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).
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 from the “mxfb” collection, 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, docks 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.
MX-Fluxbox is not a free-standing OS but accompanies MX-Linux. Installation or upgrade is a three-step process:
- Automatic insertion into the system by installing MX-19.2 or later versions, using MX Package Installer or (for established users) through the standard upgrade process.
- Manual transfer to the individual home directory. After system installation finishes, the user clicks an entry in the Menu “MX-flux” to move some files and folders to the user’s Home directory once permission has been given.
- Finally, the user then logs out, selects fluxbox from the session menu in the center of the upper border of the login screen, and logs back in.
What if the user has configured personalized settings already? Current MX-Fluxbox users can install the new release into home and try it out without harming the current setup: existing components (fluxbox and idesktop folders, ideskrc) will be dated and backed up in ~/.restore/fluxbox. The existing components can then be easily restored by removing or renaming (for instance: fluxbox-2.1, etc.) the new versions, then returning the previous ones to their original position and names.
• complete integration with the underlying system, with single-click access to MX Tools and full Xfce4 menu
• extension of graphical hardware support by virtue of the low resources required
• desktop icon support from iDesk which has been updated and corrected as necessary
• easy management of desktop and icons with the graphical app mx-idesktool
• docks powered by wmalauncher and managed by mx-dockmaker
• default wallpaper branded with the MX-Fluxbox logo
• one-click switch to legacy toolbar, and back
• selection of GKrellM monitors
• large dock is now on the desktop by default for user convenience. It can be toggled off or completely removed, both in Menu > Out of sight
Two apps, the “Power Tools,” are available: mx-idesktool and mx-dockmaker. MX Idesktool facilitates executing iDesk functions, the app that provides icons on the fluxbox desktop. The tool now has been expanded and rewritten to make it more powerful and more intuitive. MX Dockmaker provides a convenient method for creating and managing docks in a fluxbox environment. Details on these tools can be found in the respective Help files in the MX/antiX Wiki here and here.
Various forms of support are available:
- detailed documentation (F1) with a resource list, available in a number of languages
- a dedicated video channel
- a dedicated forum
- Facebook, Twitter and Reddit pages