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List of GNU packages

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Title: List of GNU packages  
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List of GNU packages

This list of GNU packages lists notable software packages developed for or maintained by the Free Software Foundation as part of the GNU Project. GNU is a Unix-like computer operating system composed entirely of free software. Many of these software packages are used together with the Linux kernel to build complete computer operating systems.


  • What it means to be a GNU package 1
  • Base system 2
    • Notes 2.1
  • Software development 3
    • GNU toolchain 3.1
    • Other libraries and frameworks 3.2
    • Other compilers and interpreters 3.3
    • Other developer tools 3.4
  • User applications 4
    • Graphical desktop 4.1
    • General system administration 4.2
    • Database 4.3
    • Scientific software 4.4
    • Internet 4.5
    • Office 4.6
    • Multimedia 4.7
    • Games 4.8
    • Business applications 4.9
    • Fonts 4.10
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

What it means to be a GNU package

Summarising the situation in 2013, Richard Stallman identified nine aspects which generally apply to being a GNU package,[1] but he noted that exceptions and flexibility are possible when there are good reasons:[2]

  1. The package should say that it is a GNU package.
  2. It should be distributed via, or another site offering access to everyone.
  3. The package's homepage should be on the GNU website.
  4. The developers must pay attention to making their software work well with other GNU packages.
  5. Documentation should be in Texinfo format, or in a format easily convertible to Texinfo.
  6. Should use GNU Guile for its extension language, but exceptions are explicitly possible in this regard.
  7. Should not recommend any non-free program, nor refer the user to any non-free documentation or non-free software.
  8. Use GNU terminology, such as GNU/Linux for the operating system and "free software" rather than "open source".
  9. The maintainer should be contactable, at least infrequently, to discuss problems in the software or fixing compatibility issues.

Base system

There is no official "base system" of the GNU operating system. GNU was designed to be a replacement for Unix operating systems of the 1980s and used the POSIX standards as a guide, but either definition would give a much larger "base system". The following list is instead a small set of GNU packages which seem closer to being "core" packages than being in any of the further down sections. Inclusions (such as plotutils) and exclusions (such as the C standard library) are of course debatable.

Name Description Provides Version [Note 1]
bash GNU's UNIX compatible shell bash 4.2 (February 13, 2011 (2011-02-13)) [3]
coreutils base commands fileutils: chgrp, chown, chmod, cp, dd, df, dir, du, ln, ls, mkdir, mkfifo, mknod, mv, rm, etc.

textutils: cat, cksum, head, tail, md5sum, nl, od, pr, tsort, join, wc, tac, paste, etc.
shellutils: basename, chroot, date, dirname, echo, env, groups, hostname, nice, nohup, printf, sleep, etc.

8.24 (July 3, 2015 (2015-07-03)) [4]
cpio archiving program cpio 2.11 (March 10, 2010 (2010-03-10)) [5]
diffutils contains utilities to compare files diff, cmp, diff3, sdiff 3.2 (September 2, 2011)
findutils contains search utilities find, locate, xargs 4.4.2, (June 6, 2009)
finger user information n/a 1.37, (October 28, 1992)
grep search for strings in files grep 2.10, (November 16, 2011)
groff document processing system (groff) groff 1.22.2 (February 7, 2013 (2013-02-07)[6])
GRUB GRand Unified Bootloader grub 2.00 (GRUB2) (June 27, 2012 (2012-06-27))
gzip compression program (gzip) gzip §1.6 (9 June 2013 (2013-06-09)) [7]
hurd [Note 2] microkernel-based set of servers that perform the same function as a UNIX kernel n/a 0.5, (September 27, 2013)
inetutils useful utils for networking ftp, telnet, rsh, rlogin, tftp 1.9, (December 31, 2011)
linux-libre kernel that is maintained from modified versions of the Linux kernel to remove any software that does not include its source code, has its source code obfuscated or released under proprietary licenses n/a 3.12.6, (December 20, 2013)
plotutils useful utils for plotting to different devices graph, libplot, libplotter 2.6, (September 27, 2009)
readline useful library for reading command lines readline 6.2 (February 14, 2011 (2011-02-14)) [8]
screen a terminal multiplexer screen 4.3.0 (June 13, 2015 (2015-06-13))
sysutils[Note 3] system utilities to manage users, groups, passwords, shells add-shell, chage, chfn, chgroup, chgrpmem, chpasswd, chsh, chuser, cppw, expiry, gpasswd, grpck, gshadow, hwclock, isosize, last, lastlog, login, lsage, lsgroup, lsuser, mkgroup, mkuser, nologin, passwd, pwck, remove-shell, rmgroup, rmuser, setpwnam, vipw, wall, write 0.1.6[9] (2009)
tar archiver able to create and handle file archives in various formats tar various (there are various tar implementations) (various)
texinfo documentation system for producing online and printed manuals n/a 6.0 (June 26, 2015 (2015-06-26)[6])
time program to determine the duration of execution of a particular command time 1.7, (July 11, 1996)


  1. ^ Stable versions. Note that some distros (e.g., Gentoo) use some development versions in case the stable versions are a bit old.
  2. ^ Note that because HURD is under active development, there is no stable version. Hurd is distributed through version control systems.
  3. ^ No stable version yet. Current version is alpha and is not suitable for use in production systems.

