I run Fluxbox with tint2 which I am very happy with, as I prefer it to running a full desktop environment, even a lightweight desktop environment.

On the other hand, my normal workflow revolves around having files I am currently working on on the desktop.

Is there any sort of application that can give me "desktop icons" in the same way MS Windows and KDE/Gnome have, allowing files and shortcuts on the desktop? Ideally something that would fit in well with my fluxbox/tint2 setup and not require gnome or kde....

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    "files i am currently working on the desktop" .. these files are files in a special folder somewhere on your disk ( $HOME/Desktop mostly ) and are usually not rendered by the window manager (not even in M$FT windows). use one of the suggestions @TechZilla gave you. remember: the more comfort you want, the more resources (grafics and code) you have to throw at the problem .. thus you will end up with something like kde or gnome or anything that is based upon these libraries / frameworks. – akira May 7 '12 at 7:15

Are you actually asking about having 'desktop icons', because it seems to be the situation. I'll go with the assumption that you want 'desktop' style icons, and still use the *box style right click menu.

Yes it is possible, and some good guides already exist. Although Fluxbox is different from Openbox, the minimal environment is similar. The are quality guides located at Urukrama's Blog. Obviously anything specific to OpenBox is not relevant, but regardless the external tool recommendations still apply.

You should look, iDesk Check out the screenshots, so you can see the results.

You also have the option of using a file-manager, which has the ability to draw desktop icons. All three of these options would work, PCMan-FM, Rox-filer, or Gnome’s Nautilus.

If you have any questions, comment below and I'll respond.

  • Thanks for your answer! Basically I want a few shortcuts on the desktop although that is not as important to me as being able to save files to the desktop, and be able to double click them and have them open with an assigned application. Is there any way to do that without a filemanager drawing to the desktop? – thx1139 May 7 '12 at 5:51
  • think about what your asking... You want your desktop to be a working folder, You can save files to it and they would appear drawn as icons. The only applications which manage files, in such a manner, are file managers. It's like asking, I want to browse the web but without any type of web browser. I get that you want to do this on the minimal, i highly suggest trying Rox-filer first. You can have app launching icons with fbdesk or idesk... they are not file-managers... Which is why they don't handle files. – J. M. Becker May 7 '12 at 6:32
  • Personally I have a minimal openbox desktop, I still like Nautilus and the features it brings. I plug in a USB flash drive, and can mount with a click. Sure I can type it out in the term, but to get things done quickly .... I'm already running X.org and all it's bloat either way. I still use feh for wallpaper, and tint2 panel. I also don't use any type of icons, so I don't have nautilus running except when I need it. Its very hard to be pure minimal like the old days, once you install Gimp, Browsers, etc... You pull in most dependencies, especially for something light like 'Rox-Filer' – J. M. Becker May 7 '12 at 6:40

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