Content-type: text/html Man page of fluxstyle


Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: November 29th, 2004
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fluxstyle - A comprehensive look at styles/themes for Fluxbox  



What is a Style?

Styles, sometimes referred to as Themes, are a graphical overlay for the Fluxbox(1) window manager. If you wanted to get to know Fluxbox, the styles would be the 'look' of the 'look and feel'.

Styles are simple ASCII text files that tell Fluxbox how to generate the appearance of different components of the window manager. The default installation of Fluxbox is shipped with many classic examples that show a great deal of what one could do. To use one of the standard styles navigate to the 'System Styles' menu under your main Fluxbox menu.

Fluxbox uses it's own graphics class to render its images on the fly. By using styles you can determine, at a great level, of configurability what your desktop will look like. Since Fluxbox was derived from Blackbox many often wonder if old themes will work on the latest releases of Blackbox. Well they basically do, but you will have to tune them since the Fluxbox code has changed quite a bit since the initial grab.



A style is made up of a few major components which then have their own sub-directives. The major components are as follows:

The window.* directives control the appearance of the window frames,* controls the appearance of the window tabs, menu.* controls the appearance of the popup menu that you see when you right click on the desktop. toolbar.* is the bar you will see at the top or bottom of your screen. Finally the slit.* has options you can use to customize the appearance of the slit. However if you don't set the slit directives specifically, the slit's appearance is controlled by the toolbar directives instead.

To understand how the style mechanism works, it is nice to know a little about how X11 resources work. X11 resources consist of a key and a value. The key is constructed of several smaller keys (sometimes referred to as children), delimited by a period (.). Keys may also contain an asterisk (*) to serve as a wildcard, which means that one line of text will match several keys. This is useful for styles that are based on one or two colors.



There are many places to store your styles, the most common is in your ~/.fluxbox/styles directory. The initial installation will place the default styles in /usr/share/fluxbox//styles providing a basic usable configuration.

When creating your own style, create a directory (normally the name of your style) in ~/.fluxbox/styles/ (If the 'styles' directory doesn't exist, create that also). While there isn't an official structure, it is common to create a directory named after your style and place your pixmaps directory (if required) in there along with a file called theme.cfg (may also be named style.cfg). This file is where you will construct your style using the components covered later in this manual page. An example of steps taken when beginning a style project of your own may look like:

$ cd
$ mkdir -p ~/.fluxbox/styles/YourStyle/pixmaps
$ cd ~/.fluxbox/styles/YourStyle
$ nano theme.cfg

Output of a packaged style should look like the following:

$ cd
$ tar -tjvf YourStyle.tar.bz2

Of course, all of these are just preferences, Fluxbox allows for the customization of many things, including how you handle your styles. Just remember, however, that if you plan to distribute your style you may find some community bickering if you don't follow practices. :)



As discussed above, Fluxbox allows you to configure its four main components: the toolbar, menus, slit and window decorations. Remember that you can customize the slit with its own directives, otherwise the slit will take the appearance of the toolbar.

Here are some quick examples to illustrate basic syntax:

toolbar.clock.color: green

This sets the color resource of the toolbar clock to 'green'. Another example:

menu*color:     rgb:3/4/5

This sets the color resource of the menu and all of its 'children' to `rgb:3/4/5'. (For a description of color names, see X(1).) So this one also applies to menu.title.color and menu.frame.color. And with

*font:  -b&h-lucida-medium-r-normal-*-*-140-*

you set the font resource for all keys to this font name all at once (For information about the fonts installed on your system, you can use a program like xfontsel(1), gtkfontsel, or xlsfonts(1).)

In the last example you will notice the wildcard (*) before font. In a Fluxbox style you can set a value with a wild card. The example means that every font in the style will be what is specified. You can do this with any component/value. For example if you wanted all of the text to be one color you would do:

*textColor:  rgb:3/4/5

This means that you can setup a very simple style with very few properties. See the EXAMPLES below for an example of this in practice. Fluxbox also allows you to override wildcards in your style. Lets take our example above and add an override for the toolbar.clock.textColor component:

*textColor: rgb:3/4/5
toolbar.clock.textColor: rgb:255/0/0

With that all of the text will be 'rgb:3/4/5' except the toolbar clock text which will be 'rgb:255/0/0'.

