GEM 2.x

GEM is a graphical application environment that runs on top of MS/PC-DOS. It was built on the technology of Digital Research's GSX portable runtime (Used in DR Draw and DR Graph ) . Notably, a port of GEM and CP/M was used as the primary GUI on the M68k based Atari ST. GEM was also bundled with Amstrad computers.

It competed against the Apple Macintosh, but beat Microsoft Windows to market.

Apple sued Digital Research over their look and feel, which resulted in GEM 2.0 removing overlapping windows from its desktop file management.

There were numerous applications written for the GEM Environment. A few available here on WinWorld are: Ventura Publisher, Artline, Publish-It, and Key Publisher, GEM Desktop Publisher, GEM Draw, GEM Graph, GEM Programmer's Toolkit, GEM WordChart, GEM Paint and GEM Write.

The final official release was GEM 3.11. Enhanced versions were included with Artline, TimeWorks Publisher, and ViewMax but were only intended for use as runtimes.

In 1999 the source code was released as open source, that led to the continued development of OpenGem and FreeGem.

Wanted: GEM Desktop 1.0, and manual scans.

Product type
Digital Research
Release date
Minimum CPU
User interface


Download Name Version Language CPU File type File size
Digital Research GEM Desktop 2.1 (5.25-360k) 2.1 English x86 5¼ Floppy 360.78KB
Digital Research GEM Desktop 2.2 (5.25-360k) 2.2 English x86 5¼ Floppy 366.09KB
Digital Research GEM Desktop 2.2U [Danish] (5.25) 2.2U Danish x86 5¼ Floppy 1.28MB
Digital Research GEM Desktop 2.2V [Swedish] (5.25-360k) 2.2V Swedish x86 5¼ Floppy 2.34MB


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