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Motif - The GUI for Unix Systems

Motif Availability

Here you will find everything that you need to develop professional, state of the art X/Motif-based GUI applications on Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X. Get everything you need in three simple steps:

  1. Start downloading the OpenMotif toolkit for the platform of your choice.

  2. While OpenMotif is downloading register for an instant download of the Motif GUI Builder used by the top GUI developers in the world and try it for free for 30 days.

  3. Download all the Motif programming reference books you'll ever need.

Note: This page contains details of the latest versions of Open Motif for Linux only.
For previous versions, including those for MAC OS X and old releases of FreeBSD, please click here.
There are no plans to build Motif for later versions of MAC OS X or FreeBSD.

Step 1 - Download OpenMotif

OpenMotif at any version is only available under the terms of the Open Group license:

Installation Notes   README (text)   5013 (4.39 KB)
Notes on the changes made to 2.1.30 to create 2.1.31 and 2.1.32   CHANGES_2-1-31_32 (text)
or view as an HTML page
  4491 (4.39 KB)
Linux - 32-bit
  (built on SuSE 9.2 (Linux 2.6.5))
2.1.32 openmotif-2.1.32-2_IST.i586.rpm MD5 2824683 (2.69 MB)
openmotif-2.1.32-2_IST.i586.deb MD5 3108078 (2.96 MB)
Linux - 64-bit
  (built on SuSE 9.2 (Linux 2.6.5))
2.1.32 openmotif-2.1.32-2_IST.x86_64.rpm MD5 5354269 (5.10 MB)
openmotif-2.1.32-2_IST.x86_64.deb MD5 5989190 (5.71 MB)

See the notes on Motif below

In order to ensure that you are prompted to save the file, you may have to right click on the file name and then select 'Save link as', or similar.

You should verify the MD5 signature on the files, which can be viewed by clicking on the 'MD5' link. A unix program called md5 or md5sum is included in many unix distributions. It is also available as part of GNU Textutils. Windows users can use Microsoft's File Checksum Integrity Verifier (FCIV) program obtainable from here, or a third party binary md5 program from here, here, or here.

Step 2 - Get a Motif GUI Builder

Download a copy of X-Designer to go with your OpenMotif toolkit. Try it for free for 30 days and find out why X-Designer is the #1 choice of GUI development professionals worldwide. Click here to register and download.

Step 3 - Download the Motif Books

O'Reilly publish a series of books in a set called 'The Definitive Guides to the X Window System' which include:
Volume 6A - the Motif Programming Manual
Volume 6B - the Motif Reference Manual.

Both these books are for Motif 2.1 and are available for download as PDF files from IST under the terms of the Open Publication license.

Notes on Motif

See The Motif overview page for more details.

Visit motifdeveloper.com, originally derived from MW3: Motif on the World Wide Web - a valuable source of X/Motif information.


This page contains details of the latest versions of Open Motif for Linux only. If you want a previous version or versions for old releases of FreeBSD and MAC OS X, please click here.

Note that OpenMotif-Compat 2.1.32 is OpenMotif 2.1.32 with its data structures padded to make it binary compatible with OpenMotif 2.2 and 2.3.

System Requirements for Linux

OpenMotif 2.1.32 was built on SuSE 9.2 (Linux 2.6.5) in both 32 and 64 bit modes. These versions are known to work on Redhat 9, Redhat Enterprise 4EL, Ubuntu 9.04 and Fedora Core 6 and will almost certainly be suitable for other versions of Linux incorporating version 2.6.5 or later of the kernel.

If you require OpenMotif 2.1.32 for a different version of Linux then please contact us by using our enquiry form or otherwise.

Package Content

There is one package for each platform, containing what is often referred to as runtime and development software.

Each package contains the Motif static and shared libraries, Motif window manager (mwm), UIL Compiler (uil), Motif support files, executable demo programs, and the header files needed to compile Motif programs from source code.

Installation Instructions

To install the packages, use the following commands as appropriate (you'll have to be root or use sudo):

Linux: rpm -ivh openmotif-2.1.32-2_IST.i586.rpm
or dpkg -i openmotif-2.1.32-2_IST.i586.deb
rpm -ivh openmotif-2.1.32-2_IST.x86_64.rpm
or dpkg -i openmotif-2.1.32-2_IST.x86_64.deb

The packages will be installed into the bin, lib and include sub-directories of /usr/OpenMotif-2.1.32 and linked to /usr/OpenMotif.

The location can be overridden by using the --relocate option of rpm or the --instdir= option of dpkg. If you do this then you should check that the link to /usr/OpenMotif has been made - you may have to manually set it.

The 64-bit version has 64-bit binaries in its bin directory, 32-bit libraries in its lib directory and 64-bit libraries in its lib64 directory.

You will need to add the lib path to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable. You should also run ldconfig to update the shared library cache.

You may also have to use the --nodeps flag on the rpm command line or the --force-depends and/or --force-bad-version when using dpkg.

WARNING - if you have OpenMotif 2.2 or 2.3 installed AND you have automatic updates for Linux enabled, you will need to ensure that OpenMotif is excluded from the list of allowable updates otherwise OpenMotif 2.1 will be deleted by the update process.

Source Code

The Source Code for OpenMotif is available under the terms of the Open Group license:

The Source Code for OpenMotif 2.1.32 is available here:

Download openmotif-2.1.32_IST.source.tar.gz   (MD5)
Note that this file is 17575123 Bytes (16.7MB) which is 74.0MB when uncompressed
Uncompress and unpack the tar archive, which will create a directory called motif
Read the file motif/RELNOTES

OpenMotif 2.2 and 2.3

Please note that the OpenMotif (2.2 or 2.3) distribution that is supplied with many Linux distributions has been classified as 'experimental' by the Open Group. IST would recommend that you do not use OpenMotif 2.2 or 2.3. For more details about the problems with OpenMotif 2.2 which have not been corrected in 2.3, please see the web page: http://www.motifdeveloper.com/tips/tip22.html


We are always interested any feedback you may have. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or wish to report a problem please contact us by using our Problem Reporting Form or enquiry form or otherwise.

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