January 2005, I developed a kiosk linux distribution with a look similar to Microsoft Windows XP.

The first objective was to provide the user with a realistic WinXP look&feel. The second objective was to avoid having the user modify the system configuration.

I tried different Window Managers, themes and patches from other people (fvwm, icewm, gnome, kde, etc).

Finally I decided to modify a Window Manager in order to adapt it to the project requirements. I preferred icewm due to the fact that it is developed in c++, it is easy to configure, it is lightweight and it is fast.

I modified icewm 1.2.20 in the following ways:

1.- Added support for mouse over-button pixmaps.

2.- Added support for pixmaps in the left side of menus

3.- The taskbar was split into two parts, the traditional and the notification area like Windows XP.

4.- Added new buttons with menus in the notification area for keyboard layout and  switching locale.

5.- Added a new look for themes. This look (lookXP) has two modes: a pixmap mode (if the theme provides a pixmap for each component in the task bar, titlebar, and window frames) and a fast mode so the software automatically renders a look similar to Windows XP without pixmaps.

6.- Corrected minor bugs and added other features into icewm sources (transparent pixmaps, png icons, customizable size of taskbar, etc).

7.- Modified icewm-session, in order to launch a customized desktop manager to provide application launchers with icons and the ability to easily change wallpapers (added option -bg=command

8.- Modified icewmtray in order to notify applications about changes to the background color in the tray area and to capture the -HUP signal to reread the new configuration.

9.- Adapted all plugins (cpu, network, etc) to correctly display the background color and pixmap of the taskbar.

10.- Added a restart script that is executed when icewm is restarted or when the theme is changed.

11.- Finally I created various new themes for icewm: first the pixmap themes, WinXP-Blue, WinXP-Olive, WinXP-Silver. Then the plain no-pixmap themes, WinXP-Plain-Blue, WinXP-Plain-Olive, WinXP-Plain-Silver. Lastly, I created the double-height taskbar themes.

       Because icewm does not have a desktop icon manager, I  decided to use idesk which I modified to capture the -SIGHUP signal and reload its configuration.  Thus when icewm is restarted, it also notifies idesk to be reloaded.

I also needed a FileManager with an identical look to Windows Explorer. I added these features to xfe:

1.- Icons identical to explorer's

2.- A command line option to restrict the file system area visible to the user (option -r folder).

3.- If xfe is in restricted mode, some utilities are hidden (permissions, links, etc)

August 2006, LookXP begins as an OpenSource project.

- Registered lxp as a new project at: http://lxp.sourceforge.net and created  the mail list: lxp-users@sourceforge.net and the lxp CVS repository.

- Created first scrips and utilities for lxp:

lxp-startup: this script creates icewm and idesk configuration files in the user's home

lxp-command: wrapper command utility to some icewm (calendar, run, etc)

lxp-icewm-keyboards: creates an icewm menu on the fly for keyboard switching

lxp.desktop: the configuration file that allows for starting lxp from the login screen.

- Added all my old work to the repository: icewm-1.2.20.LXP-LookXP_themes.tar.gz, icewm-1.2.20.LXP.patch idesk-0.7.5-LXP.patch README xfe-0.88.LXP.icons.tar.gz xfe-0.88.LXP.patch

- Created rpm packages for fedora and Suse.

- Created this web site with documentation and screenshots.

- Finally I reeleased the first version of LXP