Window Maker/9.2

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(Sorry for the inconvenience)

Window Maker[1] is a light-weight window manager that was designed to reproduce the elegant look and feel of the NEXTSTEP[2] user interface. Figure 6.14a shows a screenshot of Window Maker running on PC-BSD®. In this example, the user launched the Application menu by right-clicking an area of the desktop.

Figure 6.14a: Window Maker on PC-BSD®
Figure 6.14b: Editing the Application Menu Using wmakerconf

In addition to the PC-BSD® utilities, Window Maker provides the following applications:

  • WPrefs: located in Appearance → Preferences Utility. Allows you to configure window focus, window placement, menu alignment, icons, keyboard actions, mouse, fonts, and various other window manager settings.
  • wmakerconf[3]: found in Utils → wmakerconf. Allows you to fine-tune your menu entries as well as your desktop's appearance, themes, background, mouse, and special effects. Figure 6.14b shows wmakerconf with the "Menu" button selected.

Working with the Dock

Window Maker uses a dock to store application shortcuts. The dock appears as a series of icons in the upper right corner of the desktop. Docked applications always show on the desktop, even after you close an application or close and restart your Window Maker session.

Whenever you start an application, an icon will appear in the lower left corner of the screen. You can move that icon elsewhere on the desktop with your mouse. If you right-click the icon, you have the option to hide/unhide the icon, set icon (change its picture), or kill the application. If you drag the icon onto the dock, it will remain on the desktop.

Once an icon is docked, a settings menu is added to the icon's right-click menu. Figure 6.14c demonstrates how to configure an icon for AppCafe®.

Figure 6.14c: Configuring an Icon

You will find the icons for AppCafe® and Control Panel in /usr/local/share/pcbsd/pc-controlpanel/icons. Choose the 64x64 versions as this is the size that Window Maker users. The application name for AppCafe® is appcafe and for Control Panel it is pc-controlpanel.


Window Maker supports dockapps[4] which are applications that were designed to work with Window Maker but which are separate from the Window Maker project. Dockapps tend to be small and designed to perform a particular function. For example, there are clocks, weather applications, and CPU monitors. Most dockapps have been ported to FreeBSD and the port always begins with "wm". You can search for these at FreshPorts[5] by entering a "Short Description" containing "dockapp".

If your favourite dockapp has not been ported to FreeBSD, you can request that a port be created on the Ports Requests forum using these instructions[6]. If a port already exists and you would like to see it made into a PBI, you can request that a PBI be created on the PBI Requests forum using these instructions[7].


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