The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) adaptive optics (AO) system will be an integral part of the telescope, providing laser guidestar generation, wavefront sensing, and wavefront correction to every instrument currently planned on the 25.4 m diameter GMT. There will be three first generation AO observing modes: Natural Guidestar, Laser Tomography, and Ground Layer AO. All three will use a segmented adaptive secondary mirror to deliver a corrected beam directly to the instruments. The Natural Guidestar mode will provide extreme AO performance, with a total wavefront error less than 185 nm RMS using bright guidestars. The Laser Tomography mode uses 6 lasers and a single off-axis natural guidestar to deliver better than 290 nm RMS wavefront error at the science target, over 50% of the sky at the galactic pole. The Ground Layer mode uses 4 natural guidestars on the periphery of the science field to tomographically reconstruct and correct the ground layer AO turbulence, improving the image quality for wide-field instruments. A phasing system maintains the relative alignment of the primary and secondary segments using edge sensors and continuous feedback from an off-axis guidestar. We describe the AO system preliminary design, predicted performance, and the remaining technical challenges as we move towards the start of construction.