Intro: NsCDE - FVWM based CDE clone, retro but powerful and functional

NsCDE is a retro but powerful hybrid UNIX desktop environment which resembles CDE look (and partially feel) but with a more powerful and flexible framework beneath-the-surface, more suited for 21st century unix-like and Linux systems and user requirements than original CDE.

NsCDE uses FVWM as a framework, but for FVWM it is a heavyweight theme, coupled with a few other free software components it resembles to lightweight but functional DE (Desktop Environment). Coding of additional routines is done in Python 3 (GTK theme engine specially) and Korn shell.

NsCDE is themable in the same way as CDE: it uses the same old (and new) color palettes and custom palettes can be created with Color Style Manager, it uses CDE-style backdrops for setting backgrounds, but can also use wallpapers. Font work in CDE is even more extended from original CDE. It has localization support, uses only XFT font rendering and has Style Manager with all components as CDE. Additionally, it uses FvwmPager for floating visual pages and desks preview and navigation. With desks (workspaces in CDE parlance) screen is further partitioned with FVWM pages. Default matrix is 4x4. Minimum is none, and maximum 8x16.

Enriched with a bunch of powerful FVWM concepts and functions, modern applications and font rendering, NsCDE acts as a missing link between classic CDE look and on the other side - fast and extensible environment, well suited for present days computing in a comfort of retro yestderday environment.

It aims to be configurable, flexible, fast, and portable (Linux distros, *BSD …) as much as possible, with reasonable number of dependencies under control.

In a nutshell, NsCDE’s main goal is to revive the look and feel of the Common Desktop Environment found on many UNIX and unix-like systems during nineties and the first decade of the 21st century, as a comfortable retro environment which is not just eye candy toy, but a real working environment for users who contrary to mainstream flat and toy-like trends like that style, thus making optimal blend of usability of modern tools and programs with that motifesuqe look and feel, giving to user the best of the both of this worlds.

The excellent FVWM window manager is the main driver behind NsCDE with its endless options for customization, GUI Script engine, Colorsets, and modules.

NsCDE can be found here:

Couple of screenshots are here: