Gnu 30th anniversary
On the occasion of 30th anniversary, original email by Richard M Stallman is reproduced here, which announced the GNU system.
Richard M Stallman
Subject: new Unix implementation
Date: Tue, 27-Sep-83 12:35:59 EST
Organization: MIT AI Lab, Cambridge, MA
Starting this Thanksgiving I am going to write a complete
Unix-compatible software system called GNU (for Gnu's Not Unix), and
give it away free(1) to everyone who can use it.
Contributions of time, money, programs and equipment are greatly
To begin with, GNU will be a kernel plus all the utilities needed to
write and run C programs: editor, shell, C compiler, linker,
assembler, and a few other things. After this we will add a text
formatter, a YACC, an Empire game, a spreadsheet, and hundreds of
other things. We hope to supply, eventually, everything useful that
normally comes with a Unix system, and anything else useful, including
on-line and hardcopy documentation.
GNU will be able to run Unix programs, but will not be identical
to Unix. We will make all improvements that are convenient, based
on our experience with other operating systems. In particular,
we plan to have longer filenames, file version numbers, a crashproof
file system, filename completion perhaps, terminal-independent
display support, and eventually a Lisp-based window system through
which several Lisp programs and ordinary Unix programs can share a screen.
Both C and Lisp will be available as system programming languages.
We will have network software based on MIT's chaosnet protocol,
far superior to UUCP. We may also have something compatible
Who Am I?
I am Richard Stallman, inventor of the original much-imitated EMACS
editor, now at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT. I have worked
extensively on compilers, editors, debuggers, command interpreters, the
Incompatible Timesharing System and the Lisp Machine operating system.
I pioneered terminal-independent display support in ITS. In addition I
have implemented one crashproof file system and two window systems for
Why I Must Write GNU
I consider that the golden rule requires that if I like a program I
must share it with other people who like it. I cannot in good
conscience sign a nondisclosure agreement or a software license
So that I can continue to use computers without violating my principles,
I have decided to put together a sufficient body of free software so that
I will be able to get along without any software that is not free.
How You Can Contribute
I am asking computer manufacturers for donations of machines and money.
I'm asking individuals for donations of programs and work.
One computer manufacturer has already offered to provide a machine. But
we could use more. One consequence you can expect if you donate
machines is that GNU will run on them at an early date. The machine had
better be able to operate in a residential area, and not require
sophisticated cooling or power.
Individual programmers can contribute by writing a compatible duplicate
of some Unix utility and giving it to me. For most projects, such
part-time distributed work would be very hard to coordinate; the
independently-written parts would not work together. But for the
particular task of replacing Unix, this problem is absent. Most
interface specifications are fixed by Unix compatibility. If each
contribution works with the rest of Unix, it will probably work
with the rest of GNU.
If I get donations of money, I may be able to hire a few people full or
part time. The salary won't be high, but I'm looking for people for
whom knowing they are helping humanity is as important as money. I view
this as a way of enabling dedicated people to devote their full energies to
working on GNU by sparing them the need to make a living in another way.
For more information, contact me.
166 Prospect St
Cambridge, MA 02139
I got this image from Twitter. Found interesting so thought will share it 🙂
The Gnu Ocean
Yeah I know it is a bit late, it was 20th birthday of Slackware on this 18th. Got to know about this while reading through linxquestions.org.
Slackware was the first Linux distribution that I installed in my old desktop and since then I am in deeply love with it. I learned a lot by using it, which was always thrilling.
This was Patrick Volkerding’s post about first release of Slackware :
From: bf703@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Patrick J. Volkerding)
Subject: Want an SLS like .99pl11A system?
Date: 11 Jul 1993 17:53:15 GMT
Organization: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (USA)
Reply-To: bf703@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Patrick J. Volkerding)
Well, that's good, because I put one together. It does not yet have
XFree-86 1.3, but give me about 2 days and it will. This is not like
the MCC release, rather, it is a big system, even more bloated than
Currently it has all of the same features as SLS 1.02, with these
1. The newest FAQ
2. Simplified installation procedure.
3. Kernel level .99 pl 11 Alpha.
4. libs and includes at 4.4.1, (without the limits.h problem)
5. GCC at 2.4.3 (may be 2.4.5 soon)
6. Net-2 TCP/IP preconfigured for loopback.
7. Public domain ksh and tcsh 6.04.
8. command line JPEG utilities.
On the X side, XV 3.00 has been added.
Now here's the deal: there are 13 disks in the 'A' series (same as SLS
A, B, and C) and 10 in the X series. I don't have any way to offer this
system publicly. If I tried to put it up on our 3b2 it would kill it.
This system has been used among my associates here since we put the
first one together back at pl8. Our original goal was just to debug the
SLS releases, but those have been slowing down and we happened to get a
jump on things.
I'd like to hear from you if this package sounds appealing. If demand is
not too strong, I may test releasing it on the 3b2 here.
If you have an archive site for it, LET ME KNOW! I'll set you up with a
copy of it to put up for FTP.Take care,--
Thank you Patrick for the wonderful Slackware.