Software development

The software listed below is generally useful to software developers and other computer programmers.

GNU toolchain

Other libraries and frameworks

The following libraries and software frameworks are often used in combination with the basic toolchain tools above to build software. (For libraries specifically designed to implement GUI desktops, see Graphical desktop.)

Other compilers and interpreters

The following packages provide compilers and interpreters for programming languages beyond those included in the GNU Compiler Collection.

Other developer tools

User applications

The software listed below is generally useful to users not specifically engaged in software development.

Graphical desktop

The following packages provide GUI desktop environments, window managers, and associated graphics libraries.

  • GIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program, a bitmap image editor (similar to Photoshop)
  • GTK+ – GIMP Toolkit, containing the GTK+, GDK, and GLib set of libraries (used by the GIMP and GNOME)
  • GNOME – GNU Network Object Model Environment, the official GNU desktop platform
  • GNUstep – implementation of the Cocoa/OpenStep libraries and development tools for graphical applications
  • Window Maker – window manager for the GNUstep environment

General system administration

  • GNU Accounting Utils – set of utilities providing statistics on users and processes (last, ac, accton, lastcomm, sa, dump-utmp, dump-acct)
  • GNU Ddrescue – data recovery tool
  • GNU Emacs – implementation of Emacs editor
  • GNU fcrypt – on-the-fly encryption
  • GNU Guix – package manager and distribution of the GNU System
  • GNU libextractor – metadata extraction library and tool
  • GNU Midnight Commander[10]text-based Orthodox file manager & FTP client
  • GNU nano – text editor
  • GNU parallel – shell tool for executing jobs in parallel
  • GNU Parted – hard drive partitioning program
  • GNU Privacy GuardPGP encryption replacement
  • GNU Stow – managing the installation of software packages
  • pexec – shell tool for executing jobs in parallel


  • GnowSys – kernel for semantic computing (a distributed agent oriented knowledge base.)
  • GNU dbm (GDBM)
  • GNU Ferret – Free Entity Relationship and Reverse Engineering Tool, an SQL database designer

Scientific software


A user page at a GNU MediaGoblin 0.2.0–based website



  • 3DLDF – graphics package for producing three-dimensional technical drawings (especially for inclusion in TeX documents)
  • Dia – vector graphics program for creating diagrams
  • Gnash – player and browser plugin for the Adobe Flash file format
  • GNU LibreDWG – library for reading and writing .dwg files (used in CAD applications)
  • GNU LilyPond – music typesetting application
  • Gnu Maverik – Virtual Reality microkernel
  • Gnu Panorama – 3D framework, ray tracing


Business applications

  • GNU Health – free health and hospital information system
  • GNUmed – medical practice management software
  • GnuCash – financial accounting application
  • GNU remotecontrol[15] – a web application for managing building automation devices


See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Ramey, Chet (2011-02-16). "Bash-4.2 available for FTP". info-gnu (Mailing list). Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  4. ^ Brady, Pádraig (2015-07-03). "[coreutils-announce] coreutils-8.24 released [stable]". coreutils-announce (Mailing list). Retrieved 2015-07-07. 
  5. ^ Poznyakoff, Sergey (2010-03-10). "cpio-2.11 released [stable]". info-gnu (Mailing list). Retrieved 2010-03-21. 
  6. ^ a b Lemberg, Werner (2013-02-07). "groff 1.22.2 has been released" (Mailing list). info-gnu. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  7. ^ Meyering, Jim (2013-06-09). "gzip-1.6 released [stable]". Retrieved 2012-06-09. 
  8. ^ Ramey, Chet (2011-02-14). "Readline-6.2 available for FTP". info-gnu (Mailing list). Retrieved 2011-05-20. 
  9. ^ subversion repository NEWS file of sysutils retrieved 2013-07-23
  10. ^
  11. ^ "GNU LibreJS". The  
  12. ^ "GNU Software". Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  13. ^ "GNU Taler - Taxable Anonymous Libre Electronic Reserve". Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  14. ^ Marston, Tim (2013-06-07). "GNU Typist 2.9.3 released" (Mailing list). info-gnu. Retrieved 2013-06-09. 
  15. ^ "GNU remotecontrol".  
  16. ^ "GNU FreeFont". 

External links

  • FSF Free Software Directory – All GNU Packages
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