D-Bus is a message bus for sending messages between various applications, the desktop, and low-level components of the system. D-Bus provides a simple API for sending messages to particular services and for broadcasting messages to all interested services. D-Bus enables different types of applications to communicate and integrate with each other and with the desktop, providing better interaction and a richer experience for the user.

D-Bus provides a session bus and a system bus. The session bus is used by applications in a single user session, allowing them to share data and event notifications and to integrate into the user's desktop. For example, movie players can send a D-Bus message to prevent the screensaver from activating while the user is watching a movie.

The system bus is a single message bus which runs independently of any user sessions. It can communicate with applications in any session, enabling those applications to interact with system components without dealing with low-level system details. The system bus is used to provide important functionality that users expect to work on their systems. For example, the system bus is used to monitor when network interfaces go up or down, when external drives get plugged in, and when laptop batteries are low.

D-Bus is developed jointly on freedesktop.org, so you can use it with different desktop environments and applications. Because D-Bus is a cross-desktop project, you use it to create portable and versatile software that seamlessly integrates with the user's desktop, regardless of which desktop it is.

GNOME provides full support for D-Bus using the GDBus APIs in GIO.