GNUstep [ ɡnu stɛp ː ] is a free, cross-platform and object-oriented programming interface (now Apple) has been fully implemented and incorporated many of the additional enhancements of Mac OS X and Cocoa the OpenStep specification from NeXT. It is written in Objective- C.

GNUstep runs on Unix-like operating systems, but also on Microsoft Windows.

How Cocoa GNUstep provides a Java interface is available as well as bridges ( bindings ) to Ruby and Scheme.

Furthermore, GNUstep has a scripting framework called StepTalk.

  • 6.1 GNUstep desktop environments in developing
  • 6.2 documentation


The development of GNUstep began when Paul Kunz and others wanted to port of SLAC, the program HippoDraw of NeXTSTEP to other platforms.

Instead HippoDraw completely rewriting them, they decided to replicate the part of NeXTStep, on which depended the application. This first version called libobjcX you. They were thus able to HippoDraw to port to all possible systems where X11 was available, without changing a single line in the source code of HippoDraw.

After the specification of OpenStep was published in 1994, it was decided to write a new objcX, which stuck to the API of OpenStep. This objcX was then known under the name " GNUstep ".


GNUstep is an implementation of OpenStep and therefore inherits the design guidelines, as proposed and the Objective- C supports the specification of OpenStep.

  • Model View Controller
  • Target - Action
  • Drag and Drop
  • Delegation
  • Message forwarding ( by NSInvocation )

GNUstep is ...

A development environment for tools

Useful libraries outside the GNUstep core For example, " WebServer " and to provide a program with basic web server capabilities, such as for remote maintenance, and " sqlclient " for accessing databases.

A development environment for applications

The Integrated Development Environment Project Center and the GUI designer Gorm - Descendants of Project Builder and Interface Builder from Next Step - support rapid development.

(k ) a desktop

Many applications have been written to make the computer work easier. These include, for example, the Workspace Manager and GNUMail. GNUstep does not have a window manager.

The Desktop Environment Etoile with its window manager Azalea aims to remedy this. However, until the development stage its application in everyday use permits (and of course later ), you can use any window manager, recommended Window Maker.

No window manager

GNUstep is not a window manager. The frameworks of GNUstep not be used by WindowMaker; this used instead WINGs ( " WINGs is not GNUstep " ) as a toolkit that GNUstep is visually modeled, but is written in contrast, in C.

Development Status

GNUstep Base is stable both on Unix platforms as well as Windows and performs well in commercial programs more in the background its service.

GNUstep GUI under Linux and Co. already usable. On Windows, there are still some shortcomings in the integration, for several reasons:

  • The default Windows interface solves many things differently than the design of OpenStep or Unix/X11, the original home of GNUstep. So is not a priori clear whether the path from OpenStep taken, simulates a Unix-like behavior or a completely separate Windows -compliant solution should be devised.
  • Last but not least, most open source developers are under Unix at home and rarely use Windows.