Metacity was the standard window manager of the Gnome desktop environment. It is pronounced with stress on the second syllable ( such as capacity ) and has nothing to do with or similar to a "super- city ".

The development of Metacity was started by Havoc Pennington, which published it under the GPL. Metacity was written specifically for GNOME and is officially a part of the GNOME project ( which is not so developed independently ).

Before the introduction of Metacity in GNOME 2.2 GNOME used Enlightenment and then Sawfish only as a window manager. Although Metacity is a part of the GNOME project and designed for integration into this, it does not require GNOME to operate and GNOME can also be used with other window managers.

Currently Metacity is no longer actively developed. As the successor to 3.0 nut is inserted from GNOME, which builds on Metacity, however.


Metacitys introduction as the default window manager was controversial. In direct comparison to its predecessors, it offers little configuration options. In addition, the X Window System actually underlying separation of the window manager from the system, which provides the graphical interface, defaced by its integration into the work environment. Metacity is hardly mentioned by name in GNOME and the classical tasks of a window manager, such as keyboard shortcuts and drawing the window frames are "hidden" in the general settings. However, this is exactly the philosophy that underlies Metacity ( and GNOME in general). The focus is on simple, intuitive usability and clarity. Its developer Havoc Pennington describes it himself as "boring window manager for the adult in you."

Critics counter that Metacity has the flexibility and control that is associated with Unix applications sacrificed. This lack of flexibility has led to the development of such projects as Devil's Pie and Brightside, the missing each functions of its predecessor ( "matching windows" Sawfish and "edge flipping " of Enlightenment ) and these ( and other ) now make available again.