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GNU

Head of a GNU

GNU is a recursive acronym, standing for GNU's Not Unix.

The GNU project was started by Richard Stallman, an MIT AI Lab hacker, who was frustrated by the policies of various computer companies who were removing access to the source code of their products. He found this made his life more difficult, and instead of just bitching about it, he resolved to replace all the software that he needed to use with a version that would always make the source code available.

The GNU project is run by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), founded by Stallman. It has produced several large and important programs that enable people to use source-available software. These include a compiler suite External linkgcc, a programmer's editor External linkemacs, a C runtime library External linkglibc and a large range of smaller Unix-style utilities.

All their software is made available under a variety of the GNU Public Licence, or GPL. This licence is often controversial, because in order to meet Stallman's goal of ensuring he never loses access to source code, it requires that anyone who changes the source of a GPLed program must make those changes available under the terms of the GPL.


Version 4 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:12:00 +1000 by BrosBerg
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