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What 30 Years of GNU Means to You

Thirty years ago today Richard Stallman announced his plans to build GNU in a post to the net.unix-wizards mailing list. What followed was the birth of the free software movement, the founding of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU public license (GPL) -- now used by the Linux operating system. His words continue to inspire software developers to this day:

"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 agreement," Stallman wrote in his original email from Sept. 27, 1983 (see the full text at

To celebrate this important milestone for the GNU project and free software, we asked the Linux community on Twitter to tell us what GNU means to them. Here are some of their answers. For more information on GNU and the many celebratory activities going on around the world this weekend visit




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  • devned Said:

    i think Richard want to tell him only one ..."freedom (with no celebrating user information for commersial or non commersial points)" the software is like picture, music ot other product someone ask price for this other just share it but not that mean have Richard ... thanks Richard for open our eyes.

  • MightyMoo Said:

    It means if I like a certain program or game, I don't have to see it die off as things change. It can be picked up and carried to the new platform without some company locking it up never to be seen again.

  • Sum Yung Gai Said:

    Thirty years of GNU means that I can use a computer in freedom. Yep, that freedom stuff does matter to me. Used to work at Microsoft back in the day, so I've seen the other side. Ken "Helios" Starks gets it, and that's why he's doing what he's doing with Reglue. --SYG

  • faco Said:

    GPL means General Public License not GNU Public License.

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