Common Desktop Environment

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The Common Desktop Environment is a desktop environment for Unix and OpenVMS, based on the Motif widget toolkit. It was part of the UNIX98 Workstation Product Standard, and was long the "classic" Unix desktop associated with commercial Unix workstations. Despite being a legacy environment, it is still kept alive with support for Linux systems as well.

Warning: Running CDE on Linux is extremely experimental, has several known security issues, and requires some system modifications which are insecure. It is advisable to run CDE only under controlled settings (e.g. inside a VM) and never for real-life usage.
Note: CDE is only supported on 32-bit systems, 64-bit support is still experimental.


The base CDE system is installed through the cdesktopenvAUR AUR package. After package installation, some modifications are required.


The rpcbind service must be set to insecure mode:


This change requires a restart of rpcbind.service.



The cdesktopenvAUR package supplies the dtlogin systemd service which upon starting will launch the CDE login manager.


CDE can be directly launched with startx (install xorg-xinit):

$ export PATH=$PATH:/usr/dt/bin
$ export LANG=C
$ startx /usr/dt/bin/Xsession