Now what makes Fluxbox so spectacular is its ability to render textures on the fly. A texture is a fillpattern that you see on some styles. Texture descriptions are specified directly to the key that they should apply to, e.g.:

toolbar.clock:  Raised Gradient Diagonal Bevel1
toolbar.clock.color:    rgb:8/6/4
toolbar.clock.colorTo:  rgb:4/3/2

Don't worry, we will explain what these mean. A texture description consists of up to five fields, which are as follows:

Flat | Raised | Sunken
gives the component either a flat, raised or sunken appearance.
Gradient | Solid
tells Fluxbox to draw either a solid color or a gradient texture.
Horizontal | Vertical | Diagonal | Crossdiagonal | Pipecross | Elliptic | Rectangle | Pyramid
Select one of these texture types. They only work when Gradient is specified.
tells Fluxbox to interlace the texture (darken every other line). This option is most commonly used with gradiented textures, but from Fluxbox version 0.60.3 on, it also works in solid textures.
Bevel1 | Bevel2
tells Fluxbox which type of bevel to use. Bevel1 is the default bevel. The shading is placed on the edge of the image. Bevel2 is an alternative. The shading is placed one pixel in from the edge of the image.

Instead of a texture description, also the option ParentRelative is available, which makes the component appear as a part of its parent, e.g. totally transparent.

Or for even more possibilities Pixmap . If pixmap texture is specified (it might not be necessary on every occasion) the pixmap file is specified in a separate pixmap resource.

toolbar.clock: pixmap
toolbar.clock.pixmap: .fluxbox/styles/mine/clock_background.xpm

This feature might need some investigation, reports say that sometimes the resources color and colorTo must be set and then they may not be set.

All gradiented textures are composed of two color values: the color and colorTo resources. When Interlaced is used in Solid mode, the colorTo resource is used to find the interlacing color.



We should comment about fonts before we move on to the complete component list. Fluxbox supports different options for text. These options currently include bold, halo and shadow. To set these do this: fontname-size:options for any of the font components in the style file. For example:

menu.title.font: sans-8:bold,shadow

The latest versions of Fluxbox (> 0.9.8) also support different values for these text options. The possibilities are as follows: Shadow color=<colorname> offsetx=<integer> offsety=<integer> Halo color=<colorname> For the case of completeness, here are some real world examples:

*.font: Verdana-10:bold,shadow:offsetx=2;offsety=4;color=green
*.font: Verdana-10:halo:color=blue

Of course this could all be placed on one line. Also note that for the offset options, negative integers are allowed.



If you have problems installing fonts or getting them to work, you should read the docs page at Here is a link to one of these:



Here is the exhaustive component list for Fluxbox styles. Each one is listed with their type of value required. Comments in a style file are preceded with an exclamation point (!) which we also use here so that these can be pasted into a new theme.cfg to be customized appropiately. Please note that in order to keep styles consistent it is often the practice of stylists to provide all of the theme-items in their style file even if they are not used. This allows the user the ease of changing different components.



Many, many things you can do with window design in Fluxbox, below are your options. Have fun.

