Gnu 40

· 2min · Sohrab Behdani

Today we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the GNU project, launched in September 1983 by the Free Software Foundation to develop a completely free operating system. Led by Richard Stallman, GNU was a pioneering effort to build an operating system respecting users' freedom and focused on collaboration.

The GNU project has been profoundly influential, providing core components like the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), GNU C library (glibc), and Bash shell. When the Linux kernel emerged in 1991, it completed the missing piece of a fully free operating system. The combination of GNU tools and Linux kernel launched the free software movement and demonstrated that a community-developed OS was viable and powerful.

On this anniversary, we remember that software freedom is about more than code - it is a commitment to user empowerment, transparency, and open development. As GNU founder Richard Stallman said, "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'."

The GNU ethos lives on in all who continue building free platforms, tools, and knowledge resources. We are profoundly grateful to GNU and the broader free software movement for showing a better way to develop technology by and for the people. Here's to another 40 years of software freedom!