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Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom.

What is GNU?

The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop a complete Unix-like operating system which is free software: the GNU system.

GNU's kernel isn't finished, so GNU is used with the kernel Linux. The combination of GNU and Linux is the GNU/Linux operating system, now used by millions.

Sometimes this combination is incorrectly called Linux. There are many variants or “distributions” of GNU/Linux.

We recommend the GNU/Linux distributions that are 100% free software; in other words, entirely freedom-respecting.

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.

What is Free Software?

Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”.

Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

What is the Free Software Foundation?

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is the principal organizational sponsor of the GNU Project. The FSF receives very little funding from corporations or grant-making foundations but relies on support from individuals like you.

Please consider helping the FSF by becoming an associate member, buying manuals and gear or by donating money. If you use Free Software in your business, you can also consider corporate patronage or a deluxe distribution of GNU software as a way to support the FSF.

The GNU project supports the mission of the FSF to preserve, protect and promote the freedom to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer software, and to defend the rights of Free Software users. We support the freedoms of speech, press, and association on the Internet, the right to use encryption software for private communication, and the right to write software unimpeded by private monopolies. You can also learn more about these issues in the book Free Software, Free Society.

The FSF also has sister organizations in Europe, Latin America and India.

Freedom Fry

Stephen Fry

Mr. Stephen Fry introduces you to free software, and reminds you of a very special birthday.

GNUs Flashes

If your school is committed to Free Software then we want to hear from you so that we can list it. Has your school migrated to GNU/Linux, or has your school adopted the firm policy of rejecting proprietary software? If so, contact the webmasters at webmasters@gnu.org to let us know.

Thank you SGI for freeing the GNU/Linux 3d desktop!

French citizens -- Hadopi plans to adopt a law, 'Loi Creation et Internet', which would punish people who fail to 'respect' copyright on the Internet. Numerama presents ten reasons to reject this law.

For other news, as well as for items that used to be in this GNUs Flashes section, see What's New in and about the GNU Project.

