IceWM is an open source software project that aims to deliver a basic, easy-to-use and unencumbered window manager for the X Window System, running on a wide range of GNU/Linux operating systems and trying to imitate the look and feel of Windows 95’s graphical desktop interface.
Features at a glance
Key features include a standard desktop folder that supports application shortcuts and right-click functionality, keyboard navigation, a taskbar for accessing the main menu, launch applications and interact with running programs, as well as ALT+Tab window switching.
The IceWM window manager is known to integrate well with various open source desktop environments, such as KDE or GNOME, requires very few RAM space to work well and manages system resource very efficiently.
In addition, the program features support for multiple workspaces, tasks display, network and CPU meters. It’s fully skinnable, includes a configurable clock, a mail checker, and over 25 translations.
Under the hood and availability
IceWM is written entirely in the C++ programming language and released under the GNU GPL and GNU LGPL licenses, which means that is a completely free and open source software. It can be downloaded as a source archive, as well as binary packages for Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS or Slackware operating systems.
Summing up, IceWM is a very fast and traditional window manager with a lot of potential. It should be classified as a desktop environment, as it includes numerous standard components and it is used in a plethora of lightweight GNU/Linux distributions as the main and only DM/WM, including Puppy Linux.
IceWM is fully configurable, allowing the user to tweak various settings or copy/paste configuration files from existing installations with ease. It stores its configuration files in the user’s home directory as plain text files.