ROX Desktop

The ROX Desktop is a desktop environment for the X Window System around the file manager ROX - Filer. ROX is free software and is released under the GNU General Public License.


" ROX " is an acronym for " RISC OS on X Window System." RISC OS has been developed by Acorn for their computers with ARM processors ( Advanced RISC Machine). RISC stands for " Reduced Instruction Set Computer ", a processor design. The ROX Desktop provides concepts of RISC OS for Unix systems. Development is the ROX desktop since 1999, lead author is the Briton Thomas Leonard.


Everything is a file

The control of ROX follows the Unix principle, to see everything as a file. Use is made extensively by drag and drop use. For ordinary files, devices, or even processes as files and applications with all its components are represented as folders. Thus, software can be installed and removed by drag and drop; the simultaneous installation of two versions of a program is not a problem.

The ROX - Filer

The file manager ROX - Filer is the core of the ROX Desktop. In addition to the file management tasks, the Filer also provides desktop icons and panels. Since the ROX desktop no "Start Menu" knows, the Filer is also the focal point for program start.

The ROX - Filer used to control any menu bars. Instead, consistent context menus are used to manage files. In addition it provides a powerful search feature that allows the queries from the program as

Mtime after 2 days ago and size > 10Mb can be set. ( In the example searches for files that have been changed in the last two days and greater than 10 megabytes ).

The ROX - Filer can also be used independently of the ROX desktop in work environments such as KDE Plasma Workspaces or GNOME.

Memory Requirements

The ROX Desktop requires little memory and runs like, for example, Xfce on low-performance computers where the plasma workspaces or GNOME can not be used productively.

Software for ROX

ROX is based, such as GNOME and Xfce on the GIMP Toolkit as a GUI. With OroboROX is also a separate slim window manager designed for ROX available. The core components of the ROX desktops include the Session Manager ROX - Session, a text editor and an archive manager. There are also many small utilities specially for ROX. For quick setup of the system programs " Zero Install " is used.


Due to its modular design, the ROX Desktop will quickly spread and is now on the scope of Unix-like systems such as FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD and Debian, Fedora, Gentoo Linux, Mandriva Linux, Red Hat, Slackware, openSUSE and Ubuntu Linux. The Distribution Puppy Linux uses ROX - Filer defaults to a file manager.

The ROX - Filer runs on the PowerPC, Mac OS X and Cygwin on Windows systems.