Manjaro Linux

How to install and setup LXQt window manager on Manjaro

LXQt is a simple and lightweight desktop environment based on the Qt libraries. It also comprises a hotkey daemon, session manager, panel programs, and other small individual components. LXQt utilizes Openbox as its default window manager.

Openbox is a highly flexible window manager. It is ideal for lightweight distributions such as Manjaro. For new users, getting used to it can be difficult. After its installation, the Openbox LXQt window manager welcomes you with a black screen which can be intimidating at first glance. However, with a few tips and tricks, you will become familiar with the customization options to enhance the desktop appearance of the Openbox window manager.

This write-up will guide you about how to install and set up the LXQt window manager (Openbox) on Manjaro. Moreover, we will also demonstrate the installation of the useful utilities required to configure the Openbox session. So, let’s start!

How to install LXQt window manager (Openbox) on Manjaro

Currently on our Manjaro system, “Xfwm” is operating as the default manager. Now to install the LXQt window manager “Openbox” on Manjaro, firstly, press “CTRL+ALT+T” to open up the Manjaro terminal. After doing so, execute the below-given command for installing Openbox from the official repository:

$ sudo pacman -S openbox

The above-given error-free output indicates that LXQt window manager “Openbox” is now successfully installed on your system.

Setting up LXQt window manager (Openbox) on Manjaro

After completing the installation of “OpenBox”, the next step is to set it up on Manjaro; For this purpose, firstly, we will copy the “environment”, “menu.xml”, “rc.xml”, and “.autostart” file from the default configuration directory “/etc/xdg/openbox” to the “~/.config/openbox” directory, which we are going to create by utilizing the below-given command:

$ sudo mkdir -p ~/.config/openbox

Now, execute the following command to copy the mentioned file in the created directory:

$ sudo cp /etc/xdg/openbox/{rc.xml,menu.xml,autostart,environment} ~/.config/openbox

The files which we will copy are considered as the base of OpenBox configuration. Here:

  • The “menu.xml” file is used to manage the menu of Openbox applications that you can access by right-clicking on the Manjaro desktop.
  • You can utilize the “environment” file for configuring the variables of the OpenBox environment.
  • The “rc.xml” is the main configuration file of the Openbox, which is used to change the settings of keyboard shortcuts, themes, virtual desktops, and more.
  • When you start the Openbox session on Manjaro, “autostart” is the file read by your system. It comprises the programs that assist in starting the OpenBox session. You can also modify the “autostart” file for setting the background images, launch docks/panels, and to execute any scripts at system startup:

Installing plugin to setup LXQt window manager (Openbox) on Manjaro

To configure the LXQt window manager “Openbox”, the first plugin we will install is “ObConf“. It is a GUI utility that is used for setting most of the Openbox preferences such as its windows properties, theme, desktop margins, and themes:

$ sudo pacman -S obconf

Next, we will install the “MenuMaker” tool used for building menus based on XML. It also looks out for the executable scripts that create XML menus:

$ sudo pacman -S menumaker

To install a basic customizable panel “Tint2” for the Openbox session, execute the below-given command:

$ sudo pacman -S tint2

The “.xinitrc” file is a shell script used to execute programs when a session starts. After installing “Tint2”, open up the “.xinitrc” file in your nano editor to add the code related to starting “Tint2” at system startup:

$ sudo nano .xinitrc

Write out the following code in the opened “.xinitrc” shell script and press “CTRL+O” to save the added code:

tint2 &

Now on your Manjaro terminal, type out the following command for installing the NetworkManager Applet:

$ sudo pacman -S network-manager-applet

You can install “Nitrogen” if you want to use a lightweight and fast wallpaper setter program for Openbox:

$ sudo pacman -S nitrogen

Again, open up the “.xinitrc” file in the nano editor:

$ sudo nano .xinitrc

At the start of Openbox, “Nitrogen” can be restored as a background. To do so, add the following lines at the end of opened shell script:

nitrogen --restore &

To customize the Openbox environment, install the “Lxappearance” tool on your system:

$ sudo pacman -S lxappearance

Lastly, write out the following command for installing the “slim” as a startup manager:

$ sudo pacman -S slim

Configuring environment to setup LXQT window manager (Openbox) on Manjaro

First of all, check out the customization options provided by the “ObConf” tool, such as the settings related to themes, appearance, windows, mouse, desktops, margins, and dock:

$ obconf

After that, go for the generation of the full OpenBox menu:

$ sudo mmaker -vf OpenBox3

To activate the Openbox session environment at the system startup, again open the “.xinitrc” file in your nano editor, and add the “exec openbox-session” line at the end of the file:

$ sudo nano .xinitrc

exec openbox-session

Activate “Slim” as a startup manager and reboot your Manjaro system:

$ sudo systemctl enable slim.service

$ sudo reboot

Congratulations! LXQt window manager Openbox is ready to use on your Manjaro system. Enter your username and password and log in to the Openbox session:


Openbox is an LXQt window manager that permits you to enhance various aspects of your desktop appearance and create a new method to control them. It’s default setup is simple, making it suitable for almost anyone. It is also utilized to improve the quality of the desktop environment, such as Xfce Manjaro. In this guide, we showed you how to install and set up the LXQt window manager (Openbox) on Manjaro. The procedure of installing its required plugins, themes, panel, startup manager is also provided to you.

About the author

Sharqa Hameed

I am a Linux enthusiast, I love to read Every Linux blog on the internet. I hold masters degree in computer science and am passionate about learning and teaching.