GNU Project Information

[image of the Head of a GNU]

This directory collects some GNU organizational documents. For general information about the GNU project and the Free Software Foundation, see

The GNU FTP mirror list
lists sites which mirror, which holds most official GNU software releases. Please use a mirror if you can. If you'd like to volunteer your site as another mirror, please see this separate page with Advice for Running Mirrors.
The GNU service directory
is a list of people who have asked to be listed as offering support services for GNU software, including GNU Emacs and GCC, for a fee or in some cases at no charge.
The GNU coding standards
attempt to make the GNU system clean, consistent, and easy to install. This document can also be read as a guide to writing portable, robust and reliable programs. It focuses on programs written in C, but many of the rules and principles are useful even if you write in another programming language.
The Structure and Administration of the GNU Project
describes the teams and roles involved in the GNU Project.
GNU maintainer information
includes guidelines and advice for someone who is the maintainer of a GNU program on behalf of the GNU Project. Everyone is entitled to change and redistribute GNU software; you need not pay attention to this file to get permission. But if you want to maintain a version for widespread distribution, we suggest you follow these guidelines; if you would like to be (or are already) a GNU maintainer, then it is essential to follow these guidelines.
Tips for new GNU maintainers
lists the first tasks you need to take care of if you recently became the maintainer of a GNU package, whether one that you have offered to GNU or an existing one that you have adopted. Each item links to the relevant info, and some additional tips are provided.
GNU task list information
is available here, although the actual task list items are now maintained at savannah.
GNU mailing list information
is now at There are hundreds of other aliases and forwarding addresses which are not full-fledged lists, so don't consider the list there to be complete. (The mailinglists.html file that used to be here in /prep is now obsolete.)
GNU Program Index information
is now subsumed in the Free Software Directory. (The program.index.html file that used to be here in /prep is now obsolete.)

By the way, the prep directory name here refers to, one of the first hosts used by GNU for distributing GNU software, and project information like the above, over the Internet.

prep was in the MIT artificial intelligence lab at the time; today, the hostname is an alias for It still works for ftp, mail, and even web access (although the web had not been invented at the time prep was originally used). Even today, references to prep survive in documentation, mail archives, essays—and the name of this directory.