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Draco Desktop Environment
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Draco Desktop Environment

Draco is a simple and lightweight desktop environment. While small still features XDG integration, freedesktop services and integration, power and storage management, desktop, panels, multi-monitor support and much more. Draco does not include any user applications.

Draco is developed for and on Slackware Linux.







Storage management

  • Show available storage/optical devices in system tray
  • Auto mount (and open) storage/optical devices when added (not default)
  • Auto play CD/DVD (not default)

Power management

  • Implements org.freedesktop.ScreenSaver service
  • Implements org.freedesktop.PowerManagement service
  • Automatically suspend on idle
  • Automatically lock screen on idle
  • Automatically hibernate or shutdown on critical battery
  • Inhibit actions if external monitor(s) is connected
  • Enables applications to inhibit display and suspend
  • Display backlight support
  • Display hotplug support
  • RTC wake support
  • cpufreq/pstate support (WIP)



Default shortcuts

Shortcut Action
Alt+F1 Default terminal
Alt+F2 Application launcher
Ctrl+Alt+Left Switch desktop/workspace
Ctrl+Alt+Right Switch desktop/workspace
Ctrl+Alt+Up Switch desktop/workspace
Ctrl+Alt+Down Switch desktop/workspace
Shift+Alt+Left Move window to desktop/workspace
Shift+Alt+Right Move window to desktop/workspace
Shift+Alt+Up Move window to desktop/workspace
Shift+Alt+Down Move window to desktop/workspace
Win+F1 Switch to desktop/workspace 1
Win+F2 Switch to desktop/workspace 2
Win+F3 Switch to desktop/workspace 3
Win+F4 Switch to desktop/workspace 4
Win+D Toggle show desktop
Alt+Tab Next window
Alt+Shift+Tab Previous window
wheel/touchpad up/down on desktop Switch desktop/workspace

Screen saver

Draco depends on XScreenSaver to handle the screen session, the default settings may need to be adjusted. You can launch the (XScreenSaver) configuration GUI with the xscreensaver-demo command or from settings.

Recommended settings are:

  • Mode: Blank Screen Only
  • Blank After: 5 minutes
  • Lock Screen After: enabled + 0 minutes
  • Display Power Management: enabled
    • Standby After: 0 minutes
    • Suspend After: 0 minutes
    • Off After: 0 minutes
    • Quick Power-off in Blank Only Mode: enabled

A custom configuration tool will be added in the future.


Backlight is supported through /sys/class/backlight. The current brightness can be adjusted with the mouse wheel on the system tray icon.


A swap partition (or file) is needed by the kernel to support hibernate/hybrid sleep. Edit the boot loader configuration and add the kernel option resume=<swap_partition/swap_file>, then save and restart.

Note that some distributions don't require resume=, and some have hibernation disabled. Consult your distribution documentation regarding hibernation.


Draco is divided into the following components:

  • libDraco
    • Common functions.
  • start-draco
    • Takes care of starting and running the desktop environment.
  • draco-settings
    • Manage settings.
  • draco-settings-x11
    • Manage monitors. You can use this component outside of Draco.
  • org.dracolinux.Desktop
    • The desktop session. Takes care of anything related to desktop, panels, clipboard and auto started applications/services. You can use this component outside of Draco.
  • org.dracolinux.Power
    • Takes care of anything related to power. This includes, but not limited to screensaver, freedesktop services, suspend, hibernate, monitors, backlight, keyboard, CPU. You can use this component outside of Draco.
  • org.dracolinux.Powerd
    • D-Bus system service for Draco. Used to modify backlight, cpufreq/pstate and RTC wake alarm.
  • org.dracolinux.Storage
    • Takes care of removable storage devices. You can use this component outside of Draco.
  • org.dracolinux.XDG
    • xdg-open replacement. Takes care of anything XDG related when running Draco. You can use this component outside of Draco.


Various screenshots.


Main settings:


Draco XDG/mime settings:


Applications and services that are launched during desktop startup:


Basic keyboard configuration:


Panels configuration:


Power configuration:


Wallpaper configuration:


General desktop configuration:


Monitor configuration:



Draco was an alternative GNU/Linux distribution developed between 2005 and 2015. Since then the OS has been dropped in favor of (upstream, and) creating a desktop environment. The distribution started out as a fork of Slackware Linux, while the desktop started out as a fork of Lumina aimed at Slackware Linux. What goes around comes around ...


