My Fluxbox desktop on Fedora Core 3

I wanted to share my Fluxbox desktop on my main Linux computer both for the geeky motive of showing off my desktop like jocks show off their cars and also to help others achieve the same configurations that I have. Fluxbox, like Blackbox and other *box window managers, are very, very customizable.

Here is the screenshot of my desktop, which you can see in full resolution by clicking it.

First of all, on the left-hand side of the screen you can see my system monitor, gkrellm. If you’ve spent any amount of time checking out screenshots of others’ desktops you’ve definitely seen this system monitor, especially on a non- KDE or Gnome screenshot. I was actually trying to figure out what this program was for months before finally stumbling upon the answer. It is highly customizable both in what it shows and what the colour scheme is. Currently I have it showing my CPU usage, user/program usage, internet traffic, and a few other small things. The best and easiest way to get get gkrellm if you are a Fedora user is to install it from the freshrpms repository via apt or yum. Freshrpms also contains themes and plugins for gkrellm.

The second important thing I wanted to highlight is how to use themes in Fluxbox. Themes typically come as a tarball containing a “styles” file and a background picture. The styles file tells Fluxbox how to draw the menus and which colour scheme to use. Once you have Fluxbox installed on your system there should be a .fluxbox folder in your home directory. (Linux is case-sensitive so check .Fluxbox if you don’t have .fluxbox) If it doesn’t exist you can create it. Then create a styles folder and a background folder if they don’t already exist. When you untar a tarball move the files to their respective folders. Then you can right-click for the menu to come up and click on Fluxbox Menu > User Styles and the one you just put in should be there.

The most common problem is that the background doesn’t change and some errors pop up. This is because all the *box WMs use the same style files to control themes. Whereas on Blackbox the command is bsetbg, it’s fbsetbg in Fluxbox. At least, that’s what made it work for me. There may be some options listed after fbsetbg which you may have to remove if they produce errors.

I am currently using the Ghost in the Shell Theme available from

I hope to make some more advanced modifications to the look and feel of my desktop and will post here how I did it. While I feel that there are many, many great desktop screenshots out on the net there aren’t as many tutorials. Hope you found this one useful.

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