window.bevelWidth:              <integer>
window.borderColor:             <color>
window.borderWidth:             <integer>
window.button.focus: <texture type>
window.button.focus.color:  <color>
window.button.focus.colorTo: <color>
window.button.focus.picColor:   <color>
window.button.focus.pixmap:     <filename>
window.button.pressed: <texture type>
window.button.pressed.color:  <color>
window.button.pressed.colorTo: <color>
window.button.pressed.pixmap:   <filename>
window.button.unfocus:          <texture type>
window.button.unfocus.color:    <color>
window.button.unfocus.colorTo:  <color>
window.button.unfocus.picColor: <color>
window.button.unfocus.pixmap:   <filename>
window.close.pixmap:            <filename>
window.close.pressed.pixmap:    <filename>
window.close.unfocus.pixmap:    <filename>
window.font:                    <font>
window.frame.focusColor:        <color>
window.frame.unfocusColor:      <color>
window.grip.focus: <texture type>
window.grip.focus.color:  <color>
window.grip.focus.colorTo: <color>
window.grip.focus.pixmap:       <filename>
window.grip.unfocus: <texture type>
window.grip.unfocus.color:  <color>
window.grip.unfocus.colorTo: <color>
window.grip.unfocus.pixmap:     <filename>
window.handle.focus:            <texture type>
window.handle.focus.color:      <color>
window.handle.focus.colorTo:    <color>
window.handle.focus.pixmap:     <filename>
window.handle.unfocus:          <texture type>
window.handle.unfocus.color:    <color>
window.handle.unfocus.colorTo:  <color>
window.handle.unfocus.pixmap:   <filename>
window.handleWidth:             <integer>
window.iconify.pixmap:          <filename>
window.iconify.pressed.pixmap:  <filename>
window.iconify.unfocus.pixmap:  <filename>
window.justify:                 <{Left|Right|Center}>            <texture type>  <color>
window.label.focus:             <texture type>
window.label.focus.color:       <color>
window.label.focus.colorTo:     <color>
window.label.focus.pixmap:      <filename>
window.label.unfocus:           <texture type>
window.label.unfocus.color:     <color>
window.label.unfocus.colorTo:   <color>
window.label.unfocus.pixmap:    <filename>
window.label.focus.textColor: <color>
window.label.unfocus.textColor: <color>
window.maximize.pixmap: <filename>
window.maximize.pressed.pixmap: <filename>
window.maximize.unfocus.pixmap: <filename>
window.roundCorners:            <{Top|Bottom}{Left|Right}>
window.shade.pixmap: <filename>
window.shade.pressed.pixmap: <filename>
window.shade.unfocus.pixmap:    <filename>
window.stick.pixmap: <filename>
window.stick.pressed.pixmap: <filename>
window.stick.unfocus.pixmap:    <filename>
window.stuck.pixmap: <filename>
window.stuck.unfocus.pixmap: <filename>
window.title.focus:             <texture type>
window.title.focus.color:       <color>
window.title.focus.colorTo:     <color>
window.title.focus.pixmap:      <filename>
window.title.height:            <integer>
window.title.unfocus:           <texture type>
window.title.unfocus.color:     <color>
window.title.unfocus.colorTo:   <color>
window.title.unfocus.pixmap:    <filename>



Everything you need to make your menu look pretty.

menu.bevelWidth:                <integer>
menu.borderColor:               <color>
menu.borderWidth:               <integer>
menu.frame: <texture type>
menu.frame.color:  <color>
menu.frame.colorTo: <color>
menu.frame.disableColor:        <color>
menu.frame.font:                <font>
menu.frame.justify:             <{Left|Right|Center}>
menu.frame.pixmap:              <filename>
menu.frame.textColor:           <color>
menu.hilite: <texture type>
menu.hilite.color:  <color>
menu.hilite.colorTo: <color>
menu.hilite.pixmap:             <filename>
menu.hilite.textColor:          <color>
menu.itemHeight:                <integer>
menu.title:                     <texture type>
menu.title.color:               <color>
menu.title.colorTo:             <color>
menu.title.font: <font>
menu.title.pixmap:              <filename>
menu.title.textColor:           <color>
menu.title.justify:             <{Left|Right|Center}>
menu.titleHeight:               <integer>
menu.roundCorners:              <{Top|Bottom}{Left|Right}>
menu.selected.pixmap: <filename>
menu.submenu.pixmap:            <filename>
menu.unselected.pixmap: <filename>



Rarely are you going to want to use this option. There is a command that is similar that is used in the init file. It is bad style to use this in your style as it forces the user to use your background. So note that it is good practice to leave this blank or out of the style altogether.

rootCommand: <string>



Here are all of the options for the slit.

