Start button for Tint2 in Openbox

Tint2 is a lightweight panel designed to be used primarily with Openbox, does not need libraries GTK ni Qt and it is highly configurable.

The thing is, it doesn't have a button to remove the applications menu and that when you have a maximized program can be quite annoying.

What we will use

  • Version Tint2 SVN for Arch users (it's in the AUR) since the repos version doesn't support launchers and also creates zombie processes; in Debian you can use the one that comes in your official repositories; in other distros I don't know 😛
  • The tool xdotool, which simulates mouse and keyboard inputs.
  • xev to identify the keys we are pressing. It is usually installed together with the graphical server utilities.


First you have to set a keyboard shortcut to display the Openbox menu. We do this by editing the file ~ / .config / openbox / rc.xml. For example:



Keep trying with xdotool. We continue with the example above:

xdotool key super+Escape
That command tells you to simulate the key combination 'super' or "Windows" and 'Esc ', which calls and executes the action that we had previously configured in the rc.xml of Openbox, displaying the menu.

As you may have noticed, the "names" of the keys vary. In Openbox it is 'W' while xdotool detects it as 'super', but it is a matter of trying names.


What if I don't know what a key is called? enter here xev. This tool tells us about the actions of the input devices in an X window. Simply run xev in a terminal and start pressing keys and moving the mouse within the window that appears.

In the terminal it is shown that press Print to take the screenshot

In the terminal it is shown that press Print to take the screenshot.


The next thing will be to create a file .desktop which is used to specify how an application should be launched, which icon to use for its menu entry, etc.

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/tint2-button.desktop
We add this:

[Desktop Entry] Encoding=UTF-8
Name=Tint2 Openbox Menu
Comment=Tint2 Openbox Menu
X-GNOME-FullName=Openbox Menu
Exec=xdotool key super+Escape ## AQUÍ LA COMBINACIÓN QUE ELIGIERON
Icon=/usr/share/pixmaps/start-here-arch.png ## AQUÍ PONEN LA RUTA A SU ÍCONO


Now you just need to add the launcher to the panel by editing the file ~ / .config / tint2 / tint2rc with something like this:

panel_monitor = all
panel_position = top center
panel_size = 100% 30
panel_margin = 0 0
panel_padding = 0 0 0
font_shadow = 0
panel_background_id = 1
wm_menu = 0
launcher_icon_theme = AwOkenDark ## REEMPLAZEN CON SU TEMA DE ÍCONOS
launcher_padding = 2 2 0
launcher_background_id = 0
launcher_icon_size = 24
launcher_item_app = /usr/share/applications/tint2-button.desktop

We restart the panel and that's it.

At the end.

At the end.


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  1.   elav said

    GREAT!!!! I have no other words. U_U

  2.   Gregorio Espadas said

    It never occurred to me, cheers! I even want to go back to Openbox and put KDE aside 🙂

    1.    cookie said

      Thanks 😀 although in reality the idea is not my original, I found it a long time ago through the # forums!

  3.   3rn3st0 said

    Thank you! How was this trick missing.

  4.   3rn3st0 said

    With the beauty and simplicity of this trick, I forgot to mention that you can get directly to the CrunchBang desktop using the key combination: Super + D / Win + D (it is the same combination described for different users).

    Do the test, open two, three, four or as many windows as you want and then press Super + D and you will be located directly on the desktop with all windows minimized.

    1.    cookie said

      Or you can configure the action of the right click on the clock:
      # CLOCK
      time1_format = %R
      time1_font = DS-Digital Bold 17
      clock_font_color = #454545 95
      clock_padding = 3 5
      clock_background_id = 0
      clock_lclick_command = gsimplecal
      clock_rclick_command = xdotool key XF86Sleep

      I have XF86Sleep to show me the desktop, but if I don't want to use the keyboard I just go to the corner and click.

  5.   msx said

    Good morning, Openbox is starting to be usable.

  6.   Frank Davila said

    referred to in this section:
    How do i configure it?
    I applied it in Ubuntu 12.10 and the bar was well located, only the menu button did not appear.

    1.    cookie said

      It refers to the order that the elements of Tint2 will have.
      L = launchers
      T = taskbar (tasks)
      S = systray (tray)
      C = clock

      1.    Frank Davila said

        the item "panel_items = LTSC" that I was asking you about was the one that was missing, the button can be seen but it does not react, I just installed the xdotool utility, I will restart the desktop to see if the utility is what was missing but I have to start it with each session or does it start alone? Should I put it in the login programs? Xev does not appear in synaptic is it necessary? All the documents you are talking about I had to create from scratch and their content is what you publish.

