GNU Project

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Computer Programming; Software

The GNU logo, drawn by Etienne Suvasa
The GNU logo, drawn by Etienne Suvasa

The GNU Project was announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman. It initiated the GNU operating system, software development for which began in January 1984.

The founding goal of the project was, in the words of its initial announcement, to develop "a sufficient body of free software [...] to get along without any software that is not free." That goal was achieved in 1992 when the last gap in the GNU system, a kernel, was filled by a third-party Unix-style kernel called "Linux" being released as free software.


Although its most visible output is technical, the GNU Project was launched as a social, ethical, and political initiative. As well as producing software and licenses, the GNU Project has published a large number of philosophical writings, the majority of which were penned by Stallman.

Website and publications

The GNU project website is translated into many languages by volunteers. Most pages are available in 15 to 20 languages, while some are available in more than 30.


The following are official speakers for the GNU Project :

  • Robert J. Chassell
  • Loïc Dachary
  • Ricardo Galli
  • Georg Greve
  • Federico Heinz
  • Bradley Kuhn
  • Eben Moglen
  • Richard Stallman


  • 2000: USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award

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