A new GNUstep desktop comes to Debian

So a few years ago, a Ukrainian programmer called Sergii Stoian started to build a modern Linux desktop environment based around the GNUstep components running on top of CentOS Linux, which he called NEXTSPACE. Sadly, development stalled a couple of years ago, before CentOS Linux’ premature end-of-life. We are happy to report that Stoian is alive and well, but what with his country being invaded and so on, he’s been a bit too busy to work on his project in recent years.

This is where Ondrej Florian, also known as OnFlApp, comes in. Florian has put together a collection of GNUstep components, including some drawn from NEXTSPACE, to create the GNUstep Desktop Environment. For now, the project’s [GitHub repository] contains scripts to build it and install it, but only on Debian, although Debian versions 9, 10 and 11 are included. We tried on Debian 11.7 “Bullseye”, and in a VM, it works perfectly. The process is manual, but not too labour-intensive: install Git, clone the repo, then run three scripts.


So, at this stage, GSDE is not very beginner friendly, but it’s a substantial improvement over manually finding, installing or compiling, and configuring the various bits of the GNUstep system which are already in the Debian and Ubuntu repositories. The end result is better integrated, more complete, and even includes a working web browser – although you’ll need to install the Chromium browser yourself, in order for the GSDE web browser to call it and work.

A GNUstep-based desktop has exited in the periphery of the Linux world for decades, but it’s always been incomplete, buggy, abandoned, or simply unusable. I really hope that this time around, that might change, because it would be a welcome change from all the QT and GTK-based desktop.


  1. 2023-07-10 7:37 pm
  2. 2023-07-11 1:50 am
  3. 2023-07-11 3:19 am
  4. 2023-07-11 4:50 am
    • 2023-07-11 11:16 am
  5. 2023-07-11 4:19 pm