Pre-compiled IceWM package for Cygwin


Some people sent me reports that the binaries do not run on Windows 2000 (and therefore probably not on Windows NT). Others report that the binaries do run on Windows 2000/NT but only if the color depth of the X server is set to 16 bits.

I also received a report that the binaries run fine on Windows XP albeit that the minimise/maximise/close buttons are messed up a little. They are reported to run fine on Windows XP Pro.

I would be happy to supply binaries compiled on Windows NT/2000/XP but I do not have access to such machines.

Settings used for Compilation

The compilation system was a Windows 95 PC with cygwin-1.3.2 installed, compiler was gcc-2.95.2 for cygwin.

I used the default settings for the compilation. I just untar-ed the sources and performed:

$ ./configure

At this point I applied a small patch supplied by Joshua Walsky that removes a problem in dealing with DOS-style line endings (CR/LF) in IceWM's configuration files. Next I performed a normal build and install.

$ make
$ make install

Therefore this package installs IceWM under directory: /usr/local.

NOTE: I am not a developer of IceWM and window managers are way outside my knowledge domain so I can not fix bugs or implement "cool" features in IceWM itself. Please contact the IceWM developers at to send bug reports or patches that are about IceWM itself.

Known issues



Use the link below to download the binaries for IceWM compiled for Cygwin.

Please read this: Some browsers automatically uncompress .tar.gz archives if you download them by left-clicking (I know IE does this). However they do not remove the .gz extension from the filename causing all kinds of confusion. To prevent this: right-click on the link and choose "Save Link as ..." or something similar from the menu that pops up.



Start a Cygwin bash-shell and go to the cygwin root directory:

$ cd /

Untar the IceWM binaries:

$ tar xzf ~/path_to_tarfile/icewm-cygwin-1.0.8-6p1.tar.gz

Edit the startxwin.bat and/or script you use to start xfree and find the line that starts your current windowmanager (I'm assuming that is twm, but YMMV) and change the line that reads "twm &" into "icewm &".

Start xfree and ... have a little patience and ... voila! IceWM on cygwin. Have fun!

If you want to start X using the standard "startx" script install this script as /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xserverrc. You should use this script as your $HOME/.xinitrc file. Please edit these files to your own preferences. Finally, run: "touch .Xauthority" from the command line in your home directory. This last command is not essential but it silences some annoying warning messages.

For help on using IcwWM see the documentation installed in directory /usr/local/doc/icewm-1.0.8 and the IceWM homepage at


If you have any questions or remarks, please let me know.

Harry Kuiper (hkuiper at xs4all dot nl)