        1.    Frank Davila said

          I already restarted the desktop and nothing.

        2.    cookie said

          One question ... are you using Openbox?

          1.    Frank Davila said

            I think not since I am using a session with cairo dock and I have gnome in mate, gnome 3 and unityn installed on the system.

          2.    cookie said

            Look, you have to login with Openbox, that's the reason why the button doesn't pull up any menu.
            Besides, this configuration is only a part of the total file, a sample, I'll give you my complete tint2rc »

    2.    cookie said

      Remember that you may have to change a few things because that setting is specifically mine. Check it out and if you don't give me your tint2rc, the .desktop you created and the rest to help you, you can hang them here if you want »

  7.   cooper15 said

    The trick is very good, but isn't it simpler to enable the openbox menu in tint2 using "wm_menu = 1" ?? Anyway thanks for the input.

    1.    cookie said

      It depends, if the bar is filled with the tasks you have to go looking for where to click, with the button no 😀

      1.    cooper15 said

        Pura vida, I'll still try the button, it never hurts to have alternatives 🙂

  8.   woqer said

    ohhhh great, tomorrow I will test it with my laptop.
    Now only the next level is missing: getting the menu to be opened with the Super key nothing else, which I think cannot because openbox treats it as a modifier (the same as alt or ctrl).
    If I'm looking forward to it, maybe I'll take a look at a C program that is used for this purpose in KDE, but all it does is bind a key combination with the Super key, so even with a couple of modifications it works for Openbox ...

  9.   itachi said

    Thank you! It's great for my newly discovered and great openbox (although it is contradictory about the great hehehe)

  10.   cookie said

    I leave my tint2rc complete, since the post is only a sample that presents what is related to the subject.

  11.   Oscar said

    Thanks for the tutorial, I just applied it to CrunchBang, it works fine, only one drawback, I put the Debian icon, the CrunchBang icon is missing, but a white square with black horizontal stripes appears on the panel. As it works and is very practical for me, the icon does not matter much.

  12.   Dcoy said

    Very good, I use the adeskmenu that is written in python, here is a screenshot where the happy face is to open the menu and you can change the face for some other image ...

    1.    cookie said

      I just tried it and it is quite good, but it is not configurable ... or at least I did not see any configuration options. Maybe I'll leave it for the PC the family uses.

  13.   Wisp said

    KDE? GNOME? XFCE? LXDE? Aero? (Yuck…) Let's better use Openbox! I had to make several adjustments but your configuration is much simpler and more understandable than the one in the Crunchbang forums; Thank you very much for your work and now that I had some time I finally configured my start menu # !:

    1.    cookie said

      It looks good, a little loaded for my taste, but it looks good 🙂

  14.   msx said

    But… one question: it is not the 'leit-motiv' of Openbox its * innovative * system of opening the menus with the right click on the desktop as I used it in Windows 3.1 - and that later went down in history as uncomfortable and inefficient ??

    1.    cookie said

      When you do not have maximized windows it is the best, more practical, but having a maximized browser is uncomfortable having to minimize it to open the menu. That is the usefulness of the button 😉

      1.    yomismo said

        the trick is very good, you will always learn one more thing. I to avoid the hassle that you comment (minimize applications to access the menu) what I do is leave a pixel both above and below. That way I don't have the bar and I gain space on the screen, apart from the fact that it is more comfortable to access the menu (I don't have to hit any button) and there is not much mouse travel

  15.   Frank Davila said

    I have a problem and it is that I try to log in and I can't because the menu to select the desktop hides in the middle, the screen is 10 ″ panoramic and the accept button to select the desktop I do not see, how can I accommodate the elements in the ligthgdm? or how do I change the resolution on the home screen?

    1.    cookie said

      There I do not know bro ... but I recommend that you visit the forum, it is more likely that they will help you »

  16.   juant said

    The contribution is fine but in Openbox the start button is not necessary, although you can always have things duplicated. If you have everything maximized and it is annoying as you say, the menu is with the Super + Tab combination and voila!
    I don't even remember the start button since I'm with Openbox.

    1.    cookie said

      It is not necessary, but for me it is comfortable, and I like how it looks 🙂

  17.   kuk said

    Very useful thanks !! 🙂