Browse Definitions:
Definition

GNU project

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

GNU

The GNU project is a mass collaborative initiative for the development of free software. Richard Stallman founded the project in 1978 at MIT.

The original purpose of the GNU project was the creation of a free operating system. Free, in a software context, does not necessarily mean free of cost. The freedom referred to is the ability of anyone who wishes to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. The GNU General Public License, often shortened to GNU GPL (or simply GPL), lists terms and conditions for copying, modifying and distributing free software.

Richard Stallman announced the GNU Linux project in 1983 and cofounded the Free Software Foundation in 1985. The GNU Linux project was started to create a Unix-like operating system created with source code that could be copied, modified, and redistributed.  Those stipulations are an implementation of Stallman’s copyleft concept, a derivative of copyright law that serves "the opposite of its usual purpose: instead of a means of privatizing software, it becomes a means of keeping software free." Hence the slogan, “Copyleft: All rights reversed.”

According to the GNU Linux project, the Linux operating system's kernel is Linux but all other elements of the system are GNU.  According to the project,  neither OS exists independently and, as such Linux would more appropriately be called GNU Linux.

GNU stands for GNU's not Unix, often said to be the first recursive acronym (an acronym in which one of the letters stands for the acronym itself).

This was last updated in December 2015 ???publishDate.suggestedBy???

Continue Reading About GNU project

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchCloudProvider

  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.

SearchSecurity

  • cyberextortion

    Cyberextortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack coupled with a demand for money or some other response in ...

  • Cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

  • National Security Agency (NSA)

    The National Security Agency is the official U.S. cryptologic organization of the United States Intelligence Community under the ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Practice Fusion

    Practice Fusion Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that developed a free electronic health record (EHR) system available to ...

  • RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator)

    An RHIA, or registered health information administrator, is a certified professional who oversees the creation and use of patient...

  • 21st Century Cures Act

    The 21st Century Cures Act is a wide-ranging healthcare bill that funds medical research and development, medical device ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

    Random Access Memory (RAM) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • floating gate transistor (FGT)

    A floating gate transistor (FGT) is a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology capable of holding an electrical ...

  • bad block

    A bad block is an area of storage media that is no longer reliable for storing and retrieving data because it has been physically...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close