My Openbox keybindings

July 22, 2008

One of Openbox’ great strengths is that you can control every aspect of the window manager with your keyboard, provided you spend some time configuring your keybindings. Since I use my computer extensively to process text, I have configured Openbox such that I only need to use the mouse when I really want to, and don’t have to move away from the keyboard. It speeds things up considerably, once you are used to it!

Below I give all the keybindings I use in Openbox. Some of these keybindings I don’t use very regularly. The ones that I use extensively are those that launch applications (Win+F1-9 to launch applications, or Alt+F1-6 to launch menus or application launchers); those that control the volume (Ctrl-Up/Down) and mpc (Ctrl-Alt + other keys); those to switch windows (Alt-Tab and Win-Tab) or to switch workspace (Ctrl-Alt-Left/Right); those for basic window actions, such as close (Win-A-C), maximize (Win-A-M), iconify (Win-A-I), send to bottom (Win-A-B), etc; those to move windows in the current workspace (Win + some direction key); to move windows to the next workspace (Win-A-N) or previous workspace (Win-A-P); or to follow windows to the next (Win-A-Shift-N) or previous workspace (Win-A-Shift-P).

When I mention “(with osdsh)”, it means that the action that is performed is shown on screen with osdsh. Thus, when I reconfigure Openbox, the message “reconfiguring” on my screen, or when I turn the volume up it says “volume up”. (I know osdsh has a mixer display, but that uses a lot of CPU in Hardy!). When I mention “(with script)” in the launcher section, I launch a script to raise the application if it is already running or to open a new instance if it isn’t. The shutdown and logout keybindings (Win-O-S and Win-O-E) launch a gmessage script that gives me the option to reboot, shutdown, logout, or lock the screen.

As you will see below, I make extensive use of keychains. Keychains are great! They enable me to keep most of my keybindings fairly simple and straightforward: Win-A starts the keychain for window actions (thus ‘Win-A + C’ closes the focused window, and ‘Win-A + N moves it to the next workspace); Win-O governs all the Openbox related actions (Reconfiguring, editing the configuration files, etc.).

I have also posted my current rc.xml file, for those interested. I’m pretty sure there are some additional keybindings in that file (probably duplicate actions) that are not mentioned below; if that is the case they are keybindings I no longer use, but forgot to remove.

		#########################
		## Launchers and Menus ##
		#########################
		Alt F1		root menu
		Alt F2		gmrun
		Alt F3		dmenu
		Alt F5		dmenu for configuration files
		Alt F6		client-combined-list
		
		Win F1		mousepad
		Win F2		notecase
		Win F3		xfce4-terminal (script)
		Win F4		thunar (script)
		Win F5		gmpc
		Win F6		epiphany
		Win F7		ooffice writer
		Win F8		opera (script)
		Win F9		stardict
		Win F10		gedit
		Win F11		gnome-alsamixer
		Win F12		Lock screen (xlock)
		
		Ctrl Alt Del	htop
		
		#########
		## MPD ##
		#########
		Ctrl Alt space	mpc toggle (with osdsh)
		Ctlr Alt Prior	mpc next (with osdsh)
		Ctlr Alt Next	mpc previous (with osdsh)
		
		####################
		## Volume control ##
		####################
		Ctrl Up		Volume up (PMC) (with osdsh)
		Ctrl Down	Volume down (PMC) (with osdsh)
		Ctrl Shift Up	Volume up (Master) (with osdsh)
		Ctrl Shift Down	Volume down (Master) (with osdsh)
		Ctrl Alt End	Volume mute (with osdsh)
		
		####################
		## Window actions ##
		####################
		Win a		Window actions
			m	Toggle maximize full
			v	Toggle maximize vertical
			h	Toggle maximize horizontal
			i	Iconify
			c	Close
			s	Toggle Shade
			t	Toggle always on top
			b	Send to bottom
			Shift b	Toggle always below
			Shift l	Send to normal layer
			Shift d	Toggle omnipresent
			d	Toggle decorations
			l	Lower, focus to bottom, unfocus
			p	Send to previous workspace
			n	Send to next workspace
			Shift p	Follow to previous workspace
			Shift n	Follow to next workspace
			
			g	GrowTo
				Left	GrowToEdgeWest
				Right	GrowToEdgeEast
				Down	GrowToEdgeSouth
				Up	GrowToEdgeNorth
				
