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OpenBox and Terminal Transparency
25 March 2009 @ 10:41 GMT
by Paul

Now that I'm starting to use Openbox, and all these people post their cool desktops all over the Internet, I figure that I want a cool desktop too.

This requires certain things: control over the background and window decorations, the ability to have transparent terminals and of course the ability to change text colour in the terminals.

I've used konsole a lot as I like the 'tabbing' feature. However, konsole doesn't seem to do transparency at all in OpenBox. So, I've started to use urxvt.

There's a good rxvt configuration guide here

I found however, that clicking on the 'terminal' button in my taskbar still brought up konsole. The trick is that Debian uses a series of symlinks in /etc/alternatives to set up preferred applications. This command is how to update the default terminal emulator:

sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator

and choose rxvt from the options.

There is a lot of discussion on various mailing lists about 'true transparency' which means you can see windows under the current window. This is really useful when you want to read and type at the same time. Anyway, I haven't been able to get it to work.

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