FVWM - Crystal aims to create an easy to use, eye-candy but also powerful desktop environment for Linux or other Unix-like operating systems. Its goals include seeking for better ways of using window manager and providing it with eyecandy interface.

It try to exercise FVWM quite a bit. It has some very interesting features unique to Linux/Unix desktops like direct controls for several media players and its ability to bring in full screen virtualy any application. It can flow through the full screened applications and the desktop in a manner similar to the application stack of the Amiga OS, which provides an innovative way to go around the desktop space, without compromising traditional X multiple desktop pages.

The core code was written by harnir Maciej Delmanowski with contributions from many other folks. The current developments are led by Dominique Michel.


  • Desktop
  • Fast
  • Stable
  • Innovative
  • Flexible
  • Preferences via the main menu
  • Direct control for different media players
  • Icons on the desktop built-in or via Natilus or ROX-filer
  • Any file manager is supported with the built-in desktop icons
  • Fvwm as window manager
  • Terminal emulatar via a single click
  • Transparent elements
  • Translucency via a bling bling module and/or the mouse wheel
  • Different recipes (theme)
  • The recipes, colorsets, windows decorations and buttons models are fully independent.
  • The built-in desktop icons use 2 images per icon.
  • Advanced keyboard support with nearly 100 keybindings.
  • Preferences for the keyboard modifier keys. Usefull in conjunction with application like ardour or emacs.
  • Quake console terminal common to all desktop pages
  • Full support of the additional freedestop categories into the applications menu
  • Easy to customize application menu
  • Localized using gettext
  • Almost any application can be bring into full screen without decoration
  • Amiga OS like stack to navigate between the full screened applications and the desktop, that without compromizing the traditionnal multiple desktop pages of Xorg
  • All fvwm-crystal configuration divided into small files in a simple directory structure
  • Special functions for loading configuration files - allows fvwm-crystal configuration files placed in different directories
  • The built-in desktop icon manager support $HOME, the localized xdg user directories and the mounted partitions
  • Built-in support for many external programs. See the README and INSTALL files for a complete list
  • And many more I forget like an expose clone or a configurable notification area

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Intended Audience

End Users/Desktop

User Interface

X Window System (X11)