Is there a specific graphical language that OpenBox uses for most of it's apps, or one that it likes to run with?

For example how KDE uses primarily QT for it's apps, and also includes a large numbers of libraries to run with it.

The reason I ask, is that I have a program I wrote for KDE, and I would like it so people on OpenBox could also run it. I'm just not sure how well OpenBox would handle it, if at all.

  • QT is a toolkit, not a programming language. It's for c++ but bindings exist for other languages. QT apps will run fine in any window manager as long as the needed libraries are installed.
    – jordanm
    Dec 23, 2013 at 7:09
  • 3
    You probably mean graphics toolkit rather than language (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_programming_language). Aside from that, OpenBox can run Qt apps just fine, just like you can run GTK apps in a KDE desktop. The toolkit is irrelevant except for visual integration (i.e. it might not look nice with default theming).
    – Mat
    Dec 23, 2013 at 7:10
  • @Mat Thank you, that was what I was concerned about. And yeah, I did mean graphics toolkit, I was looking for the correct term but opted for graphical programming language. Dec 23, 2013 at 7:12

2 Answers 2


OpenBox (I assume you mean the stacking windows manager) is implemented directly on top of Xlib (which is the basic application access layer to the X11 windowing system). Wikipedia provide a handy example of what it looks like:


Libraries like Qt (KDE) and Gtk (Gnome) use Xlib backends to talk to the very same layer, so there are usually little or no interoperability issues.


OpenBox is a windows manager for X. Your applications is an X application, so it should be managed within OpenBox without a problem.

KDE (and Gnome) also provide higher level concepts that allow programs to conform to certain "standards" not defined with "pure" X, as well as inter application communication and things like smart copy-paste buffers between apps.

You will probably have to install KDE libraries for your application on the machine running OpenBox, if you have not done so already.

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