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Install IceWM on Ubuntu Linux

The Ubuntu default desktop uses the Gnome window manager, but there are a number of different window managers that can be installed, including AfterStep, EnlightenmentKDE, Xfce, Blackbox and Fluxbox.

Installing IceWM is a simple process. You will want to make sure that you have selected the alternate install repositories.

Open a terminal window and use the following command:

sudo apt-get install icewm

Once the install is complete, log out and click on the Options button in the lower left hand corner:

You will see a menu listing all of the window managers installed on your system. Select icewm from the menu, and continue to log in.

The IceWM desktop is pretty simple, although you can theme it to look like whatever you want. There’s even a Windows XP theme that you can download.

This is the default desktop:

The “start” menu is actually tied to the Windows key, as well as right-clicking on the desktop.

Clicking the minimize and “restore” icons right next to it will minimize all windows, and show a list of windows, respectively. Pretty useful.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/13/06

Comments (3)

  1. Ravi

    Thanks.. It’s great, though IceWM doesn’t show shortcuts to my installed programs, and to establish a working desktop, I need to run Nautilus from the Terminal. I wonder whether UbuntuLite is a good IceWM tweak.. Will Keep posted.

  2. chris

    is that it? or am i missing most of the guide. this tells you nothing about how to do anything with icewm. an unfinished guide.

  3. The Geek

    @chris

    I’ll admit, this article is kinda pointless. My only excuse is that I wrote it a very long time ago =)

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