isotop(FAQ) FAQ isotop(FAQ)

a simple, fun (?) and pre-configured OpenBSD.

isotop is a script to configure OpenBSD into a great desktop. As much as possible, tools included in base installation are used. Therefore, some choice have been made to focus on simplicity and efficiency.

In front of your eyes. The default window manager in isotop is cwm(5) Its simplicity help to focus and be efficient.

Before installing another window manager or desktop environment, give cwm a try. We tried to make is nice to use (see How to use my desktop? ).

Read hostname.if(5) and FAQ-Wireless A tool will be included in next version of isotop to ease this task.

A link to pkg_mgr is in cwm menu.

Else, read Package Managemen Package Management

You user must belong to wheel group to use cwm menu shortcuts.

Because we care about you eyes, sct(1) is started when you open a session. Use dsch to change screen temperature color. You can also disable this feature by removing sct line in $HOME/.xsession

You can install dunst a nd add in $HOME/.xsession
dunst &

It is light, don't need huge dependencies. It is hackable, and even usable with the mouse if you don't like keyboard. You cas of course install any other music player you might prefer.

If you start cmus with cwm root menu, it is started in tmux(1) , so it can be detached or opened in multiple terminals. To detach, press "ctrl-b" then "d".

  • unwind(8) is configured as default domain name resolver.
  • A script called unwind-block is used to adblock some domains. It updates the "bad domains" list weekly and is called with ~ /etc/rc.local See What does unwind-block do?
  • Customized message in /etc/boot.conf
  • hotplugd(8) is configured to automount your USB strick in /vol A link is available in your $HOME directory.
  • Enabled services : hotplugd, cups, xenodm, unwind.
  • Disable ulpt for USB printers. This happens in rc.shutdown to enjoy KARL at reboot. See this thread
  • ntpd configuration does'nt use google as a constraints
  • Xenodm appearance is configured and configurable with a script called xenodm-config.
  • Additional packages are installed See /usr/local/share/isotop/data/packages
  • doas is configured to avoid entering password for some commands. See /etc/doas.conf
  • cwm(5) is the default window manager. It is pre-configured and shipped with various script to ease window management for non-keyboard users.
  • iridium is the default browser. Are disabled every option related to google and tracking. It is unveiled by default : this means the browser can’t read files on your computer except in ~/Downloads. It keeps your ssh keys and passwords in configuration files safes. Firefox is also making calls to google and can’t be unveiled for now (see this thread )
  • Alt-L is mapped as Esc for vi users :)
  • Translations are included : english and french for now.
  • A few scripts and tools are included in /usr/local/share/isotop/bin and available in your PATH . See What scripts are shipped?
  • $HOME/.aliases and $HOME/.functions are filled with some (useful ?) stuff.
  • $HOME/.kshrc contains some autocompletion for OpenBSD.
  • A random wallpaper is set a each session.
  • The file browser is pcmanfm. It is configured to have custom actions accessible with a right click (edit image, upload a file...).

At first, isotop was a iso file containing all packages and configuration for intallation. Now it’s just a script to configure a vanilla OpenBSD.

Like an isotope it is a variant of OpenBSD with a few more things inside, but still OpenBSD.

Of course. Firefox and chromium, amongst others, are available in ports. However, we choosed iridium because it is unveiled, meaning it can’t access your personal files that might contains password or ssh keys and it is more privacy friendly than chromium.

Of course.

Gnome, kde, lxde, xfce and more are availables for OpenBSD via ports.

In order to save your bandwidth and filter ads without any browser addon, a script called unwind-block is executed at boot (see /etc/rc.local )

Every 7 days, the script download a list of bad domains and record them in /var/unwind.block Thus, unwind can choose not to resolve them. If you try to access one of these domains (why?), you’ll get a message “website unavailable”

See and edit $HOME/.xsession

See dmenu website


  • dalarm : Specify an alert, then a number of minutes. A notification will show the alert after the delay.
  • dcmus : choose a file to play in cmus playlist
  • dfm : a file launcher using dmenu.
  • dgroupwin : select a window and assign a group
  • dman : read a manpage
  • dmenu_run_i : a dmenu_run improved to launch a command. End with a "!" and the command is open in a terminal. Example : top!
  • dsch : Search on the web. Default search engine is duckduckgo if you do not specify a search engine.

