The Common Desktop Environment was created by a collaboration of Sun, HP, IBM, DEC, SCO, Fujitsu and Hitachi. Used on a selection of commercial UNIXs, it is now available as open-source software for the first time.

For support, see:


  • X11 Desktop Environment

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User Reviews

  • Awsome!

  • Having an old mac mini ppc and just installed Debian and then CDE on top of that --- works good. The 100% unix retro feeling is a blast from the past when I began at the university 1995,, sitting at sparc stations doing simple programming. It was at the time when one was obsessively pushing "save" when writing a lab-report on a PC using MS Word --->the days of frequent blue screens and general crashes. Since Iḿ a newbie on linux in general and CDE in particular I consider myself lucky to get all this up & going in just one cold windy autumn Saturday in the year 2016.

  • This' a son-of-a-gun of a project.

  • Very pleased to have CDE running on FreeBSD 10.2--thanks so much for sharing this and providing the excellent instructions. Having CDE is so much retro fun--it's like I am back in the 90s ...notes from my configuration: 1) to enable the display, had to update /etc/hosts to include the computer name 2) to enable CDE at login after re-boot, included the following (chose this over making rc.d script) at /etc/rc.local: /usr/dt/bin/dtlogin & 3) to enable VNC, in .vnc/xstartup used the following: /usr/dt/bin/dtwm &

  • I've always loved CDE's simple, clean, vintage design. Now I can run it on Debian like some kind of awesome pimp. Thanks for getting this source distro together and putting the build resources up in the wiki. Now if I can figure out how to do my part, I'd like to do a Debian-based distro with CDE as its default desktop.

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Additional Project Details

User Interface

X Window System (X11), Project is a window manager, Motif/LessTif

Programming Language

C++, C