I recently stripped down my debian box, abandoning all desktop environments and running just WindowMaker with some self-written startup files. While I love the simplicity and speed of this setup, there is one thing I miss: I can no longer drop files onto my desktop.

I am wondering if there is a standalone program, I can just start and which displays a certain directory and accepts drops from filemanagers.

I thought I might just use some file-manager, make it sticky and somewhat get rid of the window decorations and menus. I tried Thunar, Pcmanfm and Krusader but drag'n drop did not always work between them.

  • Is there a lack of standardization for drag'n drop, so it does not always work, or do you think I missed something?
  • Is the window manager involved in drag'n drop and my ancient WindowMaker might be to blame?
  • Is there such a thing as a standalone (desktop environment agnostic) desktop backdrop?

1 Answer 1


Give nemo (or nautilus) a try. Both run a "desktop" folder in the background, and both allow drag and drop. You don't need the full DE to run nemo.

There is a standard for Drag and drop, but some things don't implement it. Almost everything does though.

The window manager is not usually involved in drag and drop, though you usually need something like dbus running.

  • Nautilus does not display my Desktop folder when stated from wmaker. There seems to be something missing in my wmaker setup or in wmaker itself. Jan 11, 2014 at 10:55
  • Okay, I got it to work (not sure how). However, when nautilus manages the desktop, wmaker's root menu no longer works (of course). I finally settled for a plain nautilus window. Jan 12, 2014 at 21:43

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