GNU Project


GNU mascot, by Aurelio A. Heckert[1] (derived from a more detailed version by Etienne Suvasa)[2]

The GNU Project (/ɡn/ (About this soundlisten))[3] is a free software, mass collaboration project that Richard Stallman announced on September 27, 1983. Its goal is to give computer users freedom and control in their use of their computers and computing devices by collaboratively developing and publishing software that gives everyone the rights to freely run the software, copy and distribute it, study it, and modify it. GNU software grants these rights in its license.

In order to ensure that the entire software of a computer grants its users all freedom rights (use, share, study, modify), even the most fundamental and important part, the operating system (including all its numerous utility programs) needed to be free software. According to its manifesto, the founding goal of the project was to build a free operating system, and if possible, "everything useful that normally comes with a Unix system so that one could get along without any software that is not free." Stallman decided to call this operating system GNU (a recursive acronym meaning "GNU's not Unix!"), basing its design on that of Unix, a proprietary operating system.[4] Development was initiated in January 1984. In 1991, the Linux kernel appeared, developed outside the GNU project by Linus Torvalds,[5] and in December 1992 it was made available under version 2 of the GNU General Public License.[6] Combined with the operating system utilities already developed by the GNU project, it allowed for the first operating system that was free software, commonly known as Linux.[7][8]

The project's current work includes software development, awareness building, political campaigning and sharing of the new material.

  1. ^ "A Bold GNU Head". Retrieved November 30, 2014. We thank Aurelio A. Heckert...for donating this graphic to us.
  2. ^ "A GNU Head". Retrieved November 30, 2014. This graphic was drawn by Etienne Suvasa
  3. ^ "What is GNU?". The GNU Operating System. Free Software Foundation. September 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-09. The name "GNU" is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix!"; it is pronounced g-noo, as one syllable with no vowel sound between the g and the n.
  4. ^ "The GNU Manifesto". Free Software Foundation. July 21, 2007. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
  5. ^ Torvalds, Linus Benedict (August 1991). "comp.os.minix". Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  6. ^ "z-archive of Linux version 0.99". kernel.org. December 1992. Archived from the original on 2017-01-30.
  7. ^ Andrew D. Balsa; Coauthors. "The linux-kernel mailing list FAQ". The Linux Kernel Archives. Kernel.org. Archived from the original on 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2013-06-13. ...we have tried to use the word "Linux" or the expression "Linux kernel" to designate the kernel, and GNU/Linux to designate the entire body of GNU/GPL'ed OS software,... ...many people forget that the linux kernel mailing list is a forum for discussion of kernel-related matters, not GNU/Linux in general...
  8. ^ Mark Shuttleworth (14 February 2014). "Losing graciously". Archived from the original on 22 March 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014. today our focus is on the cloud and on mobile, and we are quite clearly leading GNU/Linux on both fronts

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