GNOME, which stands for GNU Network Object Model Environment, is a graphical user interface and desktop environment based on the Gtk+ toolkit. It was originally developed for GNU/Linux systems, but is becoming available on other UNIX type systems. The GNOME project aims to make GNU-based and other UNIX systems easier to use for non-technical users.
The project started due to free software licensing problems with Qt, the underlying toolkit for KDE (a slightly older, comparable desktop environment) during KDE's early history. After the licensing issues had been resolved, the GNOME desktop still proved to have many merits of its own (such as compatibility with more programming languages and software licenses), and thus continued to be used and developed by many people.