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"XDG" redirects here. For the THQ
Division, see THQ#XDG
The logo of freedesktop.org
freedesktop.org (fd.o) is a project to work on
interoperability and shared base technology for free software desktop
environments for the X Window System (X11) on Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. It was founded by Havoc
Pennington from Red Hat
in March 2000.
The organisation focuses on the user. There are many development
frameworks for X, and this is unlikely to change. The organisation
seeks to ensure that differences in development frameworks are not
The most widely used free software X desktops, GNOME, KDE and Xfce, are
working closely with the project. The project recently released Portland 1.0
(xdg-utils), a set of common interfaces for desktop
freedesktop.org was formerly known as the X Desktop
Group, and the acronym "XDG" remains common in their
fd.o provides hosting for a number of relevant projects. These
Server: the official reference implementation of X11. The
current version is a fork of XFree86 before the latter
changed its license.
- D-Bus, a message bus akin to
KDEs DCOP or GNOME's Bonobo.
- Drag-and-drop: X drag and drop still
does not work consistently.
(Hardware Abstraction Layer) is a consistent cross-operating
- fontconfig is a
library for font discovery, name substitution, etc.
- Xft, anti-aliased fonts
using the FreeType
library, rather than the old X core fonts.
a vector graphics library with cross-device output support.
- Direct Rendering
Infrastructure, or DRI, is an interface used in the X Window System
to securely allow user applications to access the video hardware
without requiring data to be passed through the X Server.
- GStreamer is a cross-platform multimedia framework.
3D, an implementation of OpenGL.
- XCB, an Xlib replacement.
- GTK-Qt engine, a GTK+ 2 engine which uses Qt to draw the
widgets, providing the same look and feel of KDE apps to GTK+2
- Poppler, a PDF rendering
Also, Avahi (a free Zeroconf implementation)
started as a fd.o project but has now moved elsewhere.
The aim of the project is not to legislate formal standards.
Rather, it aims to catch interoperability issues much earlier in
- Collect existing specifications, standards and documents
related to X desktop interoperability and make them available in a
- Promote the development of new specifications and standards to
be shared among multiple X desktops;
- Integrate desktop-specific standards into broader standards
efforts, such as Linux Standard Base and the ICCCM;
- Work on the implementation of these standards in specific X
- Serve as a neutral forum for sharing ideas about X desktop
- Implement technologies that further X desktop interoperability
and free X desktops in general;
- Promote X desktops and X desktop standards to application
authors, both commercial and volunteer;
- Communicate with the developers of free operating system
kernels, the X Window System itself, free OS distributions, and so
on to address desktop-related problems;
- Provide source repositories (git and CVS), web
hosting, Bugzilla, mailing
lists and other resources to free software projects that work
toward the above goals.