GNU at 40

GNU project turned 40 years old few days ago.

GNU turns 40: Stallman’s baby still not ready for prime time, but hey, there’s cake
It turned the software industry upside down regardless

Happy birthday to GNU. On September 27, there will be events in both the US and Switzerland to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the GNU Project.

That day in 1983, the eternally controversial Richard Stallman announced his project to create a new operating system, recursively named GNU’s Not Unix. This year, the Free Software Foundation is celebrating this as the project’s anniversary

This is notable. GNU has had lots of influence on software industry. GNU has been a huge world changing success or a failure depending how you look at it.

It is arguable that in the sort of narrow, specific sense that Stallman himself tends to favor, the GNU Project failed. There isn’t a complete, working GNU OS.

The GNU kernel, named Hurd, is still incomplete and not ready for daily use, even after all this time. It was a very ambitious design, a true microkernel. Very few projects have managed to get that to work well. The state of the art has arguably moved on from the Mach microkernel that Hurd uses.

To be more fair and balanced, though, the GNU Project has been a massive success which has changed the shape of the entire computer industry. On one, low level, there are multiple GNU OSes based around the Linux kernel

Then some sad news I saw first at

Richard Stallman reveals he has cancer in the GNU 40 Hacker Meeting talk It’s disheartening to hear the news. I sincerely hope for his speedy recovery and wish him all the best. He is a crucial figure in the current era of SaaS and cloud computing, especially with the abundance of unreliable AI generators controlled by big tech. It’s a tough situation. #gnu #freesoftware #opensource

Also noted on other news sources:

Free software pioneer Richard Stallman is battling cancer

Project’s 40th anniversary celebration in Switzerland on Wednesday a very changed figure.

Richard Stallman is Battling Cancer

To celebrate the GNU Project’s 40th anniversary, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) is organizing a hackday on Oct. 1 (GNU 40) for families, students, and anyone else in the US.

Looking at the keynote, Richard Stallman does not look the same without his iconic beard and long hair. Considering he is already undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer, that explains it.

Richard Stallman personal page is at


  1. Brittney Pittman says:

    A look back at 40 Years of GNU and the Free Software Foundation ยท The freedom to run the program as you wish for any purpose.


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