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Small Screen, Big Windows

Press and hold Alt key and drag windows with mouse if they are too large for your screen.

Bottom Taskbar

Changing Font Size

Right click on empty spot on the bottom panel, select "Panel Settings"
On "Geometry" Tab, increase Icon size to 36 pixels.

How to make/add an application to the "start" menu.

Here is a small example, it begins with editing a .desktop file, which you can copy to ~/Desktop if you want to have it on your desktop like in Windows.

gksudo leafpad /usr/share/applications/urxvt.desktop

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Opens a terminal with UTF-8 and 256 colors support

Another example:

[Desktop Entry]
Icon=<path to icon>
Name=<name to appear in menu>
Categories=<menu categories>
Exec=<path to executable>
Path=<set working directory if necessary>

Categories determine where this program will be placed in the menu. I suggest to check and inspect other .desktop files under /usr/share/applications/ to give you more hint about this.

Making a .desktop file in ~/.local/share/applications will show the item in the LXDE start menu.

More about this can be found from http://standards.freedesktop.org/desktop-entry-spec/latest/

How do I assign certain program to open to a desktop #2

In this example I'm going to show how to open Chromium browser in desktop #2, as I have it configured.

Run in LXTerminal:

leafpad ~/.config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.xml

Then you have to scroll all the way to the end of the file and locate the <applications> tag.

On new lines between it and the </applications> tag, add:

<application name="chromium-browser">

Now run:

openbox --reconfigure

and you can start Chromium on any desktop, and it will be opened in desktop 2. Note it will not switch desktops.

Changing running applications in panel to icons only

  • right click panel
  • click Panel Preferences

  • click Panel Applets tab

  • click Task Bar (Window List)

  • click Edit button

  • check Icons only

How can I create a shortcut on the Desktop

Launch LXTerminal and move to your Desktop directory

cd ~home/Desktop
lxshortcut -o application_name.desktop

(Of course you will want to change "application_name" to the name of the application you want adding).

How to control window opacity

If you'd prefer to actually see through to your background windows, you need a compositing manager. Compiz and Cairo are two rather heavyweight solutions with lots of resource-heavy eyecandy. An alternative consistent with the small footprint of Lubuntu is xcompmgr. We will need to install this as well as transset to control the degree of opacity:

sudo apt-get install xcompmgr transset

To get xcompmgr running every time:

leafpad ~/.config/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart

and add the line:

@xcompmgr -c

which turns on translucency and soft shadows. Fading can be added with -fD A where A is milliseconds between steps in a fade.

To control the level of opacity, make sure the program you want to change is running, then use:

transset B

where B is some number between 0 and 1 where 0 is completely transparent and 1 is completely opaque. Then click on the window you want to change the transparency on. If you like fading, you may want to add -F to xcompmgr to allow for faded transitions when changing opacity.

Change Color Of Taskbar or LxPanel

Need a your taskbar to be a different color?

  • Right click on the panel, (but not an application) and select "Panel Settings"
  • Select the "Appearance" top-tab.
  • You have several options to change the panel color.

Turn off iconify/minimize window animation in 12.04

  • Open the Terminal
  • Type: leafpad ~/.config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.xml

  • Look for <animateIconify>yes</animateIconify>

  • Change it to <animateIconify>no</animateIconify>

  • Save the file
  • Type: openbox --reconfigure

Restart lxpanel

#perhaps move to lxpanel page?

lxpanelctl restart
killall lxpanel && lxpanel --profile Lubuntu

Disable accidental desktop switching

see Lubuntu/Mouse#Disable_how_using_the_scrollwheel_on_the_switches_to_the_next_Desktop

Launching Windows Maximized or Fullscreen

Some programs remember the size they were when you closed them and then reopen with that size. But suppose you always want to open a certain program maximized irrespective of the size it was the last time you used it. Then, there maybe some applications you want to always open fullscreen (as opposed to maximized). Lubuntu users can do so by editing ~/.config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.xml.

