Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Centos 6/RHEL Fluxbox Key Bindings & Autostart Programs


Fluxbox key bindings.

Fluxbox key bindings make life easier on your Centos 6 box as you can assign your programs to be opened with just a keystroke, namely the F1 - F12 keys and Mod1 (Alt) or Mod4 (Microsoft logo) + a letter.

If you haven't yet installed Fluxbox then as long as you have Epel repo its straighforward, so fetch it with


# rpm –-import http://mirrors.coreix.net/fedora-epel/RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL-6

# rpm -Uvh http://mirrors.coreix.net/fedora-epel/6/i386/epel-release-6-7.noarch.rpm

(Alter the above for 64bit)

$ sudo yum -y --enablerepo=epel install fluxbox thunar thunar-volman rxvt

Above for Fluxbox Window Manager, Thunar File Manager and Rxvt Terminal Emulator.

Set up your shortcuts in Fluxbox as below.

Hit Alt+F2 to run Thunar or your chosen file manager, check the 'show hidden files' box from the 'view' menu and browse to the .fluxbox directory which is normally hidden.

Open the 'keys' file with vi and add at the top 'F1 : ExecCommand thunar' (or your file manager) then copy/paste it 10-12 times.

Change the other F1 entries to F2 etc and change the program it runs, for eg F2 : ExecCommand rxvt
F6 : ExecCommand beaver
F9 : ExecCommand google-chrome
F10 : ExecCommand firefox

That's fine to start with, save the file, close off file manager and restart fluxbox to register the shortcuts (right click and select restart, change styles here also - try zinek_darkblue).

More fluxbox options available at /usr/share/fluxbox + info at http://fluxbox.org/ 

Fluxbox is highly customisable and the F1 - F12 shortcut keys open your most used programs very quickly. (Alt+F2 to run others or create shortcut/symlinks in the Desktop folder as below).

$ cd Desktop 

$ sudo ln -s /usr/bin/<prog_name>

More keyboard shortcuts.

You will likely run out of keys for your programs using just F1 - F12, so you can add more by using the Mod1(Alt) & Mod4(Microsoft logo) keys, for example Mod1 g : ExecCommand gimp, (Alt + g) to run Gimp, or another example Mod4 g : ExecCommand gimp, (MicroSoft logo + g) again to run Gimp.

Mod1 and Mod4 keys + letters gives another 52 shortcuts.

More information on this can be found at
 http://fluxbox.sourceforge.net/docbook/en/html/fluxbox-man.html

Fluxbox Autostart Programs

To have a program start automatically at bootup.

$ sudo vi /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc              add the  line

startfluxbox                                 save it, then

$ vi /home/<user_name>/.fluxbox/startup        add the line

/usr/bin/<prog_name> &                     (with ampersand) 

just before the 'exec fluxbox' line 


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