Welcome to freedesktop.org

freedesktop.org hosts the development of free and open source software, focused on interoperability and shared technology for open-source graphical and desktop systems. We do not ourselves produce a desktop, but we aim to help others to do so.

Our loose community of projects mostly produce software and/or specifications.

Software projects

Most of our member projects produce software to be used as libraries or services. A full list is available at our software page.

Much of the software we host is focused on drivers and middleware for graphics and media devices, inter-process communication and authorization, input and internationalization.

All the software on freedesktop.org is available as open source and open to community contribution. The software page explains how to report bugs and propose changes to each of these projects.


We also host discussion and development of specifications for interoperability. A full list is available at our specifications page.

These specifications mostly cover low-level desktop issues, such as identifying file types, launching applications, and exchanging data between applications and desktops. They are often called 'XDG' specifications, as an acronym for the Cross-Desktop Group.

freedesktop.org is not a formal standards body, and is not in itself a platform; we do not have a compliance test nor a certification. Anyone is free to use and implement the specifications on this site; the specifications page explains how to propose changes and existing specifications, or entirely new specifications.


The infrastructure we use to provide these services to our projects is documented on our infrastructure page. You can quickly get access to our GitLab instance where most of our code lives, our mailing lists, or browse these wiki pages further to find out more.

Getting Involved

We welcome all new contributors, whatever your skill set, and aim to be a place you can learn and grow as an open-source contributor.

The first point of entry is to find the project you would like to work on, usually through our software or specifications page. Each project should have a clear link of how to report issues, discuss changes, and contribute back - this will almost certainly be on that project's page on our GitLab instance, and will likely require signing up for an account on our GitLab instance if you haven't done so yet.

If you would like to create a new freedesktop.org project, or request hosting of an existing project you would like to move here, please see the new project page.

Code of Conduct

freedesktop.org has adopted the Contributor Covenant for all the services we host. Please conduct yourself in an appropriate manner, avoiding abusive, bullying, and/or discriminatory behaviour. For more information, including where to report any inappropriate behaviour, please consult the full Code of Conduct.

Privacy and personal information

When you use freedesktop.org services, you might disclose personally-identifying information to us. Our Privacy Policy explains how we collect and use this data.

Contact us

If you have questions about the site itself or our infrastructure, the administrators can be reached on the sitewranglers list, or also on OFTC's #freedesktop IRC channel. Platform-wide announcements and discussions are generally on the freedesktop mailing list.

Please note that it may take some time to answer your question on IRC, and we are also unlikely to be able to help with project-specific issues (e.g. 'why does ModemManager crash?'). Questions or issues with a specific member project should be directed to that project's own mailing list or bug tracker.

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freedesktop.org is a completely volunteer organisation with no corporate backing or funding stream. We are part of the X.org Foundation, which is a member project of Software in the Public Interest, Inc., for the purposes of holding assets.

We would like thank Equinix Metal and Portland State University for their generous support of the infrastructure required to host freedesktop.org. We are also grateful to GitLab, Google, Intel, and HP for previously sponsoring some of our servers. These kind donations have made it possible for us to run the services we do.


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