slit: <texture type>
slit.bevelWidth: <integer>
slit.borderColor: <color>
slit.borderWidth:               <integer>
slit.color:                     <color>
slit.colorTo:                   <color>
slit.pixmap:                    <filename>



Below you will find all of the configuration possibilities for the toolbar. The list is pretty extensive and offers you many options to make your toolbar look just the way you want it.

toolbar: <texture type>
toolbar.bevelWidth:             <integer (0-255)>
toolbar.borderColor:            <color>
toolbar.borderWidth:            <integer>
toolbar.button.scale:           <integer>
toolbar.color:  <color>
toolbar.colorTo: <color>
toolbar.clock: <texture type>
toolbar.clock.borderColor:      <color>
toolbar.clock.borderWidth:      <integer>
toolbar.clock.font:             <font>
toolbar.clock.justify:          <{Left|Right|Center}>
toolbar.clock.pixmap:  <filename>
toolbar.clock.color:  <color>
toolbar.clock.colorTo: <color>
toolbar.clock.textColor:        <color>
toolbar.height:                 <integer>
toolbar.iconbar.focused: <texture type>
toolbar.iconbar.focused.color:  <color>
toolbar.iconbar.focused.pixmap: <filename>
toolbar.iconbar.unfocused: <texture type>
toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.color:  <color>
toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.colorTo: <color>
toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.pixmap:       <filename>
toolbar.iconbar.empty: <texture type>
toolbar.iconbar.empty.color:  <color>
toolbar.iconbar.empty.colorTo: <color>
toolbar.iconbar.empty.pixmap:   <filename>
toolbar.iconbar.focused.borderColor: <color>
toolbar.iconbar.focused.borderWidth:    <integer>
toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.borderColor: <color>
toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.borderWidth:  <integer>
toolbar.iconbar.borderColor: <color>
toolbar.iconbar.borderWidth:            <integer>
toolbar.iconbar.focused.font: <font>
toolbar.iconbar.focused.justify:        <{Left|Right|Center}>
toolbar.iconbar.focused.textColor: <color>
toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.font: <font>
toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.justify:      <{Left|Right|Center}>
toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.textColor: <color>
toolbar.pixmap:                 <filename>
toolbar.shaped:                 <boolean>
toolbar.workspace.font:         <font>
toolbar.workspace.justify:      <{Left|Right|Center}>
toolbar.workspace.textColor:    <color>
toolbar.workspace:              <texture type>
toolbar.workspace.borderColor:  <color>
toolbar.workspace.borderWidth:  <integer>
toolbar.workspace.color:        <color>
toolbar.workspace.colorTo:      <color>
toolbar.workspace.pixmap:       <filename>



This list may seem intimidating, but remember, when you create your own style you can easily set a majority of these keys with a single component. For an example of this:

*color: slategrey
*colorTo:       darkslategrey
*unfocus.color: darkslategrey
*unfocus.colorTo:       black
*textColor:     white
*unfocus.textColor:     lightgrey
*font:  lucidasans-10

This sets nice defaults for many components.



These are the color formats for styles:

#000000 (Hexadecimal)

See /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb.txt for an explaination.



Blackbox was written and maintained by Brad Hughes <> and Jeff Raven <>,

Fluxbox is written and maintained by Henrik Kinnunen <> with contributions and patches merged from many individuals around the world.

The Official Fluxbox website:

Fluxmod was a Fluxbox community site where you could find many new styles that work with this version of Fluxbox and take advantage of all the new features. However, fluxmod is no more, but it's maintainer still dabbles in style creation. You can find his site here:

You can also find more styles here:

This manpage was composed from various resources including the official documentation, fluxbox(1) man page and numerous other resources by Curt "Asenchi" Micol. If you notice any errors or problems with this page, please contact him here: <> and using the great contributions of <>. Numerous other languages could be available if someone jumps in.  


fluxbox(1) fbsetbg(1) fbsetroot(1)



What is a Style?

This document was created by man2html, using the manual pages.
Time: 13:08:10 GMT, March 25, 2006