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Computing Without Borders



a few themes for the fluxbox window manager

Download Latest Release: fluxbox-styles.20040528.tar.gz

MD5 (fluxbox-styles.20040528.tar.gz) = a9fb3281e95aaf4275c2c8c3c4bd99c7


I like the fluxbox window manager.

For everyday work, it is simple, clean and fast. It is easy to use and unobtrusive. The "tabs" feature provides an elegant and effective mechanism for managing and grouping multiple windows in a workspace. Since adopting the use of this feature, it is almost impossible to go back to a window manager without it.

The onscreen appearance of window elements and desktop features is highly configurable. In fluxbox parlance, a definition of attributes for window elements is called a style.

Over the years--first with blackbox and later with fluxbox--I have tinkered with about a dozen styles. I prefer styles that are simple and uncluttered, yet provide some color and contrast. Generally, I work with the same style, day in and day out, for weeks at a time. But I also enjoy being able to easily switch among the styles I like, whenever the mood strikes me.

The styles included in this package include a few I turn to most often:

  • "Blotif" Evocative of a blue-themed mwm appearance
  • "Cuprik" Sortof coppery
  • "MossBone" Greenish decay, starting to bleach
  • "MyGreen" Forest tones of green and brown
  • "Whimzy" A few splashes of crayon-like color
  • "X-Star" Silver-metallic, blends well with gtk apps, good with antialias

[Some screenshots would be nice here, wouldn't they?]


Step 1. Download the fluxbox-styles distribution tarball as indicated at the top of this page.

Step 2. Unpack the tarball into your fluxbox styles path of choice. For example:

  $ cd ~/.fluxbox
  $ tar -xzvf path/to/tarball

This will drop the styles into the directory ~/.fluxbox/styles.

Step 3. Edit your fluxbox menu file (in ~/.fluxbox/menu) and add an entry like the following:

  [stylesmenu] (My Styles) {~/.fluxbox/styles}

That's it! The new styles will now be available from the main menu, under the selection "My Styles."


The styles included in this package are self-contained, in that they don't use/require any background images for the root window, or special non-standard fonts.

The style files are easily modified, however, to suit your personal preferences. For example, to add a background image to the root window of "Whimzy", edit ~/.fluxbox/styles/Whimzy, find the line that reads:

  rootCommand:  bsetroot -solid rgb:00/66/66

and change it to:

  rootCommand:  bsetbg -full /path/to/image

The "Whimzy" style may be a useful starting point for learning what attributes appear where, since each is indicated by a different and human-readable color name.


The styles in this package were developed specifically for the current stable branch of fluxbox (fluxbox-0.1.14). Unfortunately, they won't be fully compatible with releases from the newer branch, that is, the fluxbox-0.9.x series.

Of course, the newer branch introduces many interesting changes, including the incorporation of the "tabs" functionality within the title bar. But since I've gotten used to my tabs as tabs, --and since the newer versions are starting to weigh in on the fat side-- I'm not planning to migrate anytime soon.

By the way, the style files included in this package will also work fine with the Blackbox window manager, for which they were originally developed.


Configuring style files is not rocket science. But achieving an effect that eliminates minor irritations and annoyances takes a fair amount of trial and error, and testing over time.

If you have any tweaks to suggest, please let us know:

Copyright © 2002 - 2005, Wayne Marshall. All rights reserved.
Last edit 2005.03.07, wcm.