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Free Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for Small Linux Computers

GUI Features

The following Linux GUI solutions for small computer devices like handhelds, PDAs, mobile (cell) phones and others differ in this features:

  • supported hardware platforms (CPUs): portability
  • supported operating systems: interoperability
  • usage of resources: memory, storage, power, ..
  • scalability
  • license: free, commercial
  • software ergonomy, usability
  • supported X-Windows features
  • supported standards: CORBA, Unicode, SyncML, ..

GUI Survey

GUI Description
license: Open Source
The GPE Palmtop Environment aims to provide a Free Software GUI environment for palmtop/handheld computers running the GNU/Linux(TM) operating system. GPE uses , and the Gnome Tool Kit - GTK+-2.2 widget toolkit.
Nano-X/MicroWindows Century Software
Samsung: YOPY
IBM: Linux wrist watch
license: Open Source
Microwindows brings the features of modern graphical windowing environments to smaller devices and platforms. Applications may be built and tested on the Linux desktop, as well as cross-compiled for the target device. The Win32/WinCE API implementation is known as Microwindows, and the Xlib-like API implementation is known as Nano-X.
Qt-Embedded TrollTech
SHARP: SL-5500 Zaurus
license: QT Public License (QPL)
Qt is written in C++ and is fully object-oriented. Qt is a multi-platform toolkit. You may run Qt programs on the X Window System (Unix/X11) or Microsoft Windows NT/95/98/2000, Mac OS X?. Problem: not a true X-Server.
Fast Light Tool Kit - FLTK
AgendaComputing: Agenda VR3
license: LGPL
The Fast Light Tool Kit is a C++ graphical user interface toolkit for X (UNIX(R)), OpenGL(R), and Microsoft(R) Windows(R) NT 4.0, 95, or 98.
AgendaComputing: Agenda VR3
license: Open Source ??
Like the X Window System, it has a flexible client-server architecture. But, unlike X, fonts, bitmaps, widgets, and anything else the application would need are built in to the server. This sacrifices a small decrease in flexibility for an increase in speed and a large decrease in size. OS: Linux, uClinux, Microsoft Windows (untested)
Fresco Fresco
license: LGPL
Fresco (formern known as Berlin) is a windowing system , a powerful structured graphics toolkit originally based on InterViews. Command of the video hardware (via General Graphics Interface - GGI, SDL, DirectFB or GLUT ) and processing user input directly rather than peering with a host windowing system. Additionally, Fresco extensions include a rich drawing interface with multiple backends, an upgrade to modern CORBA standards, a new Unicode-capable text system, dynamic module loading, and many communication abstractions for connecting other processes to the server. OS: Linux (experimental)
OpenGUI (formerly FastGL) many more GUI links there ! but OpenGUI probably not PDA related!
license: LGPL
A high-level C/C++ graphics & windowing library built upon a fast, low-level x86 ASM graphics kernel. It provides 2D drawing primitives and an event-driven windowing API for easy application development, and it supports the BMP image file format. Supports the keyboard and mouse as event sources, the Linux framebuffer, SVGAlib, and XFree86-DGA2 (HW accelerated) as drawing backends, Mesa3D under Linux, and 8, 15, 16, and 32-bpp color modes.
GRX WAP Cell Phones/PDAs
license: LGPL
GRX is a 2D graphics library originally written for DJGPP. It supports DOS, Linux console (svgalib and framebuffer drivers), X11, and Win32 (using the Mingw compiler).
ParaGUI WAP Cell Phones/PDAs
license: LGPL
ParaGUI is a high-level crossplatform application framework and GUI library. It is completely based on the Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL). Linux, Win32, BeOS, MacOS
PyUI WAP Cell Phones/PDAs
license: LGPL
PyUI is a user interface library written entirely in the high-level language Python. It has a modular implementation that allows the drawing and event input to be performed by pluggable "renderers". This makes PyUI very portable and scalable. It can run in environments from hardware-accelerated 3D surfaces to regular desktop windows. It was originally targeted as a User Interface for games, but it has evolved into a more general UI toolkit with applicability outside of games.
MiniGUI WAP Cell Phones/PDAs
license: LGPL
MiniGUI is a mini graphical user interface (GUI) support system for Linux which provides an event-driven API for applications. By using MiniGUI, one application can create multiple windows in multiple threads, and can draw in these windows without interfering with each other. MiniGUI 0.3.xx has a Graphics Abstract Layer (GAL) and an Input Abstract Layer (IAL), so MiniGUI can run on many Graphics Engines, including SVGALib and LibGGI. By using GAL and IAL, MiniGUI applications can run on X Windows aswell. This makes debugging of applications and porting to other hardware easier. MiniGUI provides native support for many image types including GIF, JPG, PCX, LBM/PBM, and BMP, support for TrueType and Adobe Type1 fonts, and support for GB2312 and BIG5 charsets.


How do I type "for i in *.dvi do xdvi $i done" in a GUI?
-- Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on the intuitiveness of interfaces

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© Werner Heuser 1997-2015 · http://tuxmobil.org/pda_linux_gui.html · last change Mon Aug 31 2009