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ROX Desktop

ROX Desktop
A screenshot of the ROX desktop
Stable release 2.11 / 9 October 2011 (2011-10-09)[1]
Written in C, Python, GTK+
Operating system Unix-like
Type Desktop environment
License GNU General Public License
Website //

The ROX Desktop is a graphical desktop environment for the X Window System. It is based on the ROX-Filer which is a drag and drop spatial file manager. It is free software released under the GNU General Public License. The environment was inspired by the user interface of RISC OS. Programs can be installed or removed easily using Zero Install.


  • Software components 1
  • ROX Filer 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Software components

The ROX Desktop has forked a couple of the GNOME Core Applications and written some from scratch. Most applications developed by the ROX Desktop team are forks of existing GNOME applications and based on GTK+ and Clutter.

The ROX Desktop is a desktop environment based on the ROX-Filer file manager. Files are loaded by dragging them to an application from the filer, and saved by dragging back to the filer. Applications are executable directories, and are thus also installed (copied), uninstalled (deleted), and run through the filer interface. ROX has a strong link with Zero Install, a method of identifying and executing programs via a URL, to make software installation completely automatic.

It is inspired by the user interface of RISC OS (not to be confused with RISC/os).[2] The name "ROX" comes from "RISC OS on X". The project was started by Thomas Leonard as a student at University of Southampton in 1999[3][4] and is still led by him in 2012.

The desktop uses the GTK+ toolkit, like the GNOME and Xfce desktops. The design focuses on small, simple programs using drag-and-drop to move data between them. For example, a user might load a compressed file into a spreadsheet from the web by dragging the data from the web browser to the archiver, and from there into the spreadsheet. A program would be installed in the same way, by dragging the archive from the web to the archiver, and from there to the applications directory in the filer.

Drag-and-drop saving allows the user to save the text file to any directory they please, or directly to another application, such as the archiver on the panel.

ROX Filer

Screenshot of ROX-Filer
Original author(s) Thomas Leonard
Stable release 2.11 / November 10, 2011 (2011-11-10)
Operating system Unix-like
Type File manager
License GNU General Public License
Website .html/ROX-Filer/

ROX-Filer is a graphical spatial file manager for the X Window System. It can be used on its own as a file manager, or can be used as part of ROX Desktop. It is the file manager provided by default in certain Linux distributions such as Puppy Linux and Dyne:bolic, and was used in Xubuntu until Thunar became stable.

ROX-Filer is built using the GTK+ toolkit. Available under the terms of the GNU General Public License, ROX-Filer is free software.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "ROX-Filer released". 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  2. ^ "ROX founder: Why I brought RISC OS to Unix". 
  3. ^ "RISC O-X?".  
  4. ^ "comp.sys.acorn.misc - Re: ROX desktop". 
  5. ^ "COPYING". 


  • Bruce Byfield (7 February 2007) ROX Desktop provides light, quirky alternative to GNOME and KDE,
  • (German) Jo Moskalewski (July 2002) RISC rocks. Jo´s alternativer Desktop: ROX LinuxUser

External links

  • ROX Desktop on
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