Linux  was chosen as the operating system/platform upon which the circuit editor would be developed. Linux is a freely distributable clone of the UNIX operating system which has been ported to a variety of hardware architectures. The operating system offers stability, open development, source code availability and a variety of suitable software development tools. Also, it runs on relatively cheap hardware. Other excellent UNIX-like operating systems, such as FreeBSD and NetBSD, possess similar qualifications and were also potential candidates, but it was decided to go with Linux due to familiarity with this system and accompanying distributions.
As a result of this decision, it was decided that the circuit editor GUI should run on the windowing system most prevalent on the UNIX platform, namely, the X Window System . As luck would have it, XFree86 is a freely available and robust port of the X Window System to PC based UNIX systems. Despite the decision to use UNIX and X for development, the chosen implementation language should be portable, thereby allowing the GUI to be used with other operating systems should the need arise.