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Copyright © 2000, 2001 by Red Hat, Inc., David A. Wheeler, Alexander Kirillov
Gnome is a user-friendly graphical desktop environment for UNIX and UNIX-like systems that enables users to easily use and configure their computers. Gnome includes a panel (for starting applications and displaying status), a desktop (where data and applications can be placed), a set of standard desktop tools and applications, and a set of conventions that make it easy for applications to cooperate and be consistent with each other. Users of other operating systems or environments should feel right at home using the powerful graphics-driven environment Gnome provides. Gnome runs on a number of UNIX-like operating systems, including Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris.
Gnome is completely open source (free software) developed by hundreds of programmers around the world. Both the source code and ready-to-run binaries of Gnome are available for download on the Internet; they are distributed under the terms of GNU General Public License (and its cousins, Lesser General Public License and Free Documentation License for libraries and documentation respectively). In particular, this means that everyone is free to use, copy or distribute Gnome. If you would like to learn more about the Gnome project please visit the Gnome web site.
Gnome is highly configurable, enabling you to set your desktop the way you want it to look and feel. Gnome supports many human languages, and more are added every month. Gnome even supports several Drag and Drop protocols for maximum interoperability with non-Gnome applications.
Gnome comes from the acronym for the GNU Network Object Model Environment (GNOME). Gnome is a part of the larger GNU project, started in 1984 to develop a completely free UNIX-like operating system. For more information, visit the GNU Website.
This guide describes Gnome 1.4 which the latest (as of March 2001) release of Gnome.