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My desktop is very simple : no panel, no icon on the desktop, not even a desktop. I needed somehow some comfort to be able to launch installed programs, categorized as offered by the panels (ie:lxpanel, xfce4-panel…). How to do that? Here comes Openbox, its dynamic menus (pipe-menus) and openbox-menu.

No need to reinvent the wheel : I will use menu-cache from LXDE project for the menu generation.


Salix with Openbox 3.5.0


The program uses :

If right click menu is empty, once openbox-menu installed and configured, you may want to install lxmenu-data. It has to be necessary if your environment doesn’t provides a basic menu definition structure.


The latest version is available on Github.

Feel free to fork. I don’t use Openbox anymore.

Compilation & installation


Untar the tarball

tar xzf openbox-menu-<version>.tar.bz2
cd openbox-menu

And compile it


That’s all! You should now have the openbox-menu binary.


Dynamic menu configuration is to be done in the menu.xml file from /etc/xdg/openbox or in the /home/USER/.config/openbox directory. I recommand to choose your personal directory for the configuration file, but it’s up to you.

The program uses, as default, file from /etc/xdg/menus directory. It’s possible to use another file but it has to be located in /etc/xdg/menus directory (that’s the way libmenu-cache library works).

First step, the dynamic menu needs to be declared in menu.xml this way.

<menu id="desktop-app-menu"
      execute="<path-to-exec>/openbox-menu" />

Openbox-menu will use by default. If you want to use another menu description, ie provided by lxmenu-data, just add the filename as argument.

<menu id="desktop-app-menu"
      execute="<path-to-exec>/openbox-menu" />

Second step, now you’ll have to add this next line where the menu should appear in openbox root-menu menu.

<menu id="desktop-app-menu" />

Take a look at the menu.xml example below, it should be easier to understand: menu.xml


Libmenu-cache uses the menu-cached daemon to shorten the menu generation time. Therefore I recommand to add menu-cached in the openbox start file (~/.config/openbox/ Not anymore, it may cause issues.


Openbox-menu is under GPLv3.