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a lightweight Window Manager for ROX
Current stable version:
Primary author(s): 
Guido Schimmels and Jonatan Liljedahl

OroboROX is a lightweight Window Manager for the ROX Desktop. OroboROX is in development and not completely stable and could give you problems with some applications. But many people are using this as their everyday WM, so don't hesitate to try it out!


Features and Requirements

  • Uses Fontconfig, freetype2 (and of course X11)
  • Nice and easy configuration interface (using PyGTK and ROX-Lib2)
  • Basic EWMH compliance (some hints are work in progress)
  • Fully themable
  • Configurable behaviour
  • Small memory footprint


The current version of OroboROX comes with a choice of 14 Themes:

  • Agualemon
  • b5
  • Crux
  • Curve
  • Elberg
  • Galaxy
  • MicroGUI
  • Mofit
  • Neweau
  • Next
  • Platinum
  • Quinx
  • RiscOS
  • Silverado

Additionally, you can get further Themes, if you like (feel free to add your own):

Install by just unpacking them into the Configure/Themes directory of OroboROX


I (Alex Kloss) was unhappy with the Unix Focus' habit of version 0.9.5 to only raise a window when clicked on its border, but not on its content. After fixing (read: ugly hacking the source) it, I found time to whip up a patch to add Sloppy Focus (meaning the same like unix focus, but you can click a window anywhere to raise it). This patch will hopefully not be valid for too long, since it looks like the raise/focus stuff is settled soon.

Since this patch only worked on 0.9.5 and me being still unhappy about this raise/focus stuff, I tried to resolve it with another patch (now for version 0.9.6-6), which eradicates the focus policies and brings the user back in control. Since I'm not too familar with the Configuration interface, some translations are missing and I haven't found a way to let the user choose policies to automatically set the focus/raise options - maybe Guido or Jonatan could help here. I hope this patch will find its way into future versions of oroborox.
Both this patches are obsoleted by version 0.9.6-11.
Jonatan Liljedahl has uploaded a httpPatch for OroboROX 0.9.5 with the following changes.

  • made force_buttons enable all allowed actions too and not only the visual button drawing.
  • fixed button-filter bug that made it stop drawing buttons when it encountered a disabled button, thinking that it was the title.
  • fixed bug that made sticky-matched clients not have their desktop set to -1
  • added check for string "mod4" in keyboard parsing, now Hyper modifier works.
  • removed unused label variable in keyboard options GUI
  • made clientCycle only update stuff once per keypress-cycle.
  • added alternative window cycling: an infobox at the center of the screen shows title instead of raising the clients. It is shown with same font and color as titlebars, if no scheme is selected it falls back to black on white.
  • fixed bogus code in check for min_size==max_size, fixes resize/maximize problems with firefox. (by Guido Schimmels)

httpMaximise patch

By Tony Houghton, this fixes the odd behaviour caused by maximising a window only either horizontally or vertically then reverting to its previous size.

Known Bugs

  • In OroboROX 0.9.8, trying to move a window can make it hang, due to passing an invalid cursor to XGrabPointer.
  • If the configfile differs from what OroboROX expects, it stops running
  • Firefox and some KDE apps indicate they are maximed but don't report the proper geometry. OroboROX should handle this case.
  • mozplugger forces OroboROX to open empty windows that aren't cleared after the plugin's exit. It has yet to be determined if the problem is in OroboROX or in mozplugger, but some other WMs don't show this error. Update: the error seems to be on mozpluggers side.

Raise/Focus is haywire in 0.9.8

There's definately something wrong with the settings...

I choose "Hover to raise (Unix)" and get behaviour along the lines of "doesn't raise, no matter where I click", I choose "Click anywhere to raise (Windows/Mac)" and get "hover to raise", but "Click frame to raise" works as expected.

Little Error in stacking.c

Change src/stacking.c in line 195:


to restore the right raise behaviour of OroboROX. I consider this to small to be a patch now, I hope it'll be corrected in the next version.


Patch and ebuild for OroboROX-0.9.8

I am just rebuilding my system, so I made an ebuild with a patch to fix the error in stacking.c. Will put it soon on

Greetings, Alex

OroboROX is far too buggy for normal use!

I've just had to reinstall Linux for various reasons, and one of the first things I installed was the latest OroboROX. Now it seems that it's not working at all. Some symptoms...
1. Sometimes when maximising a window, it will make it borderless and move it to the top-left, without changing the size.
2. Focus policies are all wrong - I like point to focus, click anywhere to raise, but when point to focus is on all I get is point to raise.

