The GNOME team is proud to announce the availability of GNOME 1.2, affectionately known as “Bongo GNOME.” GNOME 1.2 is the latest stable release of the GNU desktop.

This new release represents a dramatic step forward in the usability, attractiveness, and stability of the GNOME desktop. Since the release of October GNOME, the pace of development of new features and bugfixes in the GNOME project has more than doubled, and it would be impossible to name them all here.


End users will be able to impress their grandparents and younger siblings with the following large-scale changes to the GNOME desktop:

  • Ease of use. In response to feedback from our users, we formed the GNOME UI team, focused solely on improving the user experience. The result is a lean, intuitive, and attractive desktop which just plain feels good.
  • Help. Thanks to the relentless effort of the GNOME documentation team, on-line documentation and user’s manuals are ubiquitous in GNOME 1.2.
  • Polish. We corrected countless problems and bugs which users had reported in the previous version, and GNOME is more stable and smoother as a result.
  • Polyglot. Updated localization and documentation from our international team of translators and writers.


GNOME hackers and developers of GNOME applications now have a much more powerful development platform available to them:

  • Stability. The same APIs you used in GNOME 1.0 are still available to you in GNOME 1.2. We have worked hard to preserve source- and binary-compatibility everywhere.
  • Simplicity. The Glade UI design tool has much improved support for GNOME, and is now an official part of the GNOME project. Thanks to Glade, even the most inept programmers can construct beautiful user interfaces. And non-programmers can contribute to the development process by designing interfaces which can be dropped wholesale into an existing project.
  • Power. The robustness and utility of the GNOME libraries and development tools has been improved across the board.
  • Documentation. The majority of the GNOME APIs are now fully documented.
  • Support. The web site contains a wide variety of resources for those individuals and companies that use the GNOME development platform.


The introduction of GNOME 1.2 is accompanied by a new web site design. Check it out at

Updates and news the GNOME community are available daily from


The GNOME 1.2 source code is available from the GNOME FTP site at:

Our web site contains full details for installing GNOME from source:


Helix Code provides easy-to-install packages for GNOME 1.2. Installation instructions can be found here:

An extensive set of platforms are supported:

Debian GNU/Linux (Woody, Potato)
TurboLinux 6.0
Red Hat Linux 6.0, 6.1 and 6.2
Linux Mandrake 6.1, 7.0
Caldera OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4
SuSE 6.3 (6.4 coming soon)

LinuxPPC 2000
Yellow Dog Linux Champion Server 1.2

Solaris 2.7 on UltraSparc

Helix Code’s web site uses Akamai to ensure that downloads are speedy from every corner of the planet.


If you want to see just how beautiful a desktop can be before downloading GNOME 1.2, check out:


At the first GNOME Users and Developers European Conference held in Paris, the GNOME steering committee was created to oversee the development of the GNOME 2.0 platform. The committee will also help establish the GNOME Foundation which will be a non-profit organization that will insure GNOME’s future as the world’s leading free desktop.

Thanks to all of the people that made Bongo GNOME possible:

The GNOME team would like to thank our GNOME 1.2 release coordinator Jacob “The Bod” Berkman who devoted endless hours to making sure the GNOME 1.2 user experience was superb. (Miguel)

Our documentation team pulled one of the most impressive efforts in the story of free software documentation. Special thanks to Dave Mason for motivating contributors and coordinating this effort.

The users who reported bugs, suggested improvements and provided constructive criticism.

Our translation team that worked constantly to keep our applications fully internationalized and localized. Special thanks go to Kjartan Maraas, the team coordinator.

The hackers and families of the hackers that made this software possible.

All of the companies that have supported GNOME over the years.

Special thanks go to Mathieu Lacage and all of the companies, organizations and individuals that made the first GNOME Users and Developers European Conference ( possible: ACT/Europe, AFUL, Alcove, Eazel, Helix Code, Linux Magazine/France, Mandrake, Red Hat, SuSE, Telecom Paris and Mike Shaver.

The GNOME User Interface Improvement team for devoting countless hours evaluating, commenting, redesigning, polishing, improving and rethinking our user interfaces. Thanks to James Cape for heading up this team.

Thanks to the free software community.

The GNOME Team