GNU At 40 Celebrations
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 15 September 2023

The GNU System is about to turn 40 and to mark the occasion the Free Software Foundation has organized two events.  There's a family hackday in Boston, USA taking place on October 1st and a hacker meeting in Biel, Switzerland, taking place on September 27th when it is planned to have 40 release announcements, discussions or presentations in one day!

GNU 40Switz


Many of today's hackers may never heard of GNU, or may only have a sketchy idea of what it is are why it is so important. GNU stands for Gnu's Not Unix and the recursive acronym is typical of its quirky humor and it isn't an exaggeration to say that we have the GNU project to thank for free Open Source Software.

Although I Programmer tends to talk about "Linux", the Free Software Foundation constantly reminds us that we should call it "Gnu Linux" and it was on September 27, 1983 that Richard Stallman first announced the Gnu Project to write a complete Unix-compatible software system and give it away free to everyone who can use it. 


GNU Party


The GNU40 event in Boston is targeted at families as well as hackers. Taking place during the afternoon at the FSF headquarters. Activities for young children such as face painting take place alongside Programming for kids for the 7-13 age group. This hour-long session is intended to get the next generation started with coding using the Music Blocks visual programming, introducing them to:

some inspirational projects that combine computation and music in a beautiful, authentic way. 

Other sessions taking place at the same time, for new and experienced hackers, are:

  • How to flash GNU Boot onto a X200 laptop
  • Exploring free software: Bash, Emacs, and more! 
  • Hack for GNU - for which you are invited to bring your own projects


Taking place on the actual anniversary of Richard Stallman's original announcement, the hacker meeting in Switzerland will feature presentations about hacking and about various GNU packages. The event opens at 09:00 and closes at 22:00 and Stallman himself will give the keynote at 14:00. Other speakers include Free Software Award winner Sébastien Blin of GNU Jami, the president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, Matthias Kirschner, and several GNU webmasters.

Visit for the preliminary schedule and details of how to find the venue and arrange free accommodation.


GNU 40th logo



More Information


GNU40 - Celebration in the US

GNU - Celebrating 40 years 

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GNU Manifesto Published Thirty Years Ago


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Last Updated ( Friday, 15 September 2023 )