GNU Spotlight January 2023

Originally published on the Free Software Foundation's community blog:
January GNU Spotlight with Amin Bandali: Nineteen new GNU releases!

Nineteen new GNU releases in the last month (as of January 30, 2023):

  • anastasis-0.3.1: GNU Anastasis is a Free Software protocol and implementation that allows users to securely deposit core secrets with an open set of escrow providers and to recover these secrets if their original copies are lost.
  • binutils-2.40: GNU Binutils is a collection of tools for working with binary files. Perhaps the most notable are `ld', a linker, and `as', an assembler. Other tools include programs to display binary profiling information, list the strings in a binary file, and utilities for working with archives. The `bfd' library for working with executable and object formats is also included.
  • ddrescue-1.27: GNU ddrescue is a fully automated data recovery tool. It copies data from one file to another, working to rescue data in case of read errors. The program also includes a tool for manipulating its log files, which are used to recover data more efficiently by only reading the necessary blocks.
  • diffutils-3.9: GNU Diffutils is a package containing tools for finding the differences between files. The `diff' command is used to show how two files differ, while `cmp' shows the offsets and line numbers where they differ. `diff3' allows you to compare three files. Finally, `sdiff' offers an interactive means to merge two files.
  • ed-1.19: Ed is a line-oriented text editor: rather than offering an overview of a document, ed performs editing one line at a time. It can be executed both interactively and via shell scripts. Its method of command input allows complex tasks to be performed in an automated way. GNU ed offers several extensions over the standard utility.
  • g-golf-0.8.0-a.2: G-Golf (Gnome: (Guile Object Library for)) is a library for developing modern applications in Guile Scheme. It comprises a direct binding to the GObject Introspection API and higher-level functionality for importing Gnome libraries and making GObject classes (and methods) available in Guile's object-oriented programming system, GOOPS.
  • gcl-2.6.14: GCL is an implementation of the Common Lisp language. It features the ability to compile to native object code and to load native object code modules directly into its lisp core. It also features a stratified garbage collection strategy, a source-level debugger and a built-in interface to the Tk widget system.
  • gnunet-0.19.2: GNUnet is a framework for secure peer-to-peer networking. The high-level goal is to provide a strong foundation of free software for a global, distributed network that provides security and privacy. GNUnet in that sense aims to replace the current internet protocol stack. Along with an application for secure publication of files, it has grown to include all kinds of basic applications for the foundation of a GNU internet.
  • guile-3.0.9: Guile is the GNU Ubiquitous Intelligent Language for Extensions, the official extension language of the GNU system. It is an implementation of the Scheme language which can be easily embedded in other applications to provide a convenient means of extending the functionality of the application without requiring the source code to be rewritten.
  • health-4.0.5: GNU Health is a free medical software system, including support for electronic medical records (EMR), a hospital information system (HIS), and health information system. It supports both Spanish and English interfaces. It has been adopted by the United Nations University for implementation and training, and several hospitals and health ministries around the world.
  • mit-scheme-12.1: GNU/MIT Scheme is an implementation of the Scheme programming language. It provides an interpreter, a compiler and a debugger. It also features an integrated Emacs-like editor and a large runtime library.
  • mpfr-4.2.0: GNU MPFR is a C library for performing multiple-precision, floating-point computations with correct rounding.
  • nano-7.2: GNU nano is a small and simple text editor for use in a terminal. Besides basic editing, it supports: undo/redo, syntax highlighting, spell checking, justifying, auto-indentation, bracket matching, interactive search-and-replace (with regular expressions), and the editing of multiple files.
  • ncurses-6.4: GNU Ncurses is a library which provides capabilities to write text to a terminal in a terminal-independent manner. It supports pads and color as well as multiple highlights and forms characters. It is typically used to implement user interfaces for command-line applications. The accompanying ncursesw library provides wide character support.
  • parallel-20230122: GNU Parallel is a tool for executing shell jobs in parallel using one or more computers. Jobs can consist of single commands or of scripts and they are executed on lists of files, hosts, users or other items.
  • poke-3.0: GNU poke is an interactive, extensible editor for binary data. Not limited to editing basic entities such as bits and bytes, it provides a full-fledged procedural, interactive programming language designed to describe data structures and to operate on them.
  • taler-v0.9.1: Taler provides a payment system that makes privacy-friendly online transactions fast and easy.
  • texinfo-7.0.2: Texinfo is the official documentation format of the GNU project. It uses a single source file using explicit commands to produce a final document in any of several supported output formats, such as HTML or PDF. This package includes both the tools necessary to produce Info documents from their source and the command-line Info reader. The emphasis of the language is on expressing the content semantically, avoiding physical markup commands.
  • tramp-2.6.0: TRAMP is a GNU Emacs package that allows you to access files on remote machines as though they were local files. This includes editing files, performing version control tasks and modifying directory contents with `dired'. Access is performed via ssh, rsh, rlogin, telnet or other similar methods.

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This month, we welcome back Bruno Haible as co-maintainer of GNU gettext, GNU libunistring, and GNU libiconv, in addition to the other GNU packages he maintains. Many thanks for your work on all of these GNU packages and for taking up their maintenance again, Bruno!

A number of GNU packages, as well as the GNU operating system as a whole, are looking for maintainers and other assistance: please see if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at

If you have a working or partly working program that you'd like to offer to the GNU project as a GNU package, see

As always, please feel free to write to me,, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.