In association with heise online

07 August 2012, 10:48

CDE Unix desktop open sourced

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • submit to slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • submit to reddit

Zoom The Common Desktop Environment with Motif visuals
Source: CDE Wiki
The Open Group, the steward of the UNIX standards, has open sourced the CDE classic desktop for Unix under the LGPLv2 licence. The Common Desktop Environment and the Motif toolkit on which it is based, itself open sourced in 2000, became the de facto standard for Unix desktops in Unix's commercial hay day in the 1990s. CDE broadened the concept of simple window managers configured by means of text files which had previously dominated the Unix world; it included a desktop offering integrated applications and graphical configuration tools.

Neither Motif nor CDE achieved much take-up under Linux or open source versions of BSD, due to the high licensing costs which the Open Group demanded for the software in the 90s. Open Motif failed to attract a significant user base when it was open sourced twelve years ago, being unable to compete with more modern toolkits such as Qt and Gtk+ which were already in widespread use. With the wide range of Linux and Unix desktops now available, CDE is most likely set to suffer a similar fate – version 2.2 alpha for Linux corresponds to the final proprietary version from 1999. CDE is, in many ways, only of historical interest but may be of use in some lightweight distributions.

The CDE 2.2 alpha source code is available to download as a 60 MB archive from the project's SourceForge page; compilation requires Open Motif.


Print Version | Send by email | Permalink:

  • July's Community Calendar

The H Open

The H Security

The H Developer

The H Internet Toolkit