GNOME Foundation

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The Gnome Foundation = the non-profit assocation supporting the Gnome Project




"The GNOME Project is an effort to create a complete, free and easy-to-use desktop environment for users, as well as a powerful application development framework for software developers. GNOME is part of the GNU Project, and is Free Software (sometimes referred to as Open Source software).

The GNOME Foundation will work to further the goal of the GNOME project: to create a computing platform for use by the general public that is completely free software.

To achieve this goal, the Foundation will coordinate releases of GNOME and determine which projects are part of GNOME. The Foundation will act as an official voice for the GNOME project, providing a means of communication with the press and with commercial and noncommercial organizations interested in GNOME software. The foundation may produce educational materials and documentation to help the public learn about GNOME software. In addition, it may sponsor GNOME-related technical conferences, and represent GNOME at relevant conferences sponsored by others, help create technical standards for the project and promote the use and development of GNOME software." (


"The GNOME Project provides both a desktop environment and a development platform. The focus of the desktop is ease of use, stability, internationalization, and accessibility support. The development platform provides an extensive framework for building applications that integrate into the rest of the desktop. GNOME 2.24 represents the first release of the GNOME Mobile development platform which brings standard desktop components together to provide a core platform on which distributors and handheld manufacturers can build rich programming environments.

The GNOME community currently has over 14 million users that consume GNOME technologies and software in many ways. Some consumers use the full desktop, others use its multimedia applications for photo editing or listening to music, while others run its software on their smart phone. When doctors use a Supersonic Imagine scanner, they are using GNOME technologies to detect breast cancer. When children around the world use their One Laptop Per Child XO, they are using GNOME technologies. What is true in all cases is that the end user probably didn't directly download GNOME or its applications." (


GNOME Structure

Stormy Peters:

"The GNOME project started out as an open source desktop. It has evolved into a complete, free and easy-to-use desktop environment which includes software for tasks like playing music, editing images, and working with documents. GNOME also provides a powerful application development framework for both desktop and mobile application developers. As part of the GNU Project, GNOME is free to use, modify, and distribute.

The GNOME Foundation exists to support the GNOME project's mission of creating a free and open source desktop accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay, physical ability, or the language they speak. The Foundation acts as the official voice of the GNOME project, communicating with press and other other organizations, coordinating releases of GNOME, determining which projects are part of GNOME, and planning events that support GNOME and its developers.

The GNOME Foundation is a US-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with an elected Board of Directors, an appointed Board of Advisors, approximately 400 members, and two paid staff. The 400 members are all contributors to GNOME. A contributor is anyone who has made a significant contribution such as code, organizing a conference, writing documentation, or translating GNOME into other languages. GNOME contributors must renew their membership every two years."

The GNOME Foundation

Stormy Peters:

"The GNOME project is mostly self-managed by informally structured teams. The GNOME Foundation serves as the support or steward of the project. Any GNOME contributor can apply to the Foundation for membership. All members, 370 at current count, can vote. Typically there is one vote per year by the membership to see who serves on the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is then authorized to make decisions on behalf of the entire body of GNOME Foundation members. The Board runs the Foundation's day-to-day business, voting internally on financial decisions, legal issues and general policy. The Board of Directors is also authorized to hire staff that reports to them.

In addition to the membership, the Board of Directors and the Foundation staff, the GNOME Foundation also has a Board of Advisors. The Board of Advisors is a group of representatives from companies and non-profit organizations that work closely with GNOME. Many donate annually to the GNOME project and provide sponsorship for hiring staff, hackfests, events, and outreach programs." (


See: GNOME Foundation - Governance

Business Model

See: GNOME Foundation - Business Model

More Information

  1. GNOME Foundation - Governance ; GNOME Foundation - Business Model
  2. FLOSS Foundations
  3. The Wikipedia article is at
  4. See FLOSS Governance for similar organizations, and the entry on Peer Governance for some broader context.
  5. Stormy Peters on how Gnome interacts with end-users, at
  6. Stormy Peters on her job description: What do I do as Executive Director of GNOME?