The GNUstep project aims to create a Free as in speech implementation of the OPENSTEP Specification and Apple Computer's Cocoa API. The goal is to achive source code compatibility between GNUstep, OPENSTEP and Mac OS X.

GNUstep consists of two major subprojects:

The GNUstep Base Library contains general, non graphical classes for things like strings, collections, notifications, networking and file IO. It corresponds to OPENSTEP/Cocoa's Foundation Kit.

The GNUstep GUI Library contains classes for creating graphical user interfaces. It contains classes for windows, buttons, text input, menus, popup lists, and browser lists. It also contains associated classes for dealing with user events, color, fonts, pasteboards, font and drawing. It corresponds to OPENSTEP/Cocoa's Application Kit.

GNUstep also includes projects for creating a clone of the OPENSTEP environment, with clones of OPENSTEP's Workspace Manager, Mail, Project Builder, and Interface Buidler.

GNUstep's target platform is Unix (primarily Linux). GNUstep Base can be used on windows via Cygwin or Mingw, and work is in progress to port GNUstep GUI. GNUstep is written in Objective-C.

For more information visit

About the GNUStep GNU/Linux Live CD

In addition to the widget set, GNUStep is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Morphix, designed to be run from the CD. It boots directly into X running WindowMaker, and contains all of the major GNUStep applications, as well as other popular programs and a lightweight web browser. Like all Morphix variants, GNUStep has a simple graphical hard disk installer.

GNUStep and GNU software

GNUStep is one of few Linux distributions that focus very heavily on GNU software and tools. The distribution has GRUB and Parted to replace Lilo and fdisk, and of course uses the GNUStep environment with WindowMaker instead of one of the more major desktop environments. The CD also features a CD image of the actual GNU system, complete with Hurd. The increase in GNU software makes the system feel more coherent than some other Linux systems.

I use GNUStep primarily as a rescue disc, since it comes with Parted and Grub and is very hassle-free, but I also have it installed on an old Pentium box as a toy server.


The first thing I do when I install a Morphix distro is switch to a root console (Try ctrl-alt-F6) and change the password (with passwd), then switch back to X (Ctrl-alt-F7). You can then su in a terminal and run amock.

Partitioning and bootloader: I use GRUB on all my boxes, so I typically skip the bootloader stage and set up GRUB independently. As far as partitioning goes, the default Morphix installer calls cfdisk of which I am not very fond, so I partition with Parted or QTParted beforehand.

Actual installation: Once you've partitioned and selected your root partition and whatever other partitions you dig, the installer takes over and dumps everything onto disk, so be warned that you can't pick and choose what you want until you're done installing.

After the install, you can log in as root and use apt-get to install or remove anything your heart desires. My first move is usually to apt-get install evilwm, but that's just me.


The ISO image itself is about a 500 MB download available from the web site. Some of the software on the disc:

Links and sources:

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