 might be interesting if you haven't).

Also note that a style containing these extra entries will still work perfectly in Blackbox, so you loose nothing by adding this.

18. How do I put icons on Fluxbox' desktop?

Fluxbox has its own companion program for this kind of functionality, it is called fbdesk. fbdesk is currently not packaged with fluxbox. There are also alternatives: the RoxFiler project, idesk, xdesk.

19. Fluxbox 0.9.6 is slow...

Add the following line to your .xinitrc before you exec fluxbox:

export LC_ALL=C

should help on newer RedHats.