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The Graphical Environment Manager is what you see when you first start a TOS machine because it is built into the TOS ROM. It has very distinct style, and was originally designed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) at about the same time as the first MacOS? interface.

GEM contains GEMDOS, VDI, and AES. Although not explicitly part of GEM, it usually contains a desktop as well. There are many desktop replacements for GEM, some of the good ones have become available again as open source projects. MagiC? could be considered a GEM desktop replacement, except that it also extends and replaces some GEMDOS and AES routines as well as providing multitasking and a desktop replacement.

Both MagiC? and MiNT (as well as the older MultiTOS? and Geneva) replace certain parts of GEM with there own routines, and add even more code to allow mutlitasking, to allow more than one GEM or TOS application to be running at the same time.

Here is a list of commonly used desktops:

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