A desktop operating system built from scratch, for control and simplicity.
An operating system that respects the user.
After years of constant updates and neverending new features, the modern desktop operating system has evolved into a slow, complex mess.
Let's try something different.
Efficient with resources.
Essence will happily run on low-powered hardware. It can take less than 30MB of drive space, and boot with even less RAM. No tasks run in the background, giving your applications all the space they need.
Open source.
All the code is made available under the MIT license. You can browse through the source on the GitLab repository.
If you're interested in contributing, join our Discord server to discuss ideas with other developers.
October ’21 demo.
Watch a demonstration of the system running on real hardware. Recorded in October 2021.
This demo was aired at Handmade Seattle 2021. You can watch it on their website, at
Amazing performance.
Essence starts up in seconds and shuts down instantly, even with old hard drives. You'll wonder how you ever put up with anything else.
The user interface is completely vector-based, so it looks great on any monitor. All styling information is kept in a separate file, which can be replaced with a custom theme.
Essence is still in development.
There are many things that need work, and there's lots that can change.
If you're interested in the project, join our Discord server, or directly support development on Patreon.
Made, primarily, by nakst. My homepage. Images from Unsplash and Anthony Boyd Graphics.