How-To Geek

Installing Fluxbox on Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu by default uses the Gnome user interface. Fluxbox is an alternative window manager for Ubuntu that is extremely lightweight and customizable.

Installing fluxbox is really quite simple. First you will want to make sure that you’ve enabled the universe repository.

To install Fluxbox, open up a terminal window and type in the following command:

sudo apt-get install fluxbox

You will be prompted for your password, and the installation will continue. Once you are done installing, you will need to exit XWindows by using Ctrl+Alt+Backspace or just rebooting the computer.

At the Ubuntu Login prompt, click the Options button in the bottom left hand corner:

You will be prompted to choose from a list of Window Managers that are installed on your system. Select Fluxbox and continue to login.

Fluxbox is really simple. The main menu can be seen by right-clicking on the desktop:

At the bottom of the screen, you will see a taskbar that shows you the running programs and lets you switch between workspaces:

The Fluxbox window style is a lot different than you may be used to. Here’s a screenshot for your enjoyment:

Fluxbox is definitely not for everybody, but it’s about as lightweight as you can get, so it’s probably useful for low memory systems.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/22/06

Comments (5)

  1. Peter

    Perfect for a clean desktop that is uncluttered and very fast!

    I use fluxbox on all my Linux systems and I am more productive. :)

    A good eye candy combination includes conky and adesklets.



  2. Jonathan

    I agree with Peter on two fronts:
    1. Fluxbox is my preferred Window Manager for Linux, bar none. GNOME’s metacity and KDE’s kwm tend to get crabby when you use KDE apps in GNOME or vice versa, but fluxbox handles those situations quite well.
    2. Conky + Fluxbox = awesome. If you’re on a laptop and are using Fluxbox without an underlying Desktop Environment, add qbat and wicd for battery and wifi management/applets.

    On an amusing tangent, my dad’s name is Peter.

  3. Braintix

    How to set a wallpaper in fluxbox

    1.apt-get install feh

    2. remove the # and set the /path/to/the/wallpaper.png

    fbsetbg -f /home/braintix/wallpaper/eat-ya-chilis.png

    3.edit or make a text file called overlay
    write it like this

    background: aspect | tiled | centered
    background.pixmap: /home/braintix/wallpaper/eat-ya-chilis.png

  4. Kabel.

    So yeah.. Installed FluxBox, didn’t really like it too much, decided I would test it out when I get bored.

    I rightclick and click exit, hoping it will take me back to login screen.

    My computer boots down, not unexpectedly.

    “Guess I’ll just have to reboot.” I think.

    I wait for HP’s boot thingy to go away, only to find:

    Boot Error.

    Now I’ve had to use my supergrub cd, to boot mint, and type in this whole message in here.

    I sure as hell hope I can remove fluxbox, and get back into my normal Ubuntu boot.


  5. Jase

    I love this, such a plain simple window manager
    Not succeeding with desktop wallpaper, but it is beautiful window manager and at least the desktop is purple/red which looks lovely on my red Acer one netbook

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