Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Developer(s)KDE (Martin Grässlin, et al.)
Stable release
6.0.5[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 21 May 2024
Written inC++ (Qt)
Operating systemLinux, BSD, other Unix-like
LicenseGNU General Public License
KDE mascot Konqi and window manager.

KWin is a window manager for the X Window System and a Wayland compositor.[2][3] It is released as a part of KDE Plasma 5, for which it is the default window manager. KWin can also be used on its own or with other desktop environments.

KWin can be configured by scripting using QML or QtScript, both of which are based on ECMAScript.[4]


Name Version Details
KWM 1.0
KWin 2.0 Extended support for themes and window effects.
3.0 Improved support for the extended ICCCM standards from freedesktop.org.
4.0 Compositing support and Compiz-like effects.[citation needed]
4.4 (02/2010) Maximizing and tiling by snapping to the screen-edges, grouping and tabbing.[5]
4.5 Tiling.[6] (removed in version 4.10)
4.9 Incompatible API change.[7]
4.11 Last release based on KDE Platform 4. Experimental Wayland support.[8]
5.0 First release based on KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt 5.[9]
5.12 Released February 2018, KWin/X11 got feature frozen, meaning no new X11 specific features will be added. Martin Flöser stated that new features are easy and straight forward with the Wayland back-end, but require considerably more development to add the same feature to the X11 back-end.[10]

Look and feel[edit]

There are many window decorations for KWin, including the current default Breeze (shown below), the previous default Oxygen, Microsoft Windows-like Redmond, and Keramik.

KWin with the Breeze window decoration.


Currently available compositing backends include OpenGL 1.2, OpenGL 2.0, OpenGL 3.1[11] and OpenGL ES 2.0.[12]

Included effects[edit]

Screenshot showing the cover switch effect in KWin for KDE 4.1.

As of KDE 4.3 the following effects are built-in:


Name Description
Invert Inverts the color of the desktop and windows
Looking glass A screen magnifier that looks like a fish eye lens
Magnifier Magnify the section of the screen that is near the mouse cursor
Sharpen Makes the entire desktop look sharper
Snap Helper Helps locate the centre of the screen when moving a window
Track mouse Display a mouse cursor locating effect when activated
Zoom Magnify the entire desktop


Name Description
Explosion Make windows explode when they are closed
Fade Make windows smoothly fade in and out when they are shown or hidden
Fade Desktop Fade between virtual desktops when switching between them
Fall apart Close windows fall into pieces
Highlight Windows Highlight the appropriate window when hovering over taskbar entries
Login Smoothly fade to the desktop when logging in
Logout Desaturate the desktop when displaying the logout dialog
Magic Lamp Simulate a magic lamp when minimizing windows
Minimize animation Animate the minimizing of windows
Mouse mark Allows you to draw lines over your desktop
Scale In Animate the appearance of windows
Sheet Make modal dialogues smoothly fly in and out when shown or hidden
Slide Slide windows across the screen when switching virtual desktops
Sliding popups Sliding animation for Plasma Popups
Taskbar Thumbnails Display window thumbnails when hovering over taskbar entries
Thumbnail aside Display window thumbnails on the edge of the screen
Translucency Make windows translucent under different conditions
Wobbly windows Deform windows while they are moving


Name Description
Snow Simulate snow falling on the desktop


Name Description
Dialog parent Darkens the parent windows of the currently active dialogue
Dim Inactive Darken inactive windows
Dim screen for administrator mode Darkens the entire screen when requesting root privileges
Slide Back Slide back windows losing focus


Name Description
Show FPS Show kwins performance in the corner of the screen
Show Paint Highlight areas of the desktop that have been recently updated

Window management[edit]

Name Description
Box switch Removed in latest versions, no longer available.
Cover switch Removed in latest versions, no longer available.
Desktop grid Zoom out so all desktops are displayed side-by-side in a grid
Flip switch Removed in latest versions, no longer available.
Present windows Zoom out until open windows can be displayed side by side
Resize Window Effect to outline geometry while resizing a window

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://invent.kde.org/plasma/kwin/-/tags/v6.0.5. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.5 Release". KDE. December 8, 2015.
  3. ^ "KWin/Wayland - KDE Community Wiki". community.kde.org. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "Development/Tutorials/KWin/Scripting". Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  5. ^ "KDE SC 4.4.0 Caikaku Release Announcement". February 9, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2010.
  6. ^ "KDE Software Compilation 4.5 Beta2 Release Announcement". June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2010.
  7. ^ "Scripting Update Notes". March 6, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  8. ^ "Plasma Workspaces 4.11 Continues to Refine User Experience". August 14, 2013. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  9. ^ "New Plasma brings a cleaner interface on top of a new graphics stack". July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  10. ^ "KWin/X11 is feature frozen". January 16, 2018.
  11. ^ Martin Gräßlin (June 18, 2013). "What we did in KWin 4.11".
  12. ^ Martin Gräßlin (February 18, 2011). "KWin Embraces New Platforms with OpenGL ES 2.0 Support". KDE. KDE.NEWS. Retrieved April 9, 2011.

External links[edit]