A little bit about lubuntu-rc.xml first. This file contains several sections: resistance, focus, placement, theme, desktops, resize, margins, dock, keyboard, mouse, menu, and applications. For our purpose, we'll be interested in the last section, applications. But before anything else, please make a backup of this file just in case. To backup via the command line you could use cp ~/.config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.xml ~/.config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.backup or you could use the file manager.

A small note ... when editing XML (or other files containing code), it's preferable to use a text editor that highlights code syntax. Leafpad doesn't. Nano, which runs in a terminal does. If you prefer the GUI route, medit is nice and can be installed from the software center.

Assuming you use nano, just type nano ~/.config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.xml and hit enter.

Now that you've opened lubuntu-rc.xml, you'll see that the entire applications section is commented out. Commenting out stuff in .xml files is done by enclosing the stuff within <!-- at the start and --> at the end. Now that you know that, you are in a position to uncomment the following subsection:

    <!-- Maximize all normal windows when launched 
    <application type="normal">

to look like this:

    <!-- Maximize all normal windows when launched -->
    <application type="normal">

Save lubuntu-rc.xml and exit the text editor. Then, in a terminal, type openbox --reconfigure and press Enter. (This step is necessary to let Openbox know that you've altered one of its files and it also catches certain mistakes and lets you know in the terminal window.)

At this point, any program you open will probably open maximized. Why "probably"? That's because of the use of normal in <application type="normal">. The idea here is to restrict the maximize effect to the "main" window and not to have things like dialog windows or panels open maximized as well. If you want everything to open maximized, you'd use something like <application type="*">.

But what if you want only some programs to open maximized and not others? That can be done too. Here's a bit of code that will make most browsers open maximized (assuming you haven't uncommented out the section to Maximize all normal windows).

<application role="browser">

Notice that now we've used <application role="browser">. Why? Because by specifying application role="browser" we can have Chrome/Chromium, Firefox, Opera and Seamonkey all open maximized. There's another reason and that has to do with each browser's "internal" dialog boxes, panels, and windows. So the use of application role="browser" ensures that internal stuff such as Firefox' Preferences pane (Alt+Edit+Preferences) or Chrome's Task Manager (Shift+Escape) don't open maximized as well.

But suppose you just want the one browser to always open maximized? You need to get a little more information first. The procedure requires having both your terminal and your desired browser window open side by side. Now type the code given below and press Enter:

xprop | grep "^_OB_APP"

The cursor in the terminal changes to cross-hairs. Using the mouse, move the cursor over to the browser's window and single-click in there. You'll then see the following output in your terminal (if Google Chrome is the browser open):

_OB_APP_TYPE(UTF8_STRING) = "normal"
_OB_APP_TITLE(UTF8_STRING) = "Untitled - Google Chrome"
_OB_APP_CLASS(UTF8_STRING) = "Google-chrome"
_OB_APP_NAME(UTF8_STRING) = "google-chrome"
_OB_APP_ROLE(UTF8_STRING) = "browser"

With that information, we can now add the following subsection to the Applications section in lubuntu-rc.xml:

<application name = "google-chrome" role="browser">

Note that that if you run the xprop command and click on Chrome's Task Manager, you'll see:

_OB_APP_TYPE(UTF8_STRING) = "normal"
_OB_APP_TITLE(UTF8_STRING) = "Task Manager - Google Chrome"
_OB_APP_CLASS(UTF8_STRING) = "Google-chrome"
_OB_APP_NAME(UTF8_STRING) = "google-chrome"

And just in case you think that application names are obvious or "intuitive", here's what you see for LibreOffice Calc (if you have it handy)

_OB_APP_TYPE(UTF8_STRING) = "normal"
_OB_APP_TITLE(UTF8_STRING) = "Untitled 1 - LibreOffice Calc"
_OB_APP_CLASS(UTF8_STRING) = "libreoffice-calc"
_OB_APP_NAME(UTF8_STRING) = "VCLSalFrame.DocumentWindow"

and for its Options window:

_OB_APP_TYPE(UTF8_STRING) = "dialog"
_OB_APP_TITLE(UTF8_STRING) = "Options - LibreOffice - User Data"
_OB_APP_NAME(UTF8_STRING) = "soffice"

Now that you've read all that, launching applications fullscreen is easy. Use something like this (changing whatever to the relevant name):

<application name = "whatever" type="normal">

If you don't like to edit lubuntu-rc.xml directly, there is a GUI-based approach. It requires installing a program called OBApps and its dependencies. Now, OBApps, unfortunately, isn't in the repos and so its installation is just a little lengthy.

