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We have just finished this Arch Linux base installation following this article. The operating system is not meant to be run on a VirtualBox. That is only for educational purposes. You should install it on a proper ssd.

We have chosen to install

Some desktop environments come with their own window manager or you can install additional ones.Then you install lots of applications.



Tips and points of attention

You can clone a VirtualBox and experiment on it without fear to wreck it. We show you how in the tutorial.

We will download the scripts for an easy and quick installation. Scripts will continue to evolve and improve. They will differ from the video in the future.

sudo pacman -S git
git clone

Mind the xorg installation. Choose the right script depending if you are installing on VirtualBox or on an actual SSD.

  • Virtual box – use
  • SSD or harddisk – depending on your graphical card (Nvidia, Intel, …)

E.g: I have an Nvidia Geforce 9600 GT so I would need to install nvidia-340 driver IF I wanted to install an Nvdia driver. But I have been choosing the opensource driver xf86-video-nouveau for years now without any issues. But it might be important to tell you that I am no gamer. Here is the link If you need more information about the video drivers like xf86-video-nouveau, xf86-video-intel, … This topic might be challenging depending on your hardware.

Since we are on virtualbox we install a completely different graphical driver (see special virtualbox script) :

sudo pacman -S virtualbox-guest-utils

Logging back in, check the gauge symbol to see in which desktop you will login in.

What can you learn in this tutorial about installing openbox on Arch?

  • installing git
  • downloading the github scripts
  • follow the scripts from the lower numbers to the highest
  • personal folder should be checked out
  • mind the qwerty to azerty script – use it or not
  • the autostart has also a line to set the qwerty to azerty!
  • variety script is necessary – scripts have been patched to work with openbox
  • Login into openbox when gdm appears
  • explaining how to resize the screen in virtualbox


Finetuning your openbox with icons, themes, cursors, wallpapers, …

  • plank is installed and can be configured
  • going over xfce4 panel preferences – transparent – hide always – notification area
  • changing preferences of nemo
  • dropbox installation to import the wallpapers for variety
  • changing the preferences of the gnome-terminal
  • CTRL + ALT + T is the shortcut for the terminal but also Super key + Enter
  • changing preferences of plank
  • once nemo is started the standard openbox menu is gone use Super + space
  • dropbox is being installed
  • where are the openbox config files
    • ~/.config/openbox
  • shadow and transparency comes from compton.conf
  • autostart file will start all applications you like
  • watch out – start file has a line to change my keyboard to azerty
    • setxkbmap -model pc101 -layout be
  • rc.xml is very important – it has a lot of keyboard shortcuts – edit them with obkey
  • generate a menu
    • obmenu-generator
    • learn the two files you will need
  • going over the different ways to generate a menu – piping – icons – static
  • three menu
    • plank
    • openbox menu
    • dmenu from i3wm
  • installing the conky aureola via terminal
  • setting themes, icons, cursors, fonts, … with lxappearance for openbox
  • gnome-tweak-tool has been deleted in the meantime
  • qtconfig-qt4 should be changed as well.
    • change to gtk+
    • fonts
  • obkey is THE application to edit and make new keyboard shortcuts
    • examples
    • how to make a new key
  • obmenu is making a menu manually
  • obxprop shows you the class e.g.
  • how to power off the system in one go  – super + shift + e
  • how to log off – super + spacebar
  • obconf is an other way to change your system
    • number of desktops


Moving around with your windows

There are shortcuts available to move your application/windows around and tile your windows on your desktop.

Super + arrow keys


Super + numbers (numeric key)

Additional sources

Ofcourse check first the wiki of Arch. And start to google to learn more tips and trics. Urukrama’s website is quite comprehensive.

Furthermore if you know how the configuration files are named you can search for them and add ‘github‘ behind them. I have been reading many config setups from other people and took from them what I thought was a great idea to have or do.