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A screenshot of an OpenWindows desktop running olvwm
olvwm and OpenWindows on Solaris
Developer(s) Sun Microsystems
Development status Discontinued
Operating system Solaris / SunOS
Platform IA-32, PowerPC, SPARC, x86, x86-64
Type Stacking window manager
License custom free software[1]

olwm (OPEN LOOK Window Manager) was the default stacking window manager for OpenWindows, the original desktop environment included with SunOS and Solaris. Its unique characteristic is its implementation of the OPEN LOOK look and feel.

Scott Oaks developed a variant of olwm, called olvwm (the OPEN LOOK Virtual Window Manager), which implements a virtual root window with dimensions greater than those of the video display.[2]

Key Features[edit]

A simple, colorful, and configured OLWM window manager with Virtual Desktop Manager (VDM) and two XTerm windows one running VIM using the Desert256 color-scheme. One can see a simple Menu pinned to the desktop, on the left hand side of the Workspace. Conky is running next to the VDM displaying the date, time, and network usage.
  • Virtual Desktop Manager: allows you to drag and drop any window into any Workspace. There are 3x4=12 work-spaces in the V.D.M on the left (olvwm.VirtualDesktop: 4x3).
  • Workspace Menu: allows you to start(exec) programs (.openwin-menu).
  • The window manager allows you to startup and position windows in any Workspace, when the window manager starts, using the .openwin-init file.
  • Also allows you to resize, and reposition windows, using shortcut keys using the .olvwmrc file e.g.: F1 { Geometry: 1000x640-5-5 }.
  • Focus follows mouse (OpenWindows.SetInput: followmouse), and ability to switch and click-into a workspace (using the V.D.M).
  • Customizable colors (olwm.WorkspaceColor: DarkSeaGreen), and no, or minimal window borders (olvwm.MinimalDecor).
  • Sticky windows (olvwm.VirtualSticky: conky).[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See LEGAL_NOTICE in the tarball
  2. ^ Oaks, Scott. "OLVWM -- An OPEN LOOK Virtual Window Manager". Archived from the original on 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  3. ^ OLVWM Configuration