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What is the full form of GNU?

Full form of GNU: Here, we are going to learn about the GNU, full form of GNU, history and objective, components, advantages and GNU license.
Submitted by Anushree Goswami, on November 26, 2019


GNU is an abbreviation of GNU's Not UNIX. It is a computer operating system the same as UNIX, but different from UNIX, it is free software that carries no UNIX code. Guh-noo is the pronunciation of GNU. Occasionally, it is also stated as the GNU General Public License. It is used on the basis of GNU Hurd kernel and for all its users it is planned to create and share free software.

GNU full form

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Manifesto

It is initially developed by Etienne SuvasaI. Its logo is a large dark antelope with a long head which is a gnu head. Afterward, Aurelio Heckert developed a clear and intrepid version of this logo. The logo came into sight in GNU software, GNU project and in the stuff of free software foundation.

History and Objective

In 1983, it began as a project by Richard Stallman and on January 5, 1984, its development was started. The prime purpose of GNU was to give free software to the users. It is called as UNIX like computer system because of its sameness in design to UNIX, but it carries no UNIX code. It is accessible in multiple languages.

Components of GNU

  • GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)
  • GNU C Library (glibc)
  • GNU Core Utilities (coreutils)
  • GNU Debugger (GDB)
  • GNU Binary Utilities (binutils)
  • GNU Bash shell
  • Gnome desktop environment etc


  • Simple to install: Like another modern operating system, Modern GNU distributions are very simple and easier to install.
  • Interoperability: Linux dealers do not try to force a user to use their software. GNU systems work smoothly and continuously with other operating systems like macOS, Windows, and Unix systems.
  • GNU is standards-based: Every single part of the GNU system is used based on open computing standards.
  • Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs): GNU distributions provide a user with an option of desktop GUIs. Two GUIs which are in-demand are GNOME and KDE, which are as simple and easy to use as Windows or other GUI operating systems.

GNU License

The license of GNU is called as GNU General Public License which was written by Richard Stallman for the design and development of required software. The purpose of GNU is to guarantee users a privilege to share and change free software without any restriction. At present, almost all the GNU software use this license and also a lot of free software which are not part of the GNU project uses this license.


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