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GPE Palmtop Environment

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GPE Palmtop Environment

This article is about an operating system. For the type of energy, see Gravitational potential energy.
GPE Palmtop Environment
Stable release 2.8 / 7 August 2007
Operating system Linux
Platform Personal digital assistants
Type user interface
License GNU General Public License, GNU Lesser General Public License

GPE (an acronym for GNOME Palmtop Environment or GNU Palmtop Environment depending on whom you ask) 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:

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

On February 5, 2007, The GPE project announced


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:

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:


There are ongoing controversies surrounding the GPE project regarding a change of hosting service, ownership of an IRC channel, and a trademark dispute.[2][3]

Web hosting

Serious issues first began developing over a proposed change of hosting service. GPE had been hosted at

IRC channel

Both parties claim ownership of the #gpe IRC channel located on freenode. Freenode 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, has filed for trademark registration with the USPTO for GPE, in addition to OPIE and Ipkg as of March 6, 2007.[6] On June 25, 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”.[7], and OSI board member Russ Nelson, assert that the GPE project was given over to for public development.[8]

The GPE developers working at maintain that they represent the active GPE project, and was only a hosting provider.[9][10] Furthermore, they point out that the GPE project existed before it was hosted on[11]

The USPTO issued a final rejection regarding the GPE trademark on February 27, 2008. George France amended the application (removing references to GNU and Linux). The GPE trademark was officially published for opposition June 3, 2008.[12]

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, and made major changes to the GPE gui applications.[13]

The Trademark of GPE was registered to George France on Aug 19, 2008 by the USPTO [14]

See also

Free software portal


External links

  • GPE web site at LinuxToGo
  • GPE web site at
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