		Win space	Show client-menu
		
		#############
		## Openbox ##
		#############
		Win o		Openbox actions
			r	Reconfigure (with osdsh)
			c	Edit rc.xml
			m	Edit menu.xml
			s	Shutdown (gmessage)
			e	Exit/logout (gmessage)
			l	Lock screen (xlock)
		
		###############
		## Worspaces ##
		###############
		Ctrl Alt Left	Go to the workspace on the left
		Ctrl Alt Right	Go to the workspace on the right
		Alt Shift Left	Send window to the workspace on the left
		Alt Shift Right	Send window to the workspace on the right
		
		Win Shift F1	Send window to workspace 1
		Win Shift F2	Send window to workspace 2
		Win Shift F3	Send window to workspace 3
		
		Win d		Show desktop
		
		######################
		## Window switching ##
		######################
		Alt Tab		Next window
		Alt Shift Tab	Previous window
		Win Tab		Next window (all desktops)
		Win Shift Tab	Previous window (all desktops)
		
		##################
		## Move Windows ##
		##################
		Win Left	Move window left
		Win Right	Move window right
		Win Down	Move window down
		Win Up		Move window up
		
		Win Prior	Move window to top right corner
		Win Next	Move window to bottom right corner
		Win Home	Move window to top left corner
		Win End		Move window to bottom left corner
		
		####################
		## Resize Windows ##
		####################
		Alt Left	Increase left edge
		Alt Right	Increase right edge
		Alt Up		Increase top edge
		Alt Down	Increase bottom edge
		
		Alt Shift Left	Decrease right edge
		Alt Shift Right	Decrease left edge
		Alt Shift  Up	Decrease bottom edge
		Alt Shift Down	Decrease top edge
		
		Alt F12		Toggle fullscreen
		
		
		Ctrl Alt d	Toggle autohide dock
		
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10 Responses to “My Openbox keybindings”

  1. Di@bl@l said

    Just when i found how to reduce volume with mpc…

    Good timing !

    Even if i’m not keen on keybindings (except for the sound when there is no applet existing) i think that your list is a good example of what is possible.

    Thanks you for everything.

  2. Timóteo said

    What are the Prior and Next keys on your rc file?

    I was trying to bind mocp commands to “Home, Insert, Page up, down” just like in winamp. But I dont know how to call them on the file ^^

  3. Timóteo said

    Forget what I ask, already found out =p

  4. e.m.fields said

    Hey, this was excellent!

    Your guide to openbox is an *incredible* resource, thank you!

    I’ve added this to a page at the crunchbang linux wiki, hopefully it stays there. =)

    http://crunchbanglinux.org/wiki/howto/edit_keyboard_shortcuts

  5. [...] Zustände haben können, teilweise sogar kombiniert: minimiert, maximiert, geschlossen, horizontal maximiert, vertikal maximiert, aufgerollt und/oder auf allen Desktops. Klingt erstmal umständlich, aber wenn man eine Weile [...]

  6. vi3dr0 said

    Link to rc.xml is no longer working, can you fix it, please?

  7. [...] have these actions bound to a keychain, beginning with Win + a (which I use for all my window actions), followed by the number of the numeric keypad that corresponds to the place I want the window to [...]

  8. [...] the Win+o+h keychain (auto)hide the xfce4-panel and Win+o+Shift+h make the panel visible again. (In my configuration, W-o starts the keychain for all Openbox and DE related [...]

  9. Naphelge said

    almost 6 years later and this post is still muchos helpful! I love keybindings but never have enough time to play around as much as I would like. Some of these have already been added to my rc.xml.

    thanks a lot!

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