Introduction to GNU free Software
GNU is a system software that is a freeware software,—-that it gives the user freedom to do what he wants to do with it. The GNU operating system consists of different GNU package.
The GNU packages mean that programs that are specifically released for a GNU project. The development of GNU makes it possible to use a computer without a software that tramples your freedom.
GNU is a recursive acronym for “GNU’s Not Unix”, chosen because GNU’s design is Unix-like but different from Unix by being free software & containing no Unix code.
Development of GNU Operating System was initiated by Richard Stallman while he worked at while he worked at MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. GNU project publically announced on September 27, 1983, on the net.unix-wizards and net.usoft newsgroups by Stallman. Stallman launched GNU project to create a Unix-like computer operating system composed entirely of free software.GNU promoted by movement of free software. He has been the GNU’s projects lead architect, organizer and developed a number of pieces of widely used GNU software including, among others, the GNU compiler collection.
Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, that uses the principles of the law of copyright that preserve the right to use, modify & distribute free software, and he is the main author of copyright license that describes those terms, most notably of GNU that are still used. General Public License is the most widely used free software license till now.
“Free Software is a software that gives you the user freedom to share, study & modify it. We call it free because the user is free to do what he wants.”
To use free software is to make ethical and political choice asserting the right to learn, share it with others to let them know, what you are learning. Free software becomes a community where we can share our knowledge and work in a way that others can learn and enjoy.
Currently, many people are using proprietary software that makes them bound & they are not able to think out of the box. Proprietary denies the users this freedom and benefits. If we make a copy and give it to a friend and try to figure out how the program works, or try to modify it, even if we make a copy of more then one on our own computer in our own home, we could be caught and fined or put in jail. That’s what in the fine print of license agreement that we accept during installation of this proprietary software.
The GNU and the Free Software movement:
What if there would be a worldwide group of talented and ethical programmers voluntarily committed to an idea of writing and sharing software with each other and anyone else who agreed to share alike??What if anyone could be a part of and benefit from this community even without being a computer expert or knowing anything about programming? We wouldn’t have to worry about getting caught copying a useful program for our friends—because we wouldn’t be doing anything wrong.
In fact, such a movement exists and you can be a part of it. The Free Software movement was started in 1983 by computer scientist Richard.M.Stallman, when he launched a project called GNU, which stand for “GNU, not for Unix, to provide a replacement for the Unix operating system.— a replacement that would respect the freedoms of those using it. Then in 1985, Stallman started the Free Software Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission of advocating and educating on behalf of computer users around the world.
How GNU Works:
The GNU Linux project was created for the development of a Unix-like operating system that comes with source code that can be copied, modified, and redistributed.
According to GNU Linux project, there is no independent GNU operating system. Furthermore, they claim that there is no independent Linux operating system either.
“Sadly, a kernel by itself gets you nowhere […] Most of the tools used with Linux are GNU software.
The OS is known as Linux is based on the Linux kernel but all other components are GNU.As such many believe that the OS should be known as GNU/Linux or GNU Linux.
Today tens of millions of users are using an operating system that was developed so they could have freedom—but they don’t know this, because they think the system is Linux and that it was developed by a student ‘just for fun’.
— Richard Stallman