    Examples :

    default engine: openbsd full disk encryption
    search on openbsd misc list: obsdmisc firefox crash

  • dsct : configure temperature color of the screen.
  • dyt : download the video with youtube-dl(1) . Selected url is pasted by default.
  • gdoas : open xterm to type doas password used for other scripts such as xenodm-config.
  • imgmod : modify an image using gm(1) Supported modification are.
    • convert to jpg
    • convert to png
    • convert to gif
    • resize
    • turn left or right

  • imgopti : optimize an image to reduce its size.
  • networkcheck : check internet access
  • openbsdupgrade : upgrade to last -stable changes with syspatch(8) fw_update(1) and openup
  • pixcol : show the html color code under the pointer
  • pixup : upload an image to
  • rdmwall : set a random wallpaper. Backgrounds are searched in : $HOME/Images/Wallpapers ; /usr/local/share/isotop/walls ; /usr/local/share/openbsd-backgrounds/pictures from openbsd-backgrounds port.
  • scrot : take a screenshot, saved in $HOME
  • scrotup : take a screenshot with scrot and upload with pixup
  • : send your dmesg to OpenBSD developers to help hardware supporte.
  • setwall : set desktop background.
  • web : a wrapper to start a web browser.
  • xenodm-config : edit xenodm configuration and appearance.

  • Modify image (turn, resize...)
  • Optimize image
  • Upload image
  • Set as wallpaper
  • Play in cmus
  • Print with default printer (image, text, pdf...)

At first, the desktop is empty.

Right-click on the background to see the application menu and select, by example, xterm.

You can also press Alt-p to show dmenu and type “xterm” then press return.

Last, you can move the pointer to the bottom-left corner to pop jgmenu.

You can drag the window by pressing Alt and left-clicking on the window to move it around.

To resize the window, press Alt and right-click.

You probably don't need to move and resize windows but to see maximized instead, or hide it. All of this can be done with keystrokes thanks to cwm(1) but you might not remember them all the time. Right-click on the desktop or on a window border to see shortcuts :

  • Minimize
  • Maximize
  • Close
  • Show desktop
  • Show group assing menu

Then, click on the target window.

Keyboard and mouse bindings are cwm(1) defaults.

Some other are added :

  • Alt-F4 : close window
  • Alt-Shift-h/j/k/l : move window to the left/bottom/top/right of the screen.
  • Alt-s : start dsch
  • Alt-x : start dfm
  • Alt-t and Alt-Shift-t : tile windows
  • Alt-p : shown dmenu to start application
  • Alt-f : show window menu
  • Alt-g : assing a new group to focused window

See cwmrc(5) to customize according your needs.

You can popup menus by clicking on the desktop or on the border of a window (quite big by default).

  • Right click : Application menu. you can start an application or deal with you windows.
  • Middle click : group menu : show active group to toggle visibility of groups.
  • Left click : window menu, to select a window.
  • Scroll on the background to change volume.
  • Alt + Right click : resize window
  • Alt + Left click : drag window

The window menu looks like this :

(4) ![] window name
(4)  [] other window name
(2) &[] another window name
(1) &[foo] again a window name

Between parenthesis, the group assigned to the window.

! means the window is focused.
& means the window is hidden.
[foo]: the window get the label foo with Ctrl-alt-n shortcut

There are no workspaces. They are just a way to increase the size of the screen, and if you need a bigger screen, the window manager is probably wrong somewhere. Instead, cwm uses groups . You can choose to show one ore more grouped windows depending on your needs.

You can automatically assign a group to a window in $HOME/.cwmrc or you can use the dgroupwin to assing a group to a window.

At any time, a middle click on the desktop will shoiw the group menu to toggle the visibility of active groups.

Tools included use dmenu.

It is a menu printed at the top of your screen. Write what you need, on only part of it, then press return to select.

Return: select
Esc: exit dmenu.
ctrl-y: paste selection

Of course.

Please report them to prx

cwm(1) cwmrc(5) dmenu(1) tmux(1)

June 29, 2019