World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


KWin 4.4 with Cube effect.
Developer(s) KDE (Martin Gräßlin, et al.)
Stable release 5.4.2 (6 October 2015 (2015-10-06)) [1]
Preview release 5.4 Beta (11 August 2015 (2015-08-11)) [2]
Written in C++ (Qt)
Operating system Linux, BSD, other Unix-like
Size 9.5MiB[3]
License GNU General Public License

KWin is KDE's X window manager and in the process of becoming a Wayland compositor. It is the default window manager of the KDE Plasma 4 and KDE Plasma 5, but it can also be used on its own or with other desktop environments.

KWin can be configured by scripting, using QML or QtScript, both of which are based on ECMAScript.[4]


  • History 1
  • Look and feel 2
  • Compositing 3
    • Included effects 3.1
      • Accessibility 3.1.1
      • Appearance 3.1.2
      • Candy 3.1.3
      • Focus 3.1.4
      • Tools 3.1.5
      • Window management 3.1.6
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Name Version Details
KWM 1.0
KWin 2.0 Extended support for themes and window effects.
3.0 Improved support for the extended ICCCM standards from
4.0 Compositing support and Compiz-like effects.
4.4 Maximizing and tiling by snapping to the screen-edges, grouping and tabbing.[5]
4.5 Tiling.[6] (removed in version 4.10)
4.9 Incompatible API change.[7]
4.11 Last release based on KDE Platform 4. Experimental Wayland support.[8]
5.0 First release based on KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt 5.[9]

Look and feel

There are many window decorations for KWin, including the default Oxygen, Microsoft Windows-like Redmond, and Keramik. IceWM themes can also be used with it, provided the kdeartwork package is installed.


Currently available compositing backends include XRender, OpenGL 1.2, OpenGL 2.0, OpenGL 3.1[10] and OpenGL ES 2.0.[11]

Included effects

Screenshot showing the cover switch effect in KWin for KDE 4.1.

As of KDE 4.3 the following effects are built-in:


Name Description
Invert Inverts the color of the desktop and windows
Looking glass A screen magnifier that looks like a fish eye lens
Magnifier Magnify the section of the screen that is near the mouse cursor
Sharpen Makes the entire desktop look sharper
Snap Helper Helps locate the centre of the screen when moving a window
Track mouse Display a mouse cursor locating effect when activated
Zoom Magnify the entire desktop


Name Description
Explosion Make windows explode when they are closed
Fade Make windows smoothly fade in and out when they are shown or hidden
Fade Desktop Fade between virtual desktops when switching between them
Fall apart Close windows fall into pieces
Highlight Windows Highlight the appropriate window when hovering over taskbar entries
Login Smoothly fade to the desktop when logging in
Logout Desaturate the desktop when displaying the logout dialog
Magic Lamp Simulate a magic lamp when minimizing windows
Minimize animation Animate the minimizing of windows
Mouse mark Allows you to draw lines over your desktop
Scale In Animate the appearance of windows
Sheet Make modal dialogues smoothly fly in and out when shown or hidden
Slide Slide windows across the screen when switching virtual desktops
Sliding popups Sliding animation for Plasma Popups
Taskbar Thumbnails Display window thumbnails when hovering over taskbar entries
Thumbnail aside Display window thumbnails on the edge of the screen
Translucency Make windows translucent under different conditions
Wobbly windows Deform windows while they are moving


Name Description
Snow Simulate snow falling on the desktop


Name Description
Dialog parent Darkens the parent windows of the currently active dialogue
Dim Inactive Darken inactive windows
Dim screen for administrator mode Darkens the entire screen when requesting root privileges
Slide Back Slide back windows losing focus


Name Description
Show FPS Show kwins performance in the corner of the screen
Show Paint Highlight areas of the desktop that have been recently updated

Window management

Name Description
Box switch Display thumbnails of windows in the alt+tab window switcher
Cover switch Apply a Cover Flow-like effect to the alt+tab window switcher
Desktop cube Present each desktop as the facet of a cube
Desktop Cube Animation Animate desktop switching with a cube
Desktop grid Zoom out so all desktops are displayed side-by-side in a grid
Flip switch Flip through windows that are in a stack for the alt+tab window switcher
Present windows Zoom out until open windows can be displayed side by side
Resize Window Effect to outline geometry while resizing a window

See also


  1. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.2, bugfix Release for October".  
  2. ^ "KDE Ships Plasma 5.4 Beta Release". KDE. 
  3. ^ "Debian KWin Package in sid". 
  4. ^ "Development/Tutorials/KWin/Scripting". Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ "KDE SC 4.4.0 Caikaku Release Announcement". Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  6. ^ "KDE Software Compilation 4.5 Beta2 Release Announcement". Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Scripting Update Notes". March 6, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Plasma Workspaces 4.11 Continues to Refine User Experience". August 14, 2013. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  9. ^ "New Plasma brings a cleaner interface on top of a new graphics stack". July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  10. ^ Martin Gräßlin (June 18, 2013). "What we did in KWin 4.11". 
  11. ^ Martin Gräßlin (February 18, 2011). "KWin Embraces New Platforms with OpenGL ES 2.0 Support". KDE. KDE.NEWS. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 

External links

  • KWin release notes for KDE4.0
  • Decorations for KWin 4
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.