Motif Window Manager

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Motif Window Manager
Debian Motif MWM Default.png
MWM running on Debian Linux
Developer(s)The Open Group
Stable release
2.3.8[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 5 December 2017
Operating systemUnix-like, OpenVMS[2]
TypeWindow manager
License2012: LGPL-2.1-or-later[a]
1990s: Proprietary

In computing, the Motif Window Manager (MWM) is an X window manager based on the Motif toolkit.


MWM is a lightweight window manager, having robust compliance and configuration of the features it has. MWM first appeared on in the early-1990s, along with the Motif toolkit. MWM supports: Common User Interface (i.e., Alt-Tab is switch windows, a standard), some International support, Common Desktop Environment, X Resource Database (/home/app-defaults/ and runtime), X Session Manager protocol, X Edited Resource Protocol (edit widget data), desktop icons, optional use of images to decorate, and had supported Virtual desktop (removed since 2.1) but now supports non-virtual desktop panning. MWM is a window manager, not a full desktop environment, so it only manages windows; it is expected that configuration, programs, sound, are provided by other programs. A plain text file is parsed to customize menus, user input mappings, management features, and user made functions of the same.

VAXstation 4000 model 96 running OpenVMS 6.1 and the mwm-based DECwindows Motif environment


Motif and MWM were created by the Open Software Foundation (Motif was sometimes even called "OSF/Motif") but is nowadays owned by The Open Group.


Originally, MWM and Motif could only be purchased. The same software was also available as OpenMotif, though not on properly open-source or free software terms. In late 2012, Motif and MWM were released under the LGPL-2.1-or-later license as free software.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ LGPL-2.1-or-later since 2012-10-23, version 2.3.4.


  1. ^ "Motif 2.3.8 Source Code". 5 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Using DECwindows Motif for OpenVMS" (PDF). October 2019. Retrieved 2020-10-21.

External links[edit]