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Welcome to MaXX Interactive Desktop

Indigo MAX IMPACT v2.1.1 is now available

MaXX Interactive Desktop is the little brother of the great SGI Desktop on IRIX

MaXXdesktop v2.1.1 running in Modern Look & Feel with Sargent SGI Scheme (4K @60Hz)



The MaXX Interactive Desktop a.k.a. MaXXdesktop is the continuation of the 5Dwm project released many years back. So don't be mistaken, there is only one real  re-implementation of the IRIX Interactive Desktop found on SGI systems, and  it's MaXXdesktop!

MaXXdesktop is a true re-implementation of the "SGI Desktop" with the added benefits of using a modern software stack of highly tuned loosely-coupled components delivering maximum performance and stability while using as little resources as possible. We believe that high performance  computing and energy friendly are not mutually exclusive. What if you could run applications in a smarter, greener and sustainable way? MaXXdesktop aims at improving just that, do more with less.

While respecting the original retro CLASSIC SGI look and feel, which is very important for us to get it right,  we created a newer and more modern user experience called the MODERN look that feels like a natural evolution of the original SGI look, as if SGI did it themselves throughout the years perfecting an already pretty awesome recipe. The MODERN look still supports SGI Colour Schemes but introduce Unicode and UTF-8 support, anti-aliased font rendering, more hardware acceleration and a new virtual-desktop manager. The user can switch between looks with one mouse-click, now that's cool.

Goals and Features List

We believe in the need of  a highly tuned workstation environment where performance, robustness, low resources consumption are at the core of everything.

Here are the goals we want to achieve and features that makes a great modern desktop:

  • Lean, very fast and robust. Basically MaXXdesktop gets out of your way.
  • Smart and efficient multi-cores workload management with CPU and Core partitioning which help reduce process bouncing of  CPU cores and computation resources allocation/partitioning translate in better throughput (MaXXscope).
  • Built on solid and time proven foundations.
  • Desktop Applications are distributed as self contained AppImages.
  • Provides a robust modern and high performance asynchronous multi-threaded messaging sub-system (with Shared Memory support and Zero copy principle for local communications) for fast and efficient inter-processes communications (MaXXlinks).
  • Based on a modular micro-services like architecture that allow decentralization of core desktop services as we rapidly moving toward containerization for better security.
  • Modern Configuration Management sub-system with both a command line interface (CLI) or C/C++/Java API for easy application integration (MaXXsettings).
  • Highly focused on facilitating quick and easy access to your content with fast content previewers right from the file-manager.
  • Leverage hardware acceleration and optimization for CPU  and GPU.
  • Centralized system monitoring sub-system (MaXXmonitor).
  • HiDPI supports for X/Motif applications and easy presets control for applications.
  • Much needed MotifTM face-lift and modernization of the ViewKit framework with new modern components that are fully integrated with all MaXX Desktop sub-systems.
  • Developer friendly software development environment with integration to CLion, Intelli-J and PyCharm IDEs from Jetbrains which translate into building better and faster applications.
  • To support multiple CPU architectures (x86, Arm64 and RISC-V)
  • To run on multiple OS: Linux, FreeBSD and Windows11 WSL2.
  • To provide a source code compatibility for IRIX visual applications.

>> More details on what MaXXdesktop is made of

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Installation Guides MaXXdesktop Development Documentation

Our Mission

More for your creativity.

Our mission is to bring back this great user experience which focused on performance, stability and productivity while sporting a smooth-clean-minimalism look and feel with low-resources consumption. A smart and green Desktop that puts the user's application in the forefront.  

We believe in a High Performance Desktop Environment that provides the right set of tools to maximize creativity and productivity without sacrificing  your system resources to some eye candy nonsense.  Again, less is more... And it keeps you focused.

From the Ground Up

Our design philosophy is simple, do more with less...

The MaXXdesktop is designed from the ground up for speed,  fast/responsive, lightweight/simplicity over eye-candidness, but more importantly, to get the heck out of your way... The name MaXX Interactive doesn't mean maximum visual interaction, which are distractions or so what we call, UI noises. It's means maximum creativity with interactive assistance from the Desktop. In many ways, it's made for you and your brain so that it can relax, focus on let the creative juice flowing with far fewer distractions. We see desktop notifications in a very different way, but this is for another discussion. In short, the MaXXdesktop let you focus on the creative  tasks ahead without interference or visual distractions. 

Experience Matters

Our team is sharing the same vision of making use of the right set of technologies with industry proven best practices and guidelines to build the right software, the right way.  We aim at providing a consistent and pleasant user experience built on top of modern and stable foundations.  Every good and useful piece of tech deserves to be future-proof and this is where several decades of experience in building battle-proven mission critical systems for high performance Enterprise class applications comes in. If it's architect-ed properly,  it can evolve without breaking apart!

Is MaXX Desktop for you?

MaXX Desktop's typical users are old IRIX users/sysadmins, Computer Graphics Artists, Motion Pictures and Special Effects Studios, Software/Game Developers, Visualization/Simulation, Virtual Reality power-users or Oil and Gas research to name a few. MaXXdesktop is also for anyone who wants get a break from all the surrounding noises and create stuff while sporting a very unique/cool daily driver. If it is the case, then MaXX is for you.


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Documentation Software

New Stuff

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What's New

What's Next...
Not just a theme...


Useful Stuff

Post Installation and Customization


SGI Special License Agreement

Contacting Us


Development Stuff

MaXXdesktop Development

MaXXdesktop 2.1.1

Installation Guides



GitLab Repos

Open-source GitLab

 Private GitLab - Invitation only.

However we are in the process of opening it and moving to a community-driven model.





The MaXXdesktop team