Build and runtime requirements.

  • cmake (>= 3.0)
  • pkg-config
  • Qt (5.5+, latest LTS recommended)
    • QtCore
    • QtDBus
    • QtGui
    • QtWidgets
    • QtConcurrent
    • QtX11Extras
  • X11
    • libX11
    • libXss
    • libXdamage
    • libXrandr
    • libXfixes
    • xrandr
    • setxkbmap
    • xinit
    • xcb
      • xcb-randr
      • xcb-ewmh
      • xcb-icccm
      • xcb-image
      • xcb-composite
      • xcb-damage
      • xcb-util
      • xcb-shm
  • xscreensaver
  • qt5ct
  • xdg-utils
  • shared-mime-info
  • hicolor-icon-theme
  • adwaita-icon-theme (3.18 recommended)
  • openbox
  • UDisks2 (or compatible service)
  • UPower (>= 0.9.23 or compatible service)
  • ConsoleKit/logind (or compatible service)


Optional recommended applications.

  • qterminal (terminal emulator)
  • qtfm (file manager)
  • pnmixer (audio system tray)
  • obconf (window manager config)


Daemon notice

Draco includes a power daemon (to be able to adjust screen and cpu) this daemon must run as root (or a user with write access to /sys), this service run through D-Bus and can only be accessed by a predefined system group, this should be a common desktop user group like power or something similar. The default when building Draco is root as user and power as group. If you want something else you can change this during build.

Add the following during cmake configure:

-DPOWERD_SERVICE_USER=<run service as this user>
-DPOWERD_SERVICE_GROUP=<user group that have access to service>

You can also change the /etc/dbus-1/system.d/org.dracolinux.Powerd.conf file manually if you want.

Slackware Linux (14.2+)

Install the following packages from or

  • qt5 (5.9.7+/5.12.x recommended)
  • qt5ct
  • openbox

The rest should be available in a standard installation.

A draco.SlackBuild is available.

You can of course build it manually:

mkdir build && cd build
sudo make install

Note that the install prefix should be the same folder as D-Bus (usually in /usr), else you will need to copy the Draco service files to the proper location manually.

Ubuntu (Xenial+)

Minimal testing is done on Ubuntu, some features may not work.

Known issues:

  • Add your user to the power group before running Draco (add group if not exists).
  • Hibernate does not work, will add instructions on fixing this

Dependencies (based on a miminal install of Xenial):

sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake pkg-config openbox adwaita-icon-theme-full xscreensaver xdg-utils qt5ct qtbase5-dev libqt5x11extras5-dev libx11-dev libxss-dev libxdamage-dev libxrandr-dev libxfixes-dev libxcb1-dev libx11-xcb-dev libxcb-randr0-dev libxcb-ewmh-dev libxcb-icccm4-dev libxcb-image0-dev libxcb-composite0-dev libxcb-damage0-dev libxcb-util0-dev libxcb-shm0-dev openbox-dev

Build and install:

mkdir build && cd build
sudo make install

Note that the install prefix should be the same folder as D-Bus (usually in /usr), else you will need to copy the Draco service files to the proper location manually.


Minimal testing is done on Fedora, some features may not work.

Known issues:

  • Same as Ubuntu
  • Adwaita icons are broken, expect missing icons


sudo dnf install qt5-qtbase-devel qt5-qtx11extras-devel cmake gcc-c++ pkg-config libXScrnSaver-devel libXdamage-devel libXrandr-devel libxcb-devel xcb-util-devel xcb-util-wm-devel xcb-util-image-devel xdg-utils shared-mime-info hicolor-icon-theme adwaita-icon-theme openbox xscreensaver qt5ct openbox-devel

Build and install:

mkdir build && cd build
sudo make install

Note that the install prefix should be the same folder as D-Bus (usually in /usr), else you will need to copy the Draco service files to the proper location manually.


This project has source files licensed under BSD-3, LGPL-2.1 and GPL-2.

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