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This is a translation of an original page in English.

GNU is the only operating system developed specifically to give its users freedom. What is GNU, and what freedom is at stake?

GNU 是什么?

GNU is an operating system that is free software—that is, it respects users' freedom. The development of GNU made it possible to use a computer without software that would trample your freedom.

We recommend installable versions of GNU (more precisely, GNU/Linux distributions) which are entirely free software. More about GNU below.


What is the Free Software Movement?

The free software movement campaigns to win for the users of computing the freedom that comes from free software. Free software puts its users in control of their own computing. Non-free software puts its users under the power of the software's developer. See the video explanation.


Free software means the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the 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”.

More precisely, free software means users of a program have the four essential freedoms:

  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • 有研究该软件如何运行,以及按需改写该软件的自由(自由之一)。取得该软件源代码为达成此目的之前提。
  • 有重新发布拷贝的自由,这样你可以借此来敦亲睦邻(自由之二)。
  • 有改进该软件,以及向公众发布改进的自由,这样整个社群都可受惠(自由之三)。取得该软件源码为达成此目的之前提。

Developments in technology and network use have made these freedoms even more important now than they were in 1983.

Nowadays the free software movement goes far beyond developing the GNU system. See the Free Software Foundation's web site for more about what we do, and a list of ways you can help.

More about GNU

GNU is a Unix-like operating system. That means it is a collection of many programs: applications, libraries, developer tools, even games. The development of GNU, started in January 1984, is known as the GNU Project. Many of the programs in GNU are released under the auspices of the GNU Project; those we call GNU packages.

The name “GNU” is a recursive acronym for “GNU's Not Unix.” “GNU” is pronounced g'noo, as one syllable, like saying “grew” but replacing the r with n.

The program in a Unix-like system that allocates machine resources and talk to the hardware is called the “kernel”. GNU is typically used with a kernel called Linux. This combination is the GNU/Linux operating system. GNU/Linux is used by millions, though many call it “Linux” by mistake.

GNU's own kernel, The Hurd, was started in 1990 (before Linux was started). Volunteers continue developing the Hurd because it is an interesting technical project.

More information.

Try GNU/Linux!

Planet GNU RSS 订阅

GNUMail and TalkSoup getting back to MacOS: In the effort of peppin up and removing bitrot from TalkSoup, the GNUstep IRC client, I am doing a native build of it on MacOS.Apparently there was... more

GnuTLS 3.3.13: Released GnuTLS 3.3.13, a bug-fix release on the stable branch.

Noteworthy changes in release 2015.02.24: AX_CHECK_ENABLE_DEBUG now uses $ax_is_release as default for IS-RELEASE. AX_IS_RELEASE now supports micro-version policies. Portability of AX_CXX_COMP... more

更多新闻,请访问 Planet GNU


GNU ACM is a flight simulator in which players can compete in aerial combat from different computers, piloting well-equipped jet aircraft similar to an F-16C Falcon or a MiG-29 Fulcrum. (doc)

Short descriptions for all GNU packages.


您能为这些 高优先级的项目做出贡献码? Gnash, coreboot, 自由的 GNU/Linux 发行版, GNU Octave, 网络路由器驱动,GDB的反向调试,自动视频编码转换,PowerVR 驱动,还有 Skype, OpenDWG 库和 Oracle Forms 的自由软件替代品。

你能帮助接手下列 失去维护的 GNU 软件包 吗? gleem, gnukart, halifax, jwhois, metahtml, orgadoc, polyxmass, superopt, teximpatient, are all looking for maintainers. Also, these packages are looking for co-maintainers: aspell, gnuae, metaexchange, powerguru. See the package web pages for more information.

[FSF logo]“Our mission is 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.”

The Free Software Foundation is the principal organizational sponsor of the GNU Operating System. Support GNU and the FSF by buying manuals and gear, joining the FSF as an associate member, or making a donation, either directly to the FSF or via Flattr.


FSF 欧洲 拉丁美洲 印度 也有姊妹组织。