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More information

Skip list of GNU software

GNU software

  • 3DLDF3D drawing package
  • ACMAerial combat simulation game
  • AbdabiService discovery system for DotGNU
  • AetherspaceProject to produce a multiplayer game
  • AnubisProcesses outgoing mail
  • ArchimedesSoftware for designing and simulating submicron semiconductor devices
  • AspellSpell checker
  • AutoconfProduces shell scripts which automatically configure source code
  • AutogenAutomated program and text generation
  • AutomakeGenerates Makefile.in files
  • BPEL2oWFNtranslates a web service expressed in BPEL into an oWFN
  • BalsaGNOME mail client
  • BarcodeConverts text strings to printed bars
  • BashShell of the GNU operating system
  • BayonneGNU telephony server
  • Bazaar Version Control distributed version control
  • BcInteractive algebraic language
  • BinutilsCollection of binary utilities
  • BisonReplacement for the parser generator 'yacc'
  • CalendulaFund-raising/contact management software for non-profits
  • CfengineMaintains configuration of a heterogenous UNIX network
  • Chess Chess game
  • Common C++Highly portable C++ class library
  • CpioArchiver that handles various types of cpio and tar archives
  • DJGPPGCC, G++, and GNU utilities for DOS
  • DMDService manager that's a replacement for SysV-init
  • DenemoGraphical music notation program
  • DiaGTK-based diagram drawing program
  • DiffutilsFinds differences between and among files
  • DominionMulti-player role-playing simulation
  • Double Choco LatteSystem for tracking bugs, changes, enhancements, and requests for software
  • EDMA Modular development environment
  • EPrintsOnline information archiving system
  • EccElliptical curve class library
  • EdLine-oriented text editor
  • ElectricCAD electrical circuit design system
  • EmacsExtensible, real-time editor
  • EpsilonStrongly-typed omega-order programming language
  • FfpFree Film Project
  • FindutilsTools to find files and to operate on groups of files
  • ForumWeb-based groupware system
  • FreeDinkFree enhancement of the Dink Smallwood game engine
  • FreefontFree UCS outline fonts
  • GCCGNU Compiler Collection
  • GCLCompiler and interpreter for Common Lisp
  • GIFTContent based image retrieval system
  • GIMPGNU image manipulation program
  • GLPKGNU Linear Programming Kit
  • GLUEGNU Internet groupware project
  • GLibCore library that forms the basis of GTK+ and GNOME
  • GNATA complete Ada95 compilation system
  • GNOWSYSHybrid database server with a kernel for semantic computing
  • GNU AliveAutomatic login and keep-alive utility for Internet connections.
  • GNU ClassspathxUnfinished free implementation of the Java extension libraries
  • GNU EnterpriseUnfinished project to develop a complete ERP system
  • GNU Font EditorGraphical font editor
  • GNU GLOBALSource code tag system for C, C++, Java, and Yacc
  • GNU GRUBGNU GRand Unified Bootloader
  • GNU GnashFlash Movie Player
  • GNU LibidnInternationalized string preparation library
  • GNU MAC Changer Is a utility to manipulate a MAC address
  • GNU Messenger Secure messaging system
  • GNU PDFset of libraries and programs to manage the PDF file format
  • GNU POCmanages smartcard passwords
  • GNU PascalPascal compiler of the GNU Project
  • GNU PipoA GNU Bulletion Board System
  • GNU ProxyknifeValidate free proxies for users behind firewalls
  • GNU Ra language and environment for statistical computing and graphics.
  • GNU SASLSASL network authentication library
  • GNU SQLDatabase management system
  • GNU SmalltalkImplementation of the Smalltalk object oriented language
  • GNU SolfegeEartraining program for GNOME
  • GNU SonganizerScript to organize a directory containing ogg and mp3 files.
  • GNU TeXmacsScientific text editor
  • GNU Teseqa tool for analyzing files that contain control characters and terminal control sequences.
  • GNU fdiskIs a libparted-based partitioning tool
  • GNU ghostscript Interpreter for the Postscript and PDF graphics languages
  • GNU goPlays the game of Go
  • GNU libmathevalLibrary for evaluating mathematical expressions
  • GNU lightningGenerates assembly language code at run-time
  • GNU robotsReal-time game
  • GNU sauceAnti-spam server
  • GNU tarCreates tar archives
  • GNU trueprintPrints source code to PostScript printers
  • GNUCashPersonal and small business money-management software
  • GNUMP3dA light-weight audio server
  • GNUMedSoftware for a paperless medical practice
  • GNUbik3D Rubik's cube game
  • GNUcapA general purpose circuit simulator
  • GNUjumpSDLjump is a simple game where your goal is to keep jumping to upper falling platforms in order to avoid touching the lower part of the screen.
  • GNUsEmacs newsreader
  • GNUstepA graphical, object oriented programming environment
  • GNUtlsA library implementing TLS 1.0 and SSL 3.0 protocols
  • GOOPSObject-oriented extension to 'guile'
  • GSLRoutines for numerical computing
  • GTK+GNU toolkit for X windows development
  • GTSFunctions for 3D surfaces meshed with interconnected triangles
  • GUSSHardware simulator for debugging
  • GcalIs a program for calculating and printing calendars, and is the GNU implementation of the universally known cal and calendar programs.
  • GcomprisEducational suite for children from 2 to 10
  • GcronReplacement for Vixie cron
  • GdbGNU Debugger
  • GdbmReplacement for the 'dbm' and 'ndbm' libraries
  • GengetoptGenerates a C function that parses and validates command line options
