Openbox default window size?

me again, sorry

I have been searching and looking at all the dot files I can think of in etc/X11 and ~ and ~/.config etc
Also been searching online but can only find how to do this for a specific app in .Xresources

But I give up - how do I change the default size of windows in general when they open?
(I dont want to have to put an entry for each app in .xresources really.)

I cant find out where this is set

Is this an overall X11 default?
Or different depending on if it is GTK2 etc?
Or does each app set its own size?
or something else?

How does this all work, please?

Openbox per app settings -the last part of your ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml file (or the default /etc/xdg/openbox/rc.xml file if you need that) will have detailed examples with comments on how to set up default sizes, positioning, decor etc …

The other othion would be to use an application’s geometry setting (if it has that capability) when launching with a key binding or menu:

xclock -geometry 120x120+0-0

would place a 120px x 120px xclock in the lower left corner of your desktop.

xterm -geometry 90x32+64+64

would place a 92x32 (colums and rows for terminals, I believe) xterm at x,y 64, 64.


Thanks @PackRat
If there is no per app setting, what size does the window start as, and where is that defined, please?

That would be coded into the window manager and application itself. For a stacking window manager like openbox, it has a certain desktop resolution to place a window - without maximizing (or fullscreen) since those are defined conditions.

Some window managers (I think openbox is one, check in obconf tabs) that allow for smart placement to minimize the overlap. Defining a gemoetry in .Xresources, at launch, per-app settings overrides that.


If I were to use .Xresources to size my windows how could I use a wildcard to make all apps use a single window size?
I have found this
but cant get it to work

I tired

! Wildcard all windows size
?.*.geometry: 50x50
! Wildcard all windows size
*.*.geometry: 50x50
! Wildcard all windows size
*.geometry: 50x50

etc, but with no luck

Maybe I could do that like this?

Use the window manager - openbox in this case - to handle per app sizes. Not every application has .Xresources options.

And then keep in mind that openbox will read the rc.xml from the top down - their example for window decor:

  <!-- match all windows, and remove their decorations -->
  <application class="*">
  <!-- orage does get decorations though.
       calender app, see -->
  <application class="Orage">

will also apply to size.

That way you can set all your windows to open at 50x50 (percent?) but then add a rule for an application like xcalc so that it will be something like it’s normal size. Transient windows - like file-open dialogs - may also follow the rules so you may need to make separate rules for those as well.

Openbox (most window managers) make the distinction between percent and pixels so you’ll want to be specific. It’s all documented on that openbox site and in the rc.xml.


@leigh what are you trying to acomplish here in terms of layout and aesthetics?

1 Like

Thanks @PackRat

I am trying to make the windows appear as they open in the same position and size as the non-maximised size that I get when I [S]+Down

Relevant part of my rc.xml

    <keybind key="W-Up">
      <action name="MaximizeFull"/>
      <action name="ToggleDecorations"/>
    <keybind key="W-Down">
      <action name="UnmaximizeFull"/>
      <action name="MoveResizeTo">
      <action name="MoveToCenter"/>
      <action name="MoveRelative">
      <action name="ToggleDecorations"/>

A little bit of a detour @leigh but kwin allows you to set individual window behaviors like you’re looking for, however you’d probably have to run plasma. You could add a tiler such as i3 on top for the best of both worlds.


Thanks @GreenMartian
But no thanks, love my simple tty1 openbox / tty2 i3 setup although I rarely dip into tty2 -it was more about the fun of trying to set it up, as ever.
Never could get on with plasma - too fancy-pants for my tastes - Horses for Courses and all that tho, dont think either is better or worse.

1 Like

I think that this approach of doing it per app is my best bet

If you ever move to dwm you can set floating windows to spawn at a certain geometry. Just something to keep in the back of your head if the tiling wm bug bites you.


Thanks @Dobbie03
I do like a bit of i3, but to be honest I moved back to Openbox as it just feels good to me and I have it setup quite nice
This thread was just going along the ‘I need to find out’ route rather than a great need - apologies!


Good you found a way forward.

As far as tiling window managers go, you may want o have a look at either bspwm or dk.
Both will recognize your vertical monitor set up, and both are sufficiently ewmh compliant to handle panels - like tint2 - so switching to one of them would also solve the “tint2 across the middle of the extended desktop” issue you posted about earlier.

Nothing wrong with openbox. It (and fluxbox) are robust window managers, but each is starting to show it’s age.


No apologies required. I hope you can find a solution!

Looks like @PackRat is on the case.


out of curiosity - in which sense is this? I’ve got this impression about openbox, but am not sure why its an issue. Is it technical?

1 Like

@leigh It really comes down to your comfort level. Openbox generally requires more traditional mouse/touchpad activity and relies on floating windows. It’s considered fully stable for quite some time & is rock solid. Xorg.

Newer-ish projects like i3 & dwm are intended to require less mouse/touchpad activity and utilize tiling with windows. Xorg & wayland (sway).

You can think of tilers as ‘next generation’ WM’s.

Again, it’s all about preference in your workflow.

1 Like

Thank @GreenMartian
That’s actually what I thought, but I thought it might also not be compatible technically with evolving Os’s or whatever
I have Openbox setup so that I use a lot less mouse, almost to a bit of ‘tiling emulation’ but I found with i3 that when I was a actually using my computer in apps like FF and spreadsheets etc I was using the mouse anyway
I also kept forgeting rarely used keybinds and openbox has the menus as fallback so I can do both
But as I said - I like i3

And I will check out the others as at the moment I have AL set up almost exactly like the OS I always dreamt of, its near perfect - which is a horrible thought - what on Earth will I do then? Actually using it is only half as much fun as setting it all up. And its the optimal solution for me after quite a lot of Distro skipping around gradually funnelling down through my tastes to here.

Thats my understanding;that it depends what you are doing? If you’re either tapping away in terminals all day or drawing things then it must be different horses, no?
and personal taste as well

Any way, whats wrong with 'showing your age? I do :grin:

God, I do go on.

1 Like

Ha. Love it.


At least you’re not back on … Mate @leigh :smile: