MaboxLinux offers an unbeatable experience for those who want to use Openbox in Manjaro


Manjaro is a great distribution, to the point that someone like me from the "DEB Team" has a laptop with him and an SD card for the Raspberry Pi. The official repositories and AUR, coupled with support for Snap and Flatpak packages, make practically everything installable from Pamac, and I have personally had no serious problems with this Arch Linux-based system. It has a community version with i3 and another with Sway, but MaboxLinux it includes by default something that is between a full graphical environment and a window manager like the previous two.

MaboxLinux uses open box, which is defined as a window manager, but is not as strict as i3 / Sway. To begin with, because it has a visible menu at all times from which we can access our applications and different settings, also available with the right click on the desktop; to continue, because the applications do not open in full screen and divide the desktop in two; and finally, because META + Intro does not produce a terminal. It does with META + T, but not in full screen.

MaboxLinux is super fast

For everything else, we are facing a Manjaro designed to be used mostly with the keyboard, but the mouse or trackpad option is more realistic than on i3 or Sway. It's also designed to be fast, making it perfect for low-resource computers or even installing it on a stick with persistent storage. In a Live Session, the RAM it consumes is just over 400mb.

As in the i3 version (I don't remember Sway for sure), by default we have the "cheat sheet" on the left, to be able to use the keyboard shortcuts (can be configured) and know at all times how to move through the MaboxLinux Openbox, such as META to open the applications menu, META + W for the browser or META + 1-4 to switch between desktops.

As for the applications that it brings by default, we have:

  • Web browser: Firefox.
  • File manager: PCManFM.
  • Terminal: there are several, among which are Sakura and Terminator.
  • Geany.
  • Partition manager: GParted.
  • Capture tool: Flameshot.
  • Music Player: Audacious.
  • Media player: mpv.
  • Document viewer: qpdfview.

The best thing is that it is fast. It loses in eye-catching, but that won't matter too much to users who prefer improved performance. It is based on Manjaro, so it is rolling release and we can update forever, so it is an option to consider. My persistent USB is already MaboxLinux.

If you are interested in trying it, something I recommend, the project page is at this link, from where you can download the ISO image that already includes everything from manjaro 21.1.

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  1.   I like it said

    Hello I was struck by the FAST thing, as soon as I don't go fast I'll go find you, hahaha.

    I see one thing that minimizes, maximizes, etc., has to the left and that I have never supported. Do you know if it can be changed to the right without having to assemble a parent cipostio?

    Thank you. Greetings.

    1.    pablinux said


      The buttons are on the right by default. I change it because Ubuntu used to put it on the left and in macOS it has always been there, so I got used to it and I change it whenever I can.

      With the fast thing, I have it in a USB and it goes well, and there it tends to be worse.

      1.    I like it said

        Ok thanks, I'll take a look to see how it goes.


  2.   I like it said

    Ostias man, hey this distro is of total PM. I have tried it on live-cd and it works very well. It does not come loaded with a thousand things like the other delicacies, so it will go for the fixed laptop.

    Grateful for the discovery, a highly recommended distro yes sir.


  3.   YanoLike said

    Buf, in the end I'm not going to install it. If it is true that it looks very good, but it turns out that it is a project of a single guy and if it has a lot of merit, because he has gotten a job that you do not see me, but I do not like this type of projects of a single person, Because they disappear or may disappear overnight, I prefer bigger and stronger projects. So I will stay the same, with Debian testing xfce, on the desktop, zero problems and with Xubuntu on the laptop, also zero problems. But if you don't mind these paranoid things that matter to me, MaboxLinux is well worth installing.