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Gaphor color logo.png
Gaphor 2.0.0 Screenshot.png
Initial releaseDecember 21, 2001; 19 years ago (2001-12-21)[1]
Stable release
2.3.0 / March 20, 2021; 23 days ago (2021-03-20)
Written inPython[2], PyGObject
Operating systemWindows, Linux, macOS[3]
Available inEnglish, Catalan, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Croatian[4]
TypeUML tool
LicenseApache License[5]

Gaphor (/(ɡ)ˈæfəˌr/) is a free and open-source UML[6] and SysML modeling application. It is noted for being easy to use, understand, and master.[7]

The application is part of GNOME Circle, which is a collection of applications and libraries extending the GNOME ecosystem.[8]

Gaphor is released under the Apache License and is available for Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.[9]


Gaphor is developed in Python and is built on Gaphas, which provides the foundational diagramming library. It is a GUI application that is built on GTK and Cairo (graphics).[10] According to the original author of Gaphor, Arjan Molenaar, he originally developed Gaphor because he wasn't happy with the complexity or high learning curve of the other applications that were available.[11]


The user interface allows direct editing of diagram elements in the diagram through menus and toolbars and incorporates drag and drop to add new elements to the diagram. Compared to other UML tools, Gaphor is unique in that it does not restrict the elements you can use in one diagram.[12]

Unlike diagram or illustration applications, Gaphor implements its own data model which creates relationships between elements as they are placed on the diagram.[13] It is generated from a model file with the .gaphor filename extension that describes the relationships between the elements based on the UML and SysML specifications.[14]

Gaphor allows modeling of the following UML diagram types including:

  • Class
  • Component
  • Composition
  • Activity
  • Sequence
  • Communication
  • Interaction
  • Use Case
  • State Machine
  • Model Management
  • Profiles

As of version 2.0.0, Gaphor additionally supports SysML[15] with the following diagram types:

  • Block Definition
  • Internal Block
  • Requirements
  • Activity
  • Sequence
  • Use Case
  • State Machine

Version 2.3.0 adds support for C4 model[16] and fault tree analysis using the Risk Analysis and Assessment Modeling Language (RAAML).[17][18]

The application is built on a service-oriented architecture including plugin support.[19] This allows additional features to be added by users to extend Gaphor's functionality.

See also


  1. Arjan Molenaar. "Initial revision". Retrieved 1 August 2020. 
  2. Gaphor contributors. "Search results for Python language usages in Gaphor". Retrieved 1 August 2020. 
  3. Gaphor contributors. "Gaphor Downloads". Retrieved 1 August 2020. 
  4. "Gettext files for Gaphor". Retrieved 21 March 2021. 
  5. Gaphor contributors. "License". Retrieved 1 August 2020. 
  6. Eichelberger, Holger; Schmid, Klaus; Eldogan, Yilmaz (2009). "A Comprehensive Analysis of UML Tools, their Capabilities and their Compliance". Institut für Informatik, Universität Hildesheim, Germany 2012 (1): 76. Retrieved 1 August 2020. 
  7. Kapinos, Dmitry. "Tools and editors for UML modelling". Retrieved 1 August 2020. 
  8. "GNOME Circle". The GNOME Project. 
  9. "Gaphor UML SysML modeling software". 
  10. Mu, Hamza. "Gaphor: Open-source UML and SysML Modeling Application For Windows, Linux and macOS". 
  11. Molenaar, Arjan. "A history of Gaphor". Retrieved 1 August 2020. 
  12. Cabot, Jordi. "Mixing use cases, classes,states… in a single diagram with Gaphor". Retrieved 1 August 2020. 
  13. Smit, Alwyn (27 November 2020). "Gaphor UML/SysML Modeling". Project Performance International. 
  14. "UML and SysML Data Model". Gaphor. Retrieved 9 August 2020. 
  15. "Gaphor Releases Version 2.0.0 - SysML and CSS Themes". Retrieved 1 August 2020. 
  16. "Tools". 
  17. "About the Risk Analysis and Assessment Modeling Language Specification Version 1.0 beta". Object Management Group. 
  18. "Gaphor Releases Version 2.3.0 - Fault Tree Analysis and C4 model Support". Retrieved 21 March 2021. 
  19. "Service Oriented Architecture". Gaphor. Retrieved 10 August 2020. 

External links

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