I still get one error, but I figure it isn't important: (xfdesktop:2229): GLib-GIO-CRITICAL **: g_file_get_path: assertion `G_IS_FILE (file)' failed
B) add xfdesktop startup command to /root/.start under conky
C) configure conky to stay on top (otherwise it will go underneath background). Change the line in /root/.conkyrcown_window_type desktop to own_window_type normal .
Reboot and it should work. To add program shortcuts drag .desktop file from /usr/share/applications . Also note that the background image is set to xfdesktop default. Plus xfdesktop uses different menu (right-click on tint panel for Openbox menu).
Not sure how efficient xfdesktop is, other suggestions welcome ; -)