The GNU operating system is the Unix-like operating system, which is entirely free software, that we in the GNU Project have developed since 1984. The GNU system contains all of the official GNU software packages (which are listed below), and also includes non-GNU free software, such as TeX and the X Window System. Also, the GNU system is not a single static set of programs; users and distributors may select different packages according to their needs and desires. The result is still a variant of the GNU system.
If you're looking for a whole system to install, see our list of GNU/Linux distributions which are entirely free software.
To look for individual free software packages, both GNU and non-GNU, please see the Free Software Directory: a categorized, searchable database of free software. The Directory is actively maintained by the Free Software Foundation and includes links to program home pages where available, as well as entries for all GNU packages. Another list of all GNU packages is below. Free software documentation links are listed separately.
Finally, we have a short list of free software for Microsoft Windows, for Windows users who would like to try free software.
How to get GNU software
GNU software is available by several different methods:
- Download a wholly free GNU/Linux distribution.
- Get a copy from a friend.
- Buy a computer with a wholly free GNU/Linux system preinstalled from one of the companies that offers this.
- Download individual packages from the web or via FTP: we provide source code for all GNU software as free software, and free of charge. (Please also make a donation to the FSF if you can, to help support the development of more free software.)
- Use the GNU Guix functional package manager to install and manage GNU package releases.
- Use the GNU GSRC collection to easily install the latest GNU package releases on their own, without conflicting with any system versions.
- Use the GNU PPA or GNUstep PPA (Personal Package Archive) on Trisquel, gNewSense, or related distros to get the latest releases suitably packaged.
- Get the development sources for a package and build them. Many GNU packages keep their development sources at the GNU hosting site savannah.gnu.org. Some packages use other source repositories, or have none at all. Each package's web pages should give the specifics.
Develop GNU software
If you are developing a GNU package, please take a look at the available GNU software developer resources.
Although not strictly about official GNU software, we maintain a list of high-priority free software projects. Please help with these projects if you can. For other ways to contribute to GNU, including taking over unmaintained GNU packages and helping with development, see the GNU help wanted page.
If you're writing a new program and would like to make your software an official GNU package, see the evaluation information and submission form.
Here is a list of all current GNU packages, using their package identifiers (rather than long names) for brevity, and sorted alphabetically. If you have corrections to or questions about this list, please email <email@example.com>.
Also available are lists of:
- short descriptions for all GNU packages;
- documentation for GNU packages (arranged by category);
- GNU package logos; and
- recent GNU releases.
Decommissioned GNU packages
GNU packages are occasionally decommissioned, generally because they've been superseded by, or integrated into, other packages. If you have time and interest in resurrecting any of these, please contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Here is the list; we leave the old project pages up (when they existed): aeneas, aetherspace, aroundme, 3dkit, abcsh, awacs, cfs-el, checker, cons, dgs (display ghostscript), dld, dotgnu, dotgnu-pnet, dr.genius, elib, ffp, fhp, free (gnu.free), gcron (see mcron), gfe, ggv (see gv), gicqd, giptables, gmorph, gnochive, gnotary, gnotepad+, gnubios, gnu-arch, gnu-queue, gnucad, gnufi, gnupedia (see wikipedia), gnuskies, gnusql, gnustep-db, gnuts, goldwater, goodbye, goose, gphoto, graphics, grover, gtkeditor, gtkeyboard, guss, hegemonie, jdresolve, lengualibre, leonardo, libopts (see autogen), mana, messenger, mgcp, mll2html, obst, octal, p2c, packaging, patchwork, phpgroupware, pips, poc, proto, rat, regex, rpge, snakecharmer, songanizer, sourceinstall, sweater, sxml, toutdoux, vmslib, webpublish, xbase, xinfo, xmhtml, zebra.