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Blackbox Lite

I put this together simply because I got annoyed with the Windows shell. It hangs all too often. So I tried all the best-of-breed shells, including commercial and open source, and settled on Blackbox which is open source. I added the features I needed, such as visual cues for the virtual desktop, shown at the bottom. At the time, current versions of Blackbox didn't seem to have much release engineering, so I wrote documentation and an installer as well, and the result is what you see below.

Just for fun, i build this shell without any Visual Studio tools. In fact, I build it in emacs using cygwin and gcc, and the entire release engineering process going from modified source code to an installer and documentation pushed up to the web site is wrapped into a single makefile target.

Below is the home page I wrote for the Blackbox Lite web site,



Blackbox Lite


Blackbox Lite enhances the desktop theme for Microsoft Windows. It provides multiple virtual desktops and has hundreds of free styles and extensions. It is free, fast, and open-source.



Download Now

Overview   Installation   Quick Start


Blackbox Lite is fast because it:

  • Does one thing and does it well: manage the desktop.
  • Keeps core features small, light and simple.


The Blackbox Lite taskbar below shows the start button followed by a numbered button for each virtual desktop, and beside each virtual desktop's button, the icons of the applications on that virtual desktop. On the right side are the system tray icons followed by the clock.



Blackbox Lite is based on bbLean which is based on Blackbox for Windows

Copyright © 2007 Carey Richard Murphey. All Rights Reserved.