  • GettextTools to produce multi-lingual messages
  • GgradebookFully-featured GNU gradebook
  • GnatsBug tracking system
  • GnatswebWeb interface to the GNU bug management system
  • GnochiveGUI frontend for multiple archivers
  • GnomeThe GNU desktop
  • Gnotepad+HTML and text editor
  • GnumericMath program intended to replace commercial spreadsheets
  • GnutritionNutrition analysis software
  • Gnuzilla / IceCatGNU version of popular web browser
  • GoldwaterMiddleware component of the DotGNU project
  • GormGraphic Object Relationship Modeler
  • GperfGenerates a hash function
  • GregSoftware testing framework
  • GrepFinds lines that match entered patterns
  • GretlSoftware for econometric analysis
  • GtickDigital metronome
  • GtkeyboardGraphical keyboard
  • GtypistTyping tutor program
  • GuileGNU extensibility library
  • Guile-gnomeHelps Scheme programmers develop visual applications
  • HttptunnelCreates a data path in HTTP requests
  • HyperboleInformation and text management program
  • IdutilsTools for indexing
  • IndentC source beautifier
  • InetutilsCollection of common network programs
  • JacalMathematics program
  • KawaScheme and Emacs Lisp on a Java VM
  • LessDisplay paginator
  • LibCVSProvides CVS functionality in library form
  • LibgcryptCryptographic library
  • LibiconvConverts between character encodings
  • LilypondMusic typesetter
  • MailmanManages discussion lists
  • MailutilsA set of libraries and programs for handling e-mail messages
  • MeltingNearest-neighbor compilation of nucleic acid hybridation
  • MetahtmlProgramming language for the Web
  • Midnight CommanderUnix file manager
  • Mifluz Full text inverted index query library
  • Mll2htmlConverts a mailing lists file to an HTML file
  • MottiMultiplayer, networked strategy game
  • MuleMultilingual text editor for Emacs
  • NanaLibrary for assertion checking and logging in GNU C/C++
  • NanoPico clone for *NIX
  • NautilusFile manager and graphical shell
  • NcursesDisplays and updates text on text-only terminals
  • Ninpaths Paths Survey reporting program
  • OcradOCR program based on feature extraction
  • OctaveHigh-level language for numerical computations
  • OleoLightweight spreadsheet program
  • PCBDesigns printed circuit board layouts
  • PHP GroupwareGroupware suite
  • PIPSConverts data between formats
  • PSPPStatistics package
  • PanoramaFramework for 3D graphics production
  • PaperclipsWebserver and dynamic content container
  • PatchApplies a patch to a file
  • PatchworkUtility for rapid patch development and submission
  • PaxutilsTool to manage file archives
  • PlotutilsPlotting and graphics utilities
  • ProtoTools to find function prototypes
  • PthGNU Portable Threads library
  • PtxIndex generator
  • QexoXQuery to Java compiler
  • QuaggaBack-end software for the FSF's Directory of Free Software
  • QueueBatch processing and local rsh replacement system
  • RCSVersion control and project management software
  • RadiusRemote authentication and accounting system
  • ReadlineLets users edit command lines as they are typed in
  • RecodeFront end to the 'recode' translation library
  • SXMLDefines and implements a mark-up language
  • ScreenRuns separate screens on a single terminal
  • SedA stream-oriented non-interactive text editor
  • ServeezServer framework
  • Shared Memory Manageraccess all shared memory
  • SharutilsCreates and helps unpack shell archives
  • ShtoolThe GNU portable shell tool
  • SmartEiffelEiffel compiler
  • SnugProject to develop a free version of Java Swing
  • SovixPHP-based, semantic website revision system
  • SpeedXRacing game
  • TermutilsPrograms for controlling terminals
  • TexinfoProduces manuals, ASCII text, and on-line documentation
  • ThalesIRC to MySQL gateway
  • The GNU Objective C Class LibraryThe GNU Objective C Class Library (libobjects) is a library of general-purpose, non-graphical Objective C objects
  • TimeReports the user, system, and real time used by a process
  • ToutDouxProject manager
  • UnitsUnit conversion and calculation
  • VCD ImagerFree software (Super) video CD authoring solution
  • WgetRetrieves files from the Web
  • WhichPrints out full path of execuatbles
  • Window MakerWindow manager for X Window System
  • XboardGraphical chessboard
  • XhippoPlaylist manager
  • XmorphImage morphing program
  • ZebraImplementation of routing protocols
  • a2psAny to PostScript filter
  • acctGNU system accounting utilities
  • adnsResolver library for C and C++ programs
  • aetherspaceSoftware to produce alternative energy systems
  • aroundmeSocial networking and team interaction software
  • auctexIntegrated environment for editing LaTeX and TeX files
  • avlLibrary for balanced binary trees
  • beaconSimple date and category-driven Web publishing system
  • boolUtility for matching boolean queries in text
  • ccaudioLibrary and software for manipulating audio data
  • ccrtpRTP stack
  • ccscriptC++ class framework for creating a virtual machine execution system
  • cflowCharts control flow within source code
  • cgiccC++ class library for writing CGI applications
  • cim Compiler for the programming language Simula
  • classpathFree core class libraries for the Java programming language
  • clispANSI Common Lisp compiler, debugger, and interpreter
  • combineExtensible file matching and filtering
  • cons'Make' replacement
  • coreutilsCollection of basic file, shell and text manipulation utilities
  • csscFree clone of SCCS
  • dapStatistics and graphics package
