GNU 40th Anniversary

Celebrate with us

Forty years ago, Richard Stallman announced the plan to develop the GNU operating system, which would be entirely composed of free software. The existence of a free operating system would enable people to operate their computers in freedom, throwing off the power of the developers of nonfree software.

The GNU Project has also built the global free software movement.

On September 27th 2023 we invite you to join the GNU community in Biel/Bienne to celebrate this occasion, and help build a future where users' computing freedom extends further than ever.

Celebration and Hacker Meeting

September 27 at the Volkshaus in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland

Join us to celebrate the GNU Project's freedom-spreading accomplishments with presentations in English about various GNU packages, hacking on free software and making new releases! The 40th anniversary hacker meeting is open to all who want to celebrate, work on, or learn about free software. If you need to contact the organizers, please email us at <>.

Anyone is welcome to attend, there is no need to register in advance. Attendance is gratis. However, we suggest you subscribe to our public attendee mailing list to receive updates about the event.

How to Get There

The Volkhaus (map) in Biel/Bienne is located a short walking distance from the central train station towards the city center. Biel/Bienne is centrally located in Switzerland and reachable in less than 2h by train from the Basel, Geneva, and Zürich airports. Trains run every 30 minutes from about 5am to midnight.

Places to Stay

Participants needing gratis hosting can contact Theo Bondolfi directly via Telegram or Signal (+41763769776), mentioning planned hour/day arrival and departure, latest Sept 21st, and we'll do our best to host 2-5 persons with simple accommodation in the ecovillage of Grandvaux, Rue de la Gare 17, 1091 Grandvaux. From there it is 90 minutes by train door-to-door to the event. Hosting is in a dormitory or private room, depending on availability and number of persons. They do not ask for payment, but require:

  • planning: planned (arrival/departure) via Signal or Telegram
  • simple ID to know who we are hosting
  • a customized modest contribution in time (consulting on our ongoing freeculture-based projects, 1-2 hours depending on your experience).

Live Streaming

We will attempt to stream the event. However, please understand that we are dependent on the shared public WLAN for streaming and thus the availabiltiy and quality of the stream cannot be assured. If it works, you will find the stream online at


We're excited to announce that NLnet foundation NGI Zero has decided to make a donation to support the event which will basically cover half of our expected expenses. Thanks a lot! NLnet foundation is a great long-term supporter of Free Software, and they are hiring technology assessors for their grantmaking process. If you are looking for a job to support Free Software at large, please check them out!

Preliminary Schedule

Celebrate GNU's 40th anniversary with us, we hope to have 40 release announcements, discussions or presentations in one day!

09:00: Welcome

09:15: "The FSFE's Work: An Overview for Free Software Hackers" by Matthias Kirschner

10:00: New GNU releases

10:15: "The GNU Name System" by Martin Schanzenbach

10:45: "The Next 40 years of Free Software - Nextcloud's Priority Areas to Maximize Impact" by Björn Schießle

11:30: "Widening the picture of the GNU Project's goals" by Panos Alevropoulos

12:00: Lunch

13:00: GNU Taler by Florian Dold and Isidor Wallimann

13:45: Laudatio by Jörg Mäder (Swiss Parliament)

14:00: Keynote: "Freedom in computing, 40 years after starting to really protect it." by Richard Stallman, the founder of GNU

15:00: GNU Health by Luis Falcon

15:40: Break

16:00: GNU Jami by Sébastien Blin and Andreas Traczyk

16:35: GNU Jitter by Luca Saiu

17:00: "The Libre-SOC Project" by Tobias Platen

17:30: "GNU poke: Introduction and Examples for using GNU poke for testing protocols and formats" by Mohammad-Reza Nabipoor

18:15: Dinner

19:15 "GNU volunteers and maintainers coordination" by John Darrington

19:30: "How the GNU webmaster team works" by Jason Self

20:00: "The GNU Project today and tomorrow" by Jose Marchesi

22:00: Closing

Support GNU

For this event, the organization and financing is entirely done by GNUnet e.V. and donations would be much appreciated to help cover the cost of paying for the venue and other organizational expenses. Attendees are welcome to contribute in cash, and Europeans can also send a SEPA transfer.

You can also donate to the Free Software Foundation, which sponsors the GNU project's development.

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