  • Download it from here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/obapps/files/obapps-0.1.7.tar.gz/download

  • Extract the contents using Archive Manager (for example)
  • Read the README to find out what the current additional requirements are. For now, with version 0.1.7, users may need to install python-xlib, python-wxgtk2.8, python-wxtools, and wx2.8-il8n. All of these can be installed by sudo apt-get install

  • Open a terminal, change directory to where you've extracted the tar file, and run the install command which currently is  sudo python setup.py install.

OBApps should now be installed and available by pressing Alt+F2, entering obapps in the text area, and pressing Enter.

If you wish to have OBApps appear in Lubuntu's menu so that you can launch it from there, we need to make a .desktop file. Here's one:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=GUI for per-app window settings; version 0.1.7

You can save the contents as obapps.desktop in /usr/share/applications (for all users) or in ~/.local/share/applications for a specific user. Also, the choice of an icon is up to you.

As the README suggests, make a back up of lubuntu-rc.xml before using OBApps!

Reposition and Resize Windows Without Using a Mouse

Note: If you're using 13.04 or later, something very similar to the code described below is present, by default, in lubuntu-rc.xml. See the section titled "Keybindings for window tiling". So, all users of Lubuntu 13.04 or later, may need to do is to tweak the values and keybinding to suit individual needs.

Want to make an existing active window occupy the top, bottom, left, or right half of your screen? Very simple!

This sort of "aerosnap" is available by default and without having to install extra software or resorting to compositing managers. And it's possible to do so precisely and by pressing just a couple of keys.

This is done by editing ~/.config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.xml after making a backup for safety. (If you don't know what lubuntu-rc.xml is, Openbox - Edit rc.xml to Gain Control is a very well-written article on the subject.)

At the outset, I'll point out the most difficult aspect of "aerosnap": it's the choice you make for assigning which keys do what. You need to ensure that you (or the programs you use) don't already use the same key combinations! You won't get any warning; things may just not work the way you intend!

Okay, now that you've opened lubuntu-rc.xml, search for a line that has just </keyboard>. Then, just above that line, (carefully) paste in any or all of the code samples given below after reading the notes:

  • The key combinations below work for me on my laptop because I'm sure that nothing else uses the combinations of pressing the Super (or Windows) key denoted by W and the up, down, left or right arrow keys (not those on the number pad!).

  • If you want to use some other keys then C, S, and A denote the control, shift, and alt keys, respectively.

  • For example, if you want to assign pressing control + shift + Z together to some action, you'd use C-S-Z.

  • The sizes used, when not in percentages, are in screen pixels; my laptop has a height of 768 px and I have my panel on the top:

    <!-- Snap to left, full height   -->
    <keybind key="W-Left">
      <action name="Unmaximize"/>
      <action name="MoveResizeTo">

    <!-- Snap to right, full height -->
    <keybind key="W-Right">
      <action name="Unmaximize"/>
      <action name="MoveResizeTo">

    <!-- Snap to top, full width   -->
    <keybind key="W-Up">
      <action name="Unmaximize"/>
      <action name="MoveResizeTo">

    <!-- Snap to bottom, full width   -->
    <keybind key="W-Down">
      <action name="Unmaximize"/>
      <action name="MoveResizeTo">

    <!-- Snap to center: positions the center of a window in the center of your screen;
         the window is not resized -->
    <keybind key="W-w">
      <action name="MoveResizeTo">

Save the file, exit the editor, open a terminal and run openbox --reconfigure. As soon as you've done so, you can press the key combinations you've chosen to see the effect on the window that currently has focus.

The examples given here are the simplest. There are many more tricks. This page will get you started. Also, you can look at Openbox Hacks and Configs Thread.

Lubuntu/Windows (last edited 2015-03-11 21:25:04 by phillw)