GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment)

What is GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment)?

GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) is a graphical user interface (GUI) and set of computer desktop applications for Linux operating system (OS) users. It's intended to make a Linux OS easy to use for nonprogrammers. GNOME generally corresponds to the Windows desktop interface and its most common set of applications. In fact, GNOME enables users to select one of several desktop appearances.

With GNOME, the UI can, for example, be made to look like Windows or like macOS. In addition, GNOME includes a set of the same type of applications found in Microsoft Office: a word processor, spreadsheet program, database manager, presentation developer, web browser and email program.

GNOME is derived from a long-running volunteer effort under the auspices of the Free Software Foundation, the organization founded by Richard Stallman. Stallman and fellow members of the Free Software Foundation believe that software source code should always be public and open to change so that it can continually be improved by others. GNOME is, in part, an effort to make Linux a viable alternative to Windows so that the desktop OS market is not controlled by a single vendor. GNU is the Free Software Foundation's own OS and set of applications. Linux was developed by Linus Torvalds, who, assisted by contributors, added a kernel to additional OS components from GNU.

GNOME comes with an object request broker supporting Common Object Request Broker Architecture so that GNOME programs and programs from other OS platforms in a network are able to interoperate. GNOME also includes a widget library that programmers can use to develop applications that use the GNOME UI. In addition to a desktop version, GNOME also comes as a UI and set of applications for mobile devices.

This was last updated in April 2024

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