Pekwm: A light-weight Linux desktop

For example you need a light-weight desktop atmosphere, with simply sufficient to get graphics on the display screen, transfer some home windows round, and never a lot else. You discover conventional desktops get in your means, with their notifications and taskbars and system trays. You need to stay your life primarily from a terminal, however you additionally need the posh of launching graphical functions. If that sounds such as you, then Pekwm could also be what you have been in search of all alongside.

Pekwm is, presumably, impressed by the likes of Window Maker and Fluxbox. It gives an utility menu, window ornament, and never an entire lot extra. It is best for minimalists—customers who need to preserve sources and customers preferring to work from a terminal.

Set up Pekwm out of your distribution’s software program repository. After putting in, log off of your present desktop session so you’ll be able to log into your new desktop. By default, your session supervisor (KDM, GDM, LightDM, or XDM, relying in your setup) will proceed to log you into your earlier desktop, so you have to override that earlier than logging in.

To override the earlier desktop on GDM:

And on KDM:

The primary time you log into Pekwm, you might encounter nothing however a black display screen. Imagine it or not, that is regular. What you are seeing is a clean desktop with out background wallpaper. You possibly can set a wallpaper with the feh command (you might want to put in it out of your repository). This command has a couple of choices for setting the background, together with –bg-fill to fill the display screen along with your wallpaper, –bg-scale to scale it to suit, and so forth.

$ feh –bg-fill ~/Photos/wallpapers/mybackground.jpg

By default, Pekwm auto-generates a menu, out there with a right-click wherever on the desktop, that provides you entry to functions. This menu additionally gives a couple of desire settings, comparable to the power to select a theme and to log off of your Pekwm session.


Pekwm is primarily configured in textual content config information saved in $HOME/.pekwm. The menu file defines your utility menu, the keys file defines keyboard shortcuts, and so forth.

The beginning file is a shell script that’s executed after Pekwm launches. It’s analogous to the rc.native file on a standard Unix system; it is deliberately final in line, so no matter you set into it overrides every little thing that got here earlier than it. This is a crucial file—it is in all probability the place you need to set your background in order that your selection overrides the default on the theme you are utilizing.

The beginning file can also be the place you’ll be able to launch dockapps. Dockapps are tiny applets that rose to prominence with Window Maker and Fluxbox. They normally present community screens, a clock, audio settings, and different stuff you is perhaps used to seeing in a system tray or as a KDE plasmoid or widget in a full desktop atmosphere. You may discover some dockapps in your distribution’s repository, or you’ll be able to search for them on-line at dockapps.web.

You possibly can launch dockapps at startup by itemizing them within the begin file adopted by an & image:

feh –bg-fill ~/Photos/wallpapers/mybackground.jpg
wmnd &
bubblemon -d &

The beginning file should be marked executable for it to run when Pekwm begins.

$ chmod +x $HOME/.pekwm/begin


There’s not a lot to Pekwm, and that is the great thing about it. In order for you further companies to run in your desktop, it is as much as you to launch them. For those who’re nonetheless studying Linux, this can be a nice approach to be taught in regards to the minute GUI elements you normally do not take into consideration once they come bundled with a whole desktop atmosphere (like a taskbar). It is also a great way to get used to a few of the Linux instructions, like nmcli, that you’ve got been that means to be taught.

Pekwm is a enjoyable window supervisor. It is sparse, terse, and really light-weight. Give it a strive!


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