Discussion of the Free Software Foundation’s Efforts to Deliver Ubiquitous Unix!


In 1983 The FSF (Free Software Foundation) began developing Open Source software to create a free UNIX operating system. This software was called the GNU (guh-noo) utilities. GNU stands for “GNU’s not Unix”. Finally The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop the GNU operating system, a complete Unix-like operating system.

Unix-like operating systems are built from a collection of applications, libraries, and developer tools—plus a program to allocate resources and talk to the hardware, known as a kernel.

The Hurd, GNU’s kernel, is actively developed, but is still some way from being ready for daily use, so GNU is often used with a kernel called Linux; here is a list of full GNU/Linux distributions which are entirely free software.

The combination of GNU and Linux is the GNU/Linux operating system, now used by millions and sometimes incorrectly called simply “Linux”.

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 like bluehost coupon.

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.

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