Graphical Kernel System Year started 1977 Latest version ISO/IEC 7942-4:1998 1998 Organization ANSI, ISO Related standards ANSI X3.124, ISO 8651, ISO 8805, ISO 8806, ISO 10303 Domain Computer graphics Abbreviation GKS
Graphical Kernel System ( GKS) was the first ISO standard for low-level computer graphics, introduced in 1977. A draft international standard was circulated for review in September 1983.  
Final ratification of the standard was achieved in 1985.  
GKS provides a set of drawing features for two-dimensional
vector graphics suitable for charting and similar duties. The calls are designed to be portable across different programming languages, graphics devices and hardware, so that applications written to use GKS will be readily portable to many platforms and devices.
GKS was fairly common on
computer workstations in the 1980s and early 1990s.
GKS formed the basis of  Digital Research's GSX and GEM products; the latter was common on the Atari ST and was occasionally seen on PCs particularly in conjunction with Ventura Publisher. It was little used outside these markets and is essentially obsolete today except insofar as it is the underlying API defining the Computer Graphics Metafile. A descendant of GKS was PHIGS.
A main developer and promoter of the GKS was
José Luis Encarnação, formerly director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics (IGD) in Darmstadt, Germany.
GKS has been standardized in the following documents:
ANSI standard ANSI X3.124 of 1985.
ISO 7942:1985 standard, revised as ISO 7942:1985/Amd 1:1991 and ISO/IEC 7942-1:1994, as well as ISO/IEC 7942-2:1997, ISO/IEC 7942-3:1999 and ISO/IEC 7942-4:1998 The language bindings are ISO standard
ISO 8651. GKS-3D (Graphical Kernel System for Three Dimensions) functional definition is ISO standard ISO 8805, and the corresponding C bindings are ISO 8806.
The functionality of GKS is wrapped up as a data model standard in the STEP standard, section
Hopgood, F. R. A. (1983). Introduction to the Graphical Kernel System (GKS). London: Academic Press. ISBN . 0-12-355570-1
Laflin, Susan (August 1999). "The Graphical Kernel System". SEM307 Computer Graphics II. School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham . Retrieved . 2007-02-18
Encarnação, José L.; Encarnação, L. M.; Herzner, Wolfgang R. (1987). Graphische Datenverarbeitung mit GKS (in German) (1 ed.). München / Wien: Carl Hanser Verlag. ISBN . 3446149783
Bechlars, Jörg; Buhtz, Rainer (1994). GKS in der Praxis (in German) (2 ed.). Heidelberg: Springer Verlag. ISBN . 3540567852
Fellner, Wolf-Dietrich (1992). Computergrafik (in German) (2 ed.). Mannheim: BI Wissenschaftsverlag. ISBN . 3411151226 Gawehn, Wilfried (1991). Grafikprogrammierung mit C und GKS (in German). Mannheim: BI Wissenschaftsverlag. ISBN . 3-411-14981-7