  • dddGraphical front end for command line debuggers
  • ddrescueData recovery tool
  • dejaGnuFramework to test programs
  • dictionChecks text for readability and bad usage
  • dr. geoBuilds geometric figures
  • emmsEmacs multimedia system
  • enscript Converts ASCII files to PostScript
  • ferretGNU data modeller
  • fhpm4 macro for creating Web pages
  • fontutils Converts between font formats and creates fonts
  • freeipmiIntelligent platform management system
  • fribidiFree implementation of the Unicode Bidirectional (BiDi) Algorithm
  • g++C++ compiler
  • gamaGeodetic network adjustment program
  • gawkString manipulation language
  • gcjwebpluginBrowser plugin that executes Java applets
  • gengenA parameterized-text-generator generator based on a template
  • gforthFree implementation of the ANS Forth language
  • gfortranFortran compiler
  • gleemLibrary of 3D widgets
  • gmpThe GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library
  • gnotaryProject to produce a digital notary service
  • gnu-archRevision control system
  • gnu-cryptoProject to produce a full set of Java cryptographic tools
  • gnubgPlays and analyzes backgammon games and matches
  • gnubiffMail notification program
  • gnucommGNU telecommunications project
  • gnuitTools for simple, daily file and system management tasks
  • gnulibGNU portability library
  • gnumachMicrokernel of the GNU system
  • gnunetAnonymous peer-to-peer file-sharing
  • gnupg (GPG)Complete implementation of the OpenPGP Internet standard
  • gnupodLets you use an iPod under GNU/Linux
  • gnuradioSoftware to create digital radio signals
  • gnuschoolIs a web application for educators, students, and school administrators.
  • gnushogiJapanese version of chess
  • gnuskiesProject to create a free version of the xephem program
  • gnusoundMultitrack sound editor for Gnome
  • gnusysutilsPlanned group of utilities for system administrators
  • gpaintGNOME paint program
  • gprologProlog compiler
  • groffDocument formatting system
  • gssImplementation of the Generic Security Service API
  • guile-dbiGuile database abstraction layer
  • guile-gtkGuile language bindings for Gtk+ version 1.2
  • gurgleFormerly the GNU Report Generator
  • gvFrontend for ghostscript
  • gvpeSecure vpn network among multiple nodes over an untrusted network
  • gzipCompresses and decompresses files
  • hOplaLink between XML files and SQL databases
  • halifaxClient applications suite for fax applications
  • helloGNU version of "Hello, world!"
  • hp2xxReads and converts HP-GL files to various formats
  • hurdProject GNU's replacement for the Unix kernel
  • intlfontsFonts for all characters Emacs 20 can handle
  • java2htmlTranslates Java files to HTML
  • jelCompiler for simple expressions into Java byte code
  • jwhoisInternet whois client
  • libcLibrary for use with GNU/Hurd and GNU/Linux
  • libcdioEncapsulates CD-ROM reading and control
  • libextractorExtracts metadata information from files
  • libmicrohttpdGNU library
  • liboptsAutoOpts option parser library that supports stand alone config files
  • libsigsegvLibrary for handling page faults
  • libtoolGeneric library support script
  • libxmiLibrary for rasterizing 2-D vector graphics
  • liquidwar6Liquid War 6 is a unique multiplayer wargame.
  • lshFree implementation of the SSH protocol
  • m4Macro processor
  • makeGenerates executables and other non-source programs
  • marstAlgol to C translator
  • maverikVirtual reality micro kernel
  • mcronVixie cron replacement
  • mcsimSimulation software for designing, analyzing and calibrating mathematical models
  • mdkEmulator and development environment for Knuth's MIX computer
  • miscfilesCollection of various files
  • mit-schemeMIT/GNU Scheme programming language
  • moe A powerful and user-friendly text editor
  • museEmacs mode for publishing in various modes
  • octalFree digital sound workstation for Unix-like systems
  • orgadocHelps organize documentation
  • osipLibrary supporting the Session Initiation Protocol
  • p2cTranslates Pascal programs into C
  • partedManipulates disk partitions
  • phantom securityHome security system
  • phantom_homeHome automation system
  • phpgrabcomicsRetrieves and saves comics from the Web
  • polyxmassMass spectrometric framework for simulation and analysis of mass spectrometric data of (bio-)polymers
  • protoizeCreates or removes prototypes from C code
  • rottlogReplacement for Red Hat's 'logrotate.'
  • satherObject-oriented language
  • shishiFree implementation of the Kerberos 5 network security system
  • slibPortable scheme library
  • sourceinstallerGraphical tool for source package configuration, installation, tracking and removal
  • spacechartDisplays the stars in space in 3D
  • speexSpeech compression format
  • spellSpell checker
  • src-highliteTurns source code into a file with syntax highlighting
  • stowManages installation process
  • superoptFinds the shortest instruction sequence for a given function
  • swbisExtensions to the POSIX packaging standard
  • talkfiltersTranslates English text into dialects
  • trampRemote file editing software
  • unrtfConverts from RTF to other formats
  • uservSecurity boundary tool
  • uucpFile copying program
  • wdiffFront end to GNU 'diff'
  • wombRepository for homeless code
  • xaosReal-time fractal zoomer
  • xlogmasterMonitors logfiles and devices
  • xneeRecords, distributes, and replays X11 protocol data

GNU Project Software in the Free Software Directory

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