As a Mac-dominant user I was looking at Cocoa again and that made me think about GNUstep, GNU's implementation of (what was once) the same platform.

I noticed that neither Ubuntu nor SUSE came with GNUstep (I think). Now I am wondering, which Linux (or BSD) distribution comes with GNUstep and/or which distribution should one use for developing GNUstep applications?

  • Ubuntu does distribute GNUstep according to packages.ubuntu.com
    – Ernest A
    Jan 10, 2014 at 11:19
  • As of course does Debian. I imagine all the major distributions do. Jan 10, 2014 at 11:43

4 Answers 4


I think you must have missed something, it should be in all major distros. Here's Fedora 20:

> yum search gnustep
gnustep-gui.x86_64 : The GNUstep GUI library
gnustep-make.x86_64 : GNUstep makefile package
gnustep-back.x86_64 : The GNUstep back-end library
gnustep-base.x86_64 : GNUstep Base library package
gnustep-base-devel.i686 : Header of the GNUstep Base library packes
gnustep-base-devel.x86_64 : Header of the GNUstep Base library packes
gnustep-base-doc.noarch : Documentation for gnustep-base
gnustep-base-libs.i686 : GNUStep Base Libraries
gnustep-base-libs.x86_64 : GNUStep Base Libraries
gnustep-examples.x86_64 : The GNUstep examples
gnustep-filesystem.x86_64 : The basic directory layout for GNUstep packages
gnustep-gui-devel.i686 : Header files for the gnustep-gui package
gnustep-gui-devel.x86_64 : Header files for the gnustep-gui package
gnustep-gui-doc.noarch : Documentation for gnustep-gui
gnustep-gui-libs.i686 : Libraries for gnustep-gui
gnustep-gui-libs.x86_64 : Libraries for gnustep-gui
gnustep-make-doc.noarch : Documentation for gnustep-makegorm.i686 : The 
GNUstep graphical interface builder
gorm.x86_64 : The GNUstep graphical interface builder

Here's Ubuntu 12.04 LTS:

> apt-cache search gnustep
gnustep - The GNUstep Development Environment -- user applications
gnustep-back-common - GNUstep GUI Backend - common files
gnustep-back-dbg - GNUstep GUI Backend - debugging symbols
gnustep-back0.20 - GNUstep GUI Backend
gnustep-back0.20-art - GNUstep GUI Backend (art)
gnustep-back0.20-cairo - GNUstep GUI Backend (cairo)
gnustep-base-common - GNUstep Base library - common files
gnustep-base-doc - Documentation for the GNUstep Base Library
gnustep-base-examples - Examples using the GNUstep Base Library
gnustep-base-runtime - GNUstep Base library - daemons and tools
gnustep-common - Common files for the core GNUstep environment
gnustep-core-devel - The GNUstep Development Environment -- core development
gnustep-core-doc - The GNUstep Development Environment -- core documentation
gnustep-devel - The GNUstep Development Environment -- development tools
gnustep-dl2 - Objective-C Classes needed for Database Access
gnustep-dl2-postgresql-adaptor - gnustep-dl2 adaptor to connect to PostgreSQL
gnustep-dl2-sqlite-adaptor - gnustep-dl2 adaptor to connect to SQLite
gnustep-examples - GNUstep example applications
gnustep-games - The GNUstep Development Environment -- games
gnustep-gpbs - GNUstep PasteBoard server
gnustep-gui-common - GNUstep GUI Library - common files
gnustep-gui-doc - Documentation for the GNUstep GUI Library
gnustep-gui-runtime - GNUstep GUI Library - runtime files
gnustep-icons - Several free icons for use with GNUstep and others
gnustep-make - Basic GNUstep Makefiles
gnustep-make-doc - Documentation for GNUstep-make

And debian wheezy output is similar.


I think major distro has GNUstep packages. Debian has below specific page on GNUstep and I think so far the most suited distro.


IMHO, GNUstep until now still missing on Desktop Environment / Window Manager package.

  • Windowmaker is developed with C instead of Objective-C, and isn't developed using GNUstep Library)
  • GNUstep Application Project is working on providing applications, not develop dekstop environment.
  • Project Backbone will provide window manager like functionality, however it seem no progress since a decade ago.
  • Project Etoile will create user environment, however no news also since half-decade ago.

Debian contains the GNUStep Environment. To install it, run apt-get install gnustep.


Arch Linux has community packages for GNUStep libraries, and the AUR contains many applications too.

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