infobox software
name = GPE Palmtop Environment

caption = Screenshot of GPE 2.8 on a Palm TX
latest release version = 2.8
latest release date = 7 August 2007
operating system = Linux
platform = Personal digital assistants
genre = user interface
license = GNU General Public License, GNU Lesser General Public License
website =

GPE (a recursive initialism for GPE Palmtop Environment) is a graphical user interface environment for handheld computers, such as palmtops and personal digital assistants (PDAs), running the Linux operating system. GPE is a complete environment of software components and applications which makes it possible to use a Linux handheld for tasks such as personal information management (PIM), audio playback, email, and web browsing.

Available under the terms of the GNU General Public License and the GNU Lesser General Public License, GPE is free software.

Supported devices

GPE is bundled with embedded Linux distributions targeting the following platforms:

* Sharp Zaurus
* Hewlett-Packard iPAQ
* Hewlett-Packard Jornada 72x
* Siemens AG SIMpad SL4

In addition, GPE maintainers and the open source community are developing ports for additional devices:

* GamePark Holdings GP2x
* Nokia 770
* Nokia N800
* Palm TX
* Palm Treo 650 []
* HTC Universal
* HTC Typhoon
* HTC Tornado
* HTC Wizard

On February 5th, 2007, The GPE project announced [ GPE Phone Edition] , a new variant of GPE developed for mobile phones. [cite web |url= |title=New Project: GPE Phone Edition |accessdate=2007-08-23 |last=Boor |first=Florian |date=2007-02-05]


GPE is a X Window System based GUI, utilizing GTK+ for interfaces and Matchbox for window management. The project provides an infrastructure for easy and powerful application development by providing core software such as shared libraries, database schemas, and building on available technology including SQLite, D-BUS, GStreamer and several more common standards defined by

One of the major goals of the GPE project is to encourage people to work on free software for mobile devices and to experiment with new technologies.

Some of the applications already developed for GPE include:

* "GPE-Contacts" - A contacts manager
* "GPE-Calendar" - The calendar application
* "GPE-Edit" - A simple text editor
* "GPE-Filemanager" - A file manager with MIME type and remote access support
* "GPE-Gallery" - Small and easy to use image viewer
* "GPE-Games" - A small collection of tiny games
* "GPE-Mini-Browser" - A CSS and Javascript compatible compact web browser
* "GPE-Sketchbook" - Create notes and sketches
* "GPE-Soundbite" - A voice memo tool
* "GPE-ToDo" - A task list manager
* "GPE-Timesheet" - Track time spend on tasks
* "Starling" - A GStreamer based audio player
* "VLC" - A media player

GPE's PIM applications (GPE-Contacts, GPE-Calendar, GPE-ToDo) can be synchronized with their desktop and web counterparts (such as Novell Evolution, Mozilla Sunbird and Google Calendar) through the use of "GPE-Syncd" and the OpenSync framework.

GPE also contains a number of GUI utilities for configuring 802.11 Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, IrDA, Firewall, ALSA, Package Management, among others.

A mobile push e-mail client based on the Tinymail framework is in development.

Linux distributions

GPE can be found as a primary environment in the following embedded Linux distributions:

* Ångström
* Familiar Linux
* OpenZaurus

Though it may not be as highly supported as the distributions listed above, GPE is also available through package management utilities in the following distributions:

* Ubuntu
* Debian
* Internet Tablet OS


There are ongoing controversies surrounding the GPE project regarding a change of hosting service, ownership of an IRC channel, and a trademark dispute. [cite web |url= | title= GPE project and in acrimonious trademark dispute | accessdate=2007-08-18 |last=Willis |first=Nathan |date=2007-05-24] [cite web |url= |title= Whose project is it anyway? | accessdate=2007-08-22 |last=Corbet |first=Jonathan |date=2007-07-07]

Web hosting

Serious issues first began developing over a proposed change of hosting service. GPE had been hosted at [] since April 2002. Some of GPE's developers suggested, and later followed through with, a move to [] by October 2006. [cite newsgroup |url= |title=New home for GPE? |accessdate=2007-08-23 |author=Nils Faerber |date=2006-08-17 |newsgroup=gmane.comp.handhelds.gpe] responded by removing the user accounts of the departing developers, and any links or reference to the new [ GPE] location on the original [ GPE] site. [cite web |url= |title= Diff for "GPEProject" - MoinMoin Wiki |accessdate= 2007-08-23 |date=2007-01-04]

IRC channel

Both parties claim ownership of the #gpe IRC channel located at has placed the channel in trust, or locked, until both sides can come to an agreement. Subsequently, currently uses #gpe-project, and uses #handhelds-gpe, both on


George France, a administrator, has filed for trademark registration with the USPTO for GPE, in addition to OPIE and Ipkg as of March 6th, 2007. [cite web |url= |title="US Serial No: 77123546, Application" |accessdate=2007-08-23 |date=2007-03-26] On June 25th, 2007, the USPTO declined to accept a screenshot of the GPE website as proof of's ownership, and in addition requested a better specimen for a “GPE product”. [cite web |url= |title="US Serial No: 77123546, Offc Action Outgoing" |accessdate=2007-08-23 |date=2007-07-25], and OSI board member Russ Nelson, assert that the GPE project was given over to for public development. [cite web |url= |title= The backstory to the trademarks |accessdate=2007-08-23 |last=Nelson |first=Russ |date=2007-05-25]

The GPE developers working at maintain that they represent the active GPE project, and was only a hosting provider. [cite newsgroup |url= |title=Re: crosscompiling question, ...Maybe this could be hosted on |accessdate=2007-08-23 |author=Nils Faerber |date=2001-12-21 |newsgroup= gmane.comp.handhelds.ipaq.general] [cite web |url= |title= Threatened - update |accessdate=2007-08-23 |last=Boor |first=Florian |date=2007-05-23] Furthermore, they point out that the GPE project existed before it was hosted on [cite newsgroup |url= |title= GPE - GNU PDA Environment |accessdate-2007-08-23 |author=Nils Faerber |date=2001-12-22 |newsgroup= gmane.comp.handhelds.ipaq.general]

The USPTO issued a final rejection regarding the GPE trademark on February 27th, 2008. George France amended the application (removing references to GNU and Linux). The GPE trademark was officially published for oppostion June 3rd, 2008. [cite web |url= |title="Latest Status Info" |accessdate=2008-07-01 |date=2008-06-03]

Despite George France's impending personal GPE trademark, the core GPE development team at has abandoned much of the GPE infrastructure. developers have switched GPE to a new bootloader and replaced IPKG with OPKG, not to mention major changes to the GPE gui applications. [cite web |url= |title= GPE trademark rejected |accessdate=2008-07-01 |last=Boor |first=Florian |date=2008-03-28]

See also

* OPIE (operating system)
* Palm OS
* Pocket PC
* Qtopia
* Windows Mobile


External links

* [ GPE web site at LinuxToGo]
* [ GPE web site at]

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