From Alpine Linux
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Initial setup

Start by booting Alpine (see these instructions on how to do that)

Enable Community Repository

We need the Community Repository available for access to the Openbox packages. Instructions are available on the Repositories page.

Minimal Installation and Configuration

Install the basic packages for a minimal installation:

# apk add openbox xterm font-terminus

xterm is needed so you have a way to access the terminal in X. There are alternatives but this is the classic. Terminus is needed because without any fonts, you will not be able to see any text in Openbox.

Configure xorg-server

On most systems, xorg should be able to auto-detect all devices. Install the base xorg packages by running:

# setup-xorg-base

Configure user

To make Xorg work as normal user you need to add user to these groups: video, input.

# addgroup <username> input

# addgroup <username> video


If you installed your Alpine Linux as a VirtualBox or VMWare guest, you might find it handy to be able execute an ACPI shutdown.

# rc-update add acpid

Set Openbox as the default WM

$ echo 'exec openbox-session' >> ~/.xinitrc

Copy the config files to your home folder

$ mkdir ~/.config

$ cp -r /etc/xdg/openbox ~/.config

Note: The default configuration is minimal and most menu options won't work unless you customize and/or install additional packages. More information is available in the Openbox configuration documentation. 🔓

Edit Openbox settings

You can now edit the Openbox settings for your user by editing the files located in ~/.config/openbox

The Openbox configuration details can be studied on the Openbox wiki.

Start X

$ startx

Note: The default Openbox menu (right-click on desktop) will have a lot of options that won't work because the required packages haven't been installed. XTerm will work if you added the package in the first step, and you can use that to add additional packages.

See also