Installing Debian with Openbox

Over recent weeks I’ve been fiddling to install Debian running Openbox on a few computers. The reason is that I have three notebooks including a 32-bit machine that is probably 10+ years old, a 64-bit machine that would be around the same and even my everyday machine is closing in on 7 years. I had been running Manjaro on these machines but Manjaro dropped official support for 32 bit machines a number of months ago.


I’ve been spending a little time recently looking at different Windows Managers (WM) for my linux-based notebook running the Manjaro distribution. My usual approach had been to run some form of standard Desktop Environment (DE) such at Cinnamon, Gnome 2 or 3, XFCE or LXDE. But for some reason I was drawn to check out some different windows managers. To my non-geek mind, a desktop environment provides the whole package in terms of screen functionality and access whereas a window manager looks after the administration and placement of windows or apps on a screen.

Vim, with vigour

Around a month ago I decided that it would be a good idea to begin to learn and use Vim as my primary text editor. Prior to that I had used Notepad++ on Windows-based machines and either Mousepad or Leafpad on my Linux-based machines. Vim (pronounced, not surprisingly to rhyme with “him”) is an updated, improved version of a program called Vi (pronounced, somewhat surprisingly as “vee-eye”). Vim stands for Vi-improved.

Time for a change …

… of Linux distro. I wrote about my history of Linux Distros here. At the time I indicated I was using Ubuntu 16.04 with the Gnome 3 desktop. That was true (and technically is at the moment), but it won’t be for long. I find frequent issues with my current setup. Nautilus (the file manager) simply refuses to start when I first fire up the machine three times out of four.

Linux distros

Over the years I’ve tried many different distributions (distros) of Linux, running a variety of Desktop Environments. I bought my first desktop computer back in 1995. It was extortionately expensive for what you got. Around $3,000 if I recall correctly. It came with Win 3.1 (soon upgraded to Win 95), 8MB of memory (yep, you read that right), a 540MB hard drive (yep, again), a 3 1⁄2 inch floppy drive and not much else.