Essentially, a lot needs to be fixed before 1.0. Can anyone reccomend another lightweight WM with fewer bugs to use in the meantime?

Aside from these bugs, OroboROX is a great WM, and I would like to help fix it. Unfortunately, I can't write C. :-(

- QS Computing.

How about just using the

How about just using the older version which did work?

I except that if you can find out which version broke, it will be easier for the developers to fix it (if you're using the injector, just mark each version as 'PREFERRED' in turn).

Risc OS theme tweaks

I made a few tweaks to the Risc OS theme, getting rid of the ugly sidebars, and tidying up the window control graphics somewhat. It can be downloaded from here.


just cannot help wondering:
is OroboROX a spin-off from Oroborus wm?

In a word ... Yes!

In a word ... Yes!

OroboROX keyboard shortcut

How do I make a keyboard shortcut for OroboROX? I have looked all over the place and can't find how to do it. I did come across a page here which says it can be done, but it didn't say how. I have tried bbkeys: the .deb file for Ubuntu 6.06 doesn't work at all. Compiling my own didn't help much.

Right-click on OroboROX's

  1. Right-click on OroboROX's icon in ROX-Filer.
  2. Choose Options... from the menu.
  3. Run Keybindings

OroboROX Configuration & Options

Ah ha! Lots of interesting stuff in there -- many thanks.

My OroboROX themes

I am sorry that my themes were gone for a long time. My account at the university was deleted the day I left though I paid for the whole semester. Never mind, I digged the stuff up again and put it on my own site.

Find some of my ROX stuff at

I hope to find time to add other things to this page, too.

Greetings, Alex

mmm, first time to test it and it fails.

hi, in gentoo oroborox-0.9.8 hangs when start moving windows always, and hangs all the x server.

also, i want to ask if it is as much configurable as ist fvwm, and if i can call close from some other aplication, like a windows list.

Version number

Since 0.9.8 was released 13 months ago, shouldn't the version number here be updated?

Window config doesn't change

Can't set OroboRox to focus-follows-mouse/autoraise behaviour. In fact it seems quite random, which window configuration settings work and which don't.

OroboROX settings

If changing the settings doesn't seem to have any effect, check that there is a symlink:

~/.config/OroboROX -> ~/Choices/OroboROX

It seems that the configlets write to ~/Choices, but OroboROX reads from ~/.config!


If you set your choices path correctly, it seems that the configuration will be saved in .config.


I added:
export CHOICESPATH=$HOME/.config:$HOME/Choices:/usr/local/share/Choices:/usr/share/Choices

in the .profile file (under ubuntu). It seems to work now.

Fixed in svn

This is fixed in subversion (r4914).

Borders on maximized windows

Would it be possible to have an option, either in the global configuration, in the theme file or both to choose either if we want to have maximized windows to have borders or not.

That way, maximized windows have the most screen-estate and it is easier to target items on the border of the screen.
Firefox, as an example, has its scrollbar completely to the right of its window, with xfwm or openbox, I can nudge the mouse to the right of the screen without really targeting to click on the scrollbar. I think it would be interesting to see this as a feature in oroborox.

How to set color mode?

Can I set color mode for window? I want the activated window in 32bit color and all other inactivated window(s) in grey mode. Is that possible?

ps. Will OroboROX support Xcomposite in the future?

OroboROX est Mort?

I tried to install it using the 0II but the download box remains greyed out no matter which interface option I choose.

See Above

Sorry, that was me.

OroboROX on x86_64

Looks like there isn't an x86_64 binary or any source code in the Zero Install feed. It has to be downloaded and compiled manually. It's a bit unmaintained at the moment.


I downloaded the tar.gz file and somehow managed to autoconfig it. Now I have a bunch of folders (=build, Configure, Help, Linux-x86_64 and src) and some files (AppInfo.xml, AppRun and Defaults).

Any idea what to do next?

Re: Compiling

You should take a look at AppDirs which describes application directories such as OroboROX and the filer itself. Basically copy OroboROX to somewhere like ~/Apps and run it from the filer.

Tried that. No joy. Maybe

Tried that. No joy.

Maybe you could take over the project and bring it up to date? :)

Don't ask me. I wouldn't have a clue.

New Strange Behaviour

When I open a window it doesn't show until I right click on the desktop.

Also, OroboROX seems to be crashing more than I remember.

All Links To Extra Themes Are Dead

Just in case no one has noticed yet

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