MX-fluxbox released as fully integrated overlay

MX Linux has made Desktop Environments and Window Managers available through the Package Installer since the beginning of time (well, since 2014). But those are basic vanilla install packages, essentially unaltered for MX Linux use. That pattern changed with the release on December 12 2019 of MX-fluxbox, a version of fluxbox developed specifically as a fully integrated overlay for MX Linux (versions 17 and later).

Installation involves two steps. The base installation is enabled through the MX Package Installer > Popular Applications tab, Window Managers entry. Once that installation finishes, the user clicks an entry in the Menu “MX-flux” to initiate the second step: moving a few small files and folders to the user’s Home directory once permission has been given. The user then logs out, selects fluxbox from the session menu in the upper right corner of the login screen, and logs back in.

Default desktop of MX-flux

Fluxbox is small, fast and a pleasure to behold. When the user logs in, the desktop is up in the blink of an eye. The default is nearly bare: a stunning wallpaper by antechdesigns, a toolbar on top, and a link to the detailed FAQs in the upper left corner. There is no menu visible, but a right-click anywhere on the desktop will bring it up. Conkies and system monitors can be added as well as killed from the menu, and style and background can be quickly changed. Dedicated function keys provide quick access to critical needs such as MX Tools, Thunar and an “All apps” menu—everything is described in the FAQs.

Another nice feature that the user can do with the menu whatever he or she wants, since it is just a flat file (menu-mx) with very simple syntax. Add, remove, change, rearrange—all at your command. You can even do fun stuff such as have a single click to your local weather, Wikipedia or your favorite get-me-up-in-the-morning music or video.

But by far the best way to find out what it is and how it works is to log in and start poking around—and enjoy yourself!

35 thoughts on “MX-fluxbox released as fully integrated overlay”

  1. Thanks for the post. There were problems during development with the translation of the window texts, and we are still waiting for those to be fixed. Once the system is working, then we can begin to get translations.

  2. in my opinion 3 things – to start with – are missing from this FrequentlyAskedQuestions doc.
    1. What is the purpose of FluxBox as such
    2. What is the purpose of Idesk
    3. What is suggested path of instaling idesk (since all start with : install idesk)

  3. Grazie,lo sto provando e funziona perfettamente sul mio hp elite 8200 sff con 16 giga di ram e hd meccanico da 2 terabyte. La cura della grafica cui gli sviluppatori di mxlinux hanno dedicato è veramente notevole. Migliori riguardi e saluti da Napoli (Italia)

  4. First I would like to give props to the developer(s) for adding this to the options to Use MX-LINUX. Its very interesting to use and thank you.
    Ok I have noted a bug. If I’m in the file manager be it Thunar or PCmanfm I cannot right or left click or double click on some files, folders of even items on the side bar menu in these file managers. Others open OK but its inconsistent.
    I’m on a Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E530.
    FYI no issues with touchpad on default MX-Linux setup running MX-Linux 18.

    Anyway…thanks again. Never used Fluxbox before but enjoying discovering its usages 🙂

  5. idesk has only a tiny role: to support the FAQ icon on the default desktop. You don’t need to install it, that is taken care of by the MX-Fluxbox installer.

  6. Ok got it and working. Thank you 🙂
    my update didnt work at first, now I did upgrade the system from terminal and now I can see update icon again.

  7. It would be nice if they would work on the other Desktop Environments, so when installed they would get everything need for the environments that needed. Not just part of it. Also, say you installed from XFCE, and you want KDE. Well it still leaves all of the XFCE environments installed with KDE. I wish you would fix that so you get the true environment you want.

  8. Hello,

    Thanks for this new destkop under MX. By the way, what is the difference between fluxbox on MX and fluxbox on antix ? Is it not the same result ? Both are debian without systemd and same DE, aren’t they ?

  9. @Girafenaine:
    Simple question with complicated answer:
    MX-fluxbox and antiX-Fluxbox are similar but not the same. For examples: antiX has its Control Centre, MX has it’s own thing. they also come with different file managers, different browsers out of the box, different wallpapers and default themes…
    Also, out of the box the layout of MX-fluxbox is so different from antiX’s that if you didn’t know it is the same desktop, you would not guess it…
    Mx also has more and different services running on the background.
    On my desktop computer, antiX starts with about 140M of used RAM, MX with 249M (without the system updater, etc).
    As you can see, for very low specs machines, you’ll better stick with antiX, because if MX uses very low resources, antiX uses even less.
    For a computer with less than 8-9 years, with over 1 Gig of RAM, feel free to choose any of these distros, because the ~100M of RAM difference is not meaningful…
    My guess is that MX-fluxbox is aimed at users that want:
    1- faster desktop (a bit more responsive)- once again- there’s probably no difference on very modern computers…
    2- have fun tweaking the desktop
    3- want to try something different without the need to install a new OS…

    • Hello “P”,
      Thank you very much for your interesting point of view about MX Linux and Antix with Fluxbox. You helped me growing my knowledge and undestanding of these nice tools.

  10. This is great news! We use a small machine for our nursery at our church as an appliance ( a little netbook) and this would be even lighter and faster for that machine. We use it to stream the live sermon in real time. Thanks so much for doing this – we understand that technically, the team doesn’t have to work towards polish in other DE but it really helps those of us who appreciate light DE but not as comfortable with configuration files etc.

  11. Great addition.
    I would like MX With Fluxbox.
    Since im used to AntiX.
    Some may wonder with just not install AntiX.
    I like MXLinux because i can use the mx-packageinstaller, do use backports or mx test repo more easily. than AntiX(using 17.4).
    Also Xfce helps configure my 2.5k resolution. just great.
    Though i also changed quite a lot of config from the default. mx-fluxbox.
    Don’t like some of the keybindings, and etc.
    Install compton, different alttab. <— sooo useful. for alt-tab on fluxbox

      • For those of us who *do* read through, annoying to read too!

        As a Linux noobster, tho, I too have asked my share of annoying questions, and just want to thanks @Jerry3904 and the countless others who have taken the time to respond over the years.

        Bless your cotton socks, or whichever fabric mix they happen to be.


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