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GNUstep's backend provides a small set of functions used by the GUI library to interface to the actual window system (X11, etc). It also has a drawing engine which emulates common PostScript functions.

The package gnustep-back provides the following backends

  • cairo – default backend using the cairo 2D graphics library.
  • winlib – default backend on windows systems. Cairo and Windows API variants.
  • art – old (deprecated) backend on unixlike systems. Uses the vector-based PostScriptlike 2d graphics library libArt.
  • xlib – old (deprecated) X11 backend.

You can choose the backend to be used by e.g.

 defaults write NSGlobalDomain GSBackend libgnustep-cairo

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