BBLean v1.17.1

webfork on 25 Jun 2017
  • 1010KB (uncompressed)
  • Released on 8 Dec 2009
  • Suggested by gp_hbk

BBLean is an alternative shell for Windows. It is based stylistically on the Blackbox window manager for the X Window System by Brad Hughes. It supports numerous plugins and styles for different tastes and needs.

System Requirements: Win95 / Win98 / WinME / WinNT / Win2K / WinXP / Vista
Writes settings to: Application folder
License: GPL
How to extract: Download the self-extracting EXE to a folder of your choice. Launch blackbox.exe. See this forum post on how to enhance BBLean.

14 comments on BBLean  The Portable Freeware Collection Latest Entries Feed

maxnort 2009-12-15 21:02

portable? yes; runs on top of explorer. some systray icons disappear, but the programs still running. go for the ultimate in security: create a profile in every pc you use that requires you have the USB stick inserted or else no shell can load.

nvictor 2009-12-10 03:02


it's like changing your whole desktop. see the bar at the top. it's your taskbar.

some people like changing their operating system themes.

Roger 2009-12-10 01:12

It's not clear to me what this actually does or why I would need it. Is it just a replacement for Windows Explorer?

Christian Oelte 2009-07-07 18:02

new version now:

vs. 1.17 !

Theo 2008-11-08 17:41

I've been using bblean for about 3 or 4 years now.
It's the best explorer replacement i've tried, litestep is too power hungry when it comes to icons etc, and other shells required installs.
Using setshell.exe, I'm able to easily set the shell to blackbox - also, there is the blackbox installer, just run "blackbox -help" for info on installing uninstalling it.

devskii - but once you configure it to the way you want it, that's it - I've used the same setup for all my computers (home and work) for the last year. It's brill :)

devskii 2008-09-26 00:21

configuring bblean (or any bb mods) is a chore. you have to edit text files to do that. or use bbconf, but that thing hasnt been updates in ages. sadly litestep is the same..

Alt Shelly 2007-08-03 20:10

it can run as an alternate shell, but I wouldn't run it from a USB drive, the write processes it can make kill a good USB drive.

cmd3187 2006-07-26 06:08

I have been using BBLean for about a year now, and I have been able to get it to work very well on my small thumb drive. The reason why half or more of the icons don't show has todo with explorer running underneith bblean. You will need to kill it before running the blackbox shell, try something like this

taskkill /WAIT /IM /F explorer.exe
start /path/to/bblean/blackbox.exe

Hank7 2006-07-08 01:54

I liked this application from the first second. It has a really intuitive GUI and seems highly customizable, and I am thinking about INSTALLING bbLean as my default shell.


When I start bbLean from within the explorer shell by simply double-clicking, two thirds of my system tray icons are not shown in the tray, e.g. Stickies, NeoMem, WallPaper, Thunderbird, Eraser, etc., which makes their applications unusable in most cases.

I want to encourage everybody to put this fine piece on their USB-sticks and use it, which means installing and rebooting (and uninstalling and rebooting before you leave the host computer) to have it function properly.

But I don't think that bbLean is fully functional just by double-clicking the exe.

[BOT]Fluffy 2006-07-07 09:25

Yes, that "someone's" opinion might actually have to do with REMOVEABLE MEDIA. (Sorry to use caps, but apparently you didn't really read my posts so I figured I should make it stand out more just for you.) You see, in the registry, the default shell is set with an absolute path, which can be a problem for USB drives.

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