The GNOME Project is a community that makes great software. GNOME is Free Software: all our work is free to use, modify and redistribute. Everyone is welcome to participate in its development.

In the beginning

The GNOME Project was started in 1997 by two then university students, Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena. Their aim: to produce a free (as in freedom) desktop environment. Since then, GNOME has grown into a hugely successful enterprise. Used by millions of people across the world, it is the most popular desktop environment for GNU/Linux and UNIX-type operating systems. The desktop has been utilised in successful, large-scale enterprise and public deployments, and the project's developer technologies are utilised in a large number of popular mobile devices.

Collaboration and meritocracy

GNOME exists because of its participants. Over 3500 people have contributed changes to the project's code repositories, including the employees of 106 companies. It is the work of these collaborators that makes GNOME a reality. As a reflection of this, GNOME is governed along meritocratic principles; its leadership is drawn from the project's contributors and includes accomplished developers, managers, designers, artists and writers.


Freedom and community

Freedom and community go hand in hand in GNOME. The project's software is free to download, modify and redistribute; its communication channels and development infrastructure are visible to all. It is this freedom and openness that enables the GNOME community to exist, by allowing new contributors to take part and enabling companies to collaborate in the production of mutually beneficial technologies. GNOME is proud to be a part of the GNU Project.


The GNOME project has a tradition of high-quality interface design which has been strongly influenced by usability principles and practice. GNOME software is available in a large number of spoken languages, and the project aims to ensure that its software is usable for everyone, including people with disabilities.


An independent non-profit

Since 2000, the GNOME Foundation has acted as the custodian of the project. The Foundation is GNOME's legal body. It supports the project through the collection and distribution of funds, acts as the interface between the project and its partners, and provides strategic guidance.