Documentation quick access

Since Sawfish focuses on providing powerful window management capabilities and nothing else it can be combined with a variety of other programs that fill in the gaps. This page tries to list some of these programs.




ROX is a fast, user friendly desktop which makes extensive use of drag-and-drop. The interface revolves around the file manager, or filer, following the traditional Unix view that "everything is a file" rather than trying to hide the filesystem beneath start menus, wizards, or druids. The aim is to make a system that is well designed and clearly presented. The ROX style favours using several small programs together instead of creating all-in-one mega-applications.



iDesk gives users of minimal wm's icons on their desktop. The icon graphics are either from a png or svg (vector) file and support some eyecandy effects like transparency. Each icon can be confgured to run one or more shell commands and the actions which run those commands are completely configurable. In a nutshell if you want icons on your desktop and you don't have or dont't want KDE or gnome doing it, you can use iDesk.




wbar is a quick launch bar. It's developed with speed in mind and is highly tweakable.

A new version is being written to use evas as the canvas engine. It's not yet feature complete but has better transparency support: wbar



LXPanel is a lightweight X11 desktop panel. It contains:

  1. User-friendly application menu automatically generated from *.desktop files on the system.
  2. Launcher bar (Small icons clicked to launch apps)
  3. Task bar supporting urgency hint (Can flash when gaim gets new incoming messages)
  4. Notification area (System tray)
  5. Digital clock
  6. Run dialog (A dialog let you type a command and run, can be called in external programs)
  7. Net status icon plug-in (optional, ported from gnome-netstatus-applet)
  8. Volume control plug-in (optional, written by jserv)
  9. lxpanelctl, an external controller let you control lxpanel in other programs. For example, "lxpanelctl run" will show the Run dialog in lxpanel, and "lxpanelctl menu" will show the application menu. This is useful in key bindings provided by window managers.



PerlPanel is an attempt to build a useable, lean panel program (like the Gnome Panel or the KDE Kicker) in Perl, using the Gtk2-Perl libraries.

PerlPanel is the ideal accompaniment to a light-weight Window Manager or a desktop-drawing program like iDesk.

Most of PerlPanel's features are provided by applets - simple widgets that each do a different job. PerlPanel currently ships with 36 different applets, some of which can be seen on the applets page.



fbpanel is a lightweight, NETWM compliant desktop panel. It works with any NETWM compliant window manager. It provides

  • variety of plugins:
    • taskbar
    • pager
    • 'show desktop' button
    • launchbar
    • image viewer
    • clock
    • tray (notification area)
    • menu with support for (as in GNOME/KDE) applications menu
    • space filler
    • cpu monitor
  • ability to replace window icons
  • all icons follow your current GTK+ icon theme
  • transparency support
  • customizable size and screen position
  • ability to run many instances each with its own configuration
  • modest resource usage



PyPanel is a lightweight panel/taskbar written in Python and C for X11 window managers. It can be easily customized to match any desktop theme or taste. PyPanel works with EWMH compliant WMs (Openbox, PekWM, FVWM, etc.) and is distributed under the GNU General Public License v2.

Some of the customizable features include:

  • Transparency with shading/tinting
  • Panel dimensions, location and layout
  • Font type and colors with Xft and shadow support
  • Button events/actions
  • Clock and workspace name display
  • System Tray (Notification Area)
  • Autohiding
  • Application Launcher
  • Custom Application Icons



BarPanel is a powerful desktop panel that enables you to have all you want just one-click-far. It is extensible through plugins and is fully themeable. Barpanel is a continuation of the work done in the Foopanel project.

Some notable differences to other similar panels (such as eg. XFCE and GNOME panels):

  1. It is written in Python
  2. It does not depend on desktop environment libraries
  3. Most (or all) of the functionality is available as plugins
  4. Easily extendable through Python plugins
  5. Easily themeable

Avant Window Navigator[]

Related Link: Enabling transparency

Avant Window Navigator (Awn) is a dock-like bar which sits at the bottom of the screen. It has support for launchers, task lists, and third party applets.

It requires an Composited (3D) Environment. Furthermore it supports a set of fancy 3D Effects.



Stalonetray is a stand-alone system tray (notification area) for X Window System/X11 (e.g. XOrg or XFree86). It has minimal build and run-time dependencies: an X11 lib only. Stalonetray works with virtually any EWMH-compliant window manager.




Screenpager is a screenwise pager for X workstations running Xinerama. It works like a desktop pager, but acts at the level of screens. Instead of paging the desktop as a whole, it can page each screen independently, or move pages from screen to screen.



OBPager is a lightweight pager designed to be used with NetWM-compliant window managers.

Unlike many other pagers out there, OBPager has very few dependencies, requiring only Xlib and glibc++ (no Gnome or KDE necessary).


see SawfishPager




Screenlets are small owner-drawn applications (written in Python, a very simple object-oriented programming-language) that can be described as "the virtual representation of things lying/standing around on your desk". Sticknotes, clocks, rulers, ... the possibilities are endless. The goal of the Screenlets base-class(es) is to simplify the creation of fully themeable mini-apps that each solve basic desktop-work-related needs and generally improve the usability and eye-candy of the modern Linux-desktop.



gDesklets is a system for bringing mini programs (desklets), such as weather forecasts, news tickers, system information displays, or music player controls, onto your desktop, where they are sitting there in a symbiotic relationship of eye candy and usefulness. The possibilities are really endless and they are always there to serve you whenever you need them, just one key-press away. The system is not restricted to one desktop environment, but currently works on most of the modern Unix desktops.



adesklets is an interactive Imlib2 console for the X Window System. It provides scripted languages with a clean and simple way to write great looking, mildly interactive desktop integrated graphic applets (aka “desklets”).

It can also be used as a command line oriented graphic editor, a bit similar to ImageMagick , but with different functionality.

Status monitors[]



The GNU Krell Monitors are a single process stack of system monitors which supports applying themes to match its appearance to your window manager, Gtk, or any other theme.



Conky is a system monitor for X originally based on the torsmo code. Since it's original conception, Conky has changed a fair bit from it's predecessor. Conky can display just about anything, either on your root desktop or in it's own window. Conky has many built-in objects, as well as the ability to execute programs and scripts, then display the output from stdout.



BB-tools are a number of simple X-Window programs to display the status of different resources. The style and part of the code is copied from Blackbox a small and extremely fast X11-Windowmanager. Although the programs are written to be used with Blackbox, they should work in any other X11-Windowmanager.