Blackbox is a window manager for the X Window System in Unix-like operating systems. The software is programmed in C and is characterized by its compact program size.

Blackbox needs little memory and runs fast. In particular, the installation is worth to low-performance computers on which the KDE window manager ( KWin ) or Gnome ( Metacity ) can no longer be used productively.

Blackbox offers in the standard

  • Window management,
  • Themes ( styles),
  • Menus,
  • A dock (Slit )
  • A toolbar and
  • The desktop background.

This manageable set of features as it was intended by the developers to keep Blackbox compact and clear. The window manager is compatible with the standards NetWM and EWMH, users can set up individually with additional programs their desktop:

  • Graphical tools allowing configuration of the black box without any text editor.
  • Keyboard shortcuts processed the hotkey program bbkeys,
  • So-called slit apps, small programs that enrich the otherwise empty dock to various functions.
  • Also KDE or GNOME programs can be used with blackbox.


  • Fluxbox
  • Hackedbox
  • LainWM from LainOS
  • Openbox (up to version 2, a complete rewrite from version 3; appearance but still inspired by Blackbox )
  • Waimea ( window manager )
  • BB4Win - A port of a black box on Windows