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Written in C++
Platform GTK+
Type Language binding
License GNU Lesser General Public License

gtkmm (formerly known as gtk-- or gtk minus minus[1]) is the official C++ interface for the popular GUI library GTK+. gtkmm is free software distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

gtkmm allows the creation of user interfaces either in code or with the Glade Interface Designer, using the Gtk::Builder class. Other features include typesafe callbacks, a comprehensive set of graphical control elements, and the extensibility of widgets via inheritance.


Because gtkmm is the official C++ interface of the GUI library GTK+, C++ programmers can use the common OOP techniques such as inheritance, and C++-specific facilities such as STL (In fact, many of the gtkmm interfaces, especially those for widget containers, are designed to be similar to the Standard Template Library (STL)).

Main features of gtkmm are listed as follows:

Hello World in Gtkmm[edit]



#include <gtkmm/window.h>
#include <gtkmm/button.h>

// Derive a new window widget from an existing one.
// This window will only contain a button labelled "Hello World"
class HelloWorldWindow : public Gtk::Window

    Gtk::Button hello_world;


#include <iostream>
#include "HelloWorldWindow.h"

 : hello_world("Hello World")
    // Set the title of the window.
    set_title("Hello World");

    // Add the member button to the window,

    // Handle the 'click' event.
    hello_world.signal_clicked().connect([] () {
          std::cout << "Hello world" << std::endl;
    // Display all the child widgets of the window.

#include <gtkmm/main.h>
#include "HelloWorldWindow.h"

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) 
    // Initialization
    Gtk::Main kit(argc, argv);

    // Create a hello world window object
    HelloWorldWindow example;

    // gtkmm main loop
    return 0;

The above program will create a window with a button labeled "Hello World". The button sends "Hello world" to standard output when clicked.

The program is run using the following commands:

$ g++ *.cc -o example `pkg-config gtkmm-2.4 --cflags --libs`
$ ./example

This is usually done using a simple makefile.


Some notable applications that use Gtkmm include:

  • Inkscape Vector graphics drawing.
  • K-3D, for 3D modeling and animation.
  • Workrave Assists in recovery and prevention of RSI.
  • GParted disk partitioning tool.
  • Gobby Collaborative text editor.
  • Nemiver GUI for the GNU debugger gdb.
  • Referencer document organiser and bibliography manager
  • MySQL Administrator Database GUI.
  • Ardour Open Source digital audio workstation (DAW) for Linux and MacOS.
  • Gnote desktop notetaking application.
  • VMware Workstation and VMware Player both use Gtkmm for their Linux ports.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]