Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

FSF and GNU

Filed under
GNU

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU Project were both started by Richard M. Stallman (RMS), and he served until recently as the head of both. Because of that, the relationship between the FSF and GNU has been fluid.

As part of our commitment to supporting the development and distribution of fully free operating systems, the FSF provides GNU with services like fiscal sponsorship, technical infrastructure, promotion, copyright assignment, and volunteer management.

GNU decision-making has largely been in the hands of GNU leadership. Since RMS resigned as president of the FSF, but not as head of GNU ("Chief GNUisance"), the FSF is now working with GNU leadership on a shared understanding of the relationship for the future. As part of that, we invite comments from free software community members at fsf-and-gnu@fsf.org.

Read more

FSF Is Re-Evaluating Its Relationship With The GNU

  • The FSF Is Re-Evaluating Its Relationship With The GNU

    With RMS resigning as head of the FSF but ultimately is remaining as head of the GNU, the Free Software Foundation is now publicly re-evaluating its relationship with the GNU.

    The FSF and GNU have long had a close relationship with the Free Software Foundation providing for GNU's financial needs, technical infrastructure, copyright assignment, volunteer management, and related duties. With RMS out of the FSF but not GNU, it has complicated this relationship especially with some still calling for RMS to be ousted from the GNU.

Joint statement on the GNU Project

  • Joint statement on the GNU Project

    We, the undersigned GNU maintainers and developers, owe a debt of gratitude to Richard Stallman for his decades of important work in the free software movement. Stallman tirelessly emphasized the importance of computer user freedom and laid the foundation for his vision to become a reality by starting the development of the GNU operating system. For that we are truly grateful.

    Yet, we must also acknowledge that Stallman’s behavior over the years has undermined a core value of the GNU project: the empowerment of all computer users. GNU is not fulfilling its mission when the behavior of its leader alienates a large part of those we want to reach out to.

    We believe that Richard Stallman cannot represent all of GNU. We think it is now time for GNU maintainers to collectively decide about the organization of the project.

By Mark J. Wielaard

And now Bruce Byfield

  • What’s the Future of Free Software?

    Whether you think Richard M. Stallman is a creep who got what he deserved or a great man toppled by petty spite, one thing is certain: free software will never be the same without him. For better or worse, for the first time the movement does not have one man’s vision influencing goals. As a result, an unprecedented opportunity exists for self-evaluation.

    Of course free software in general and the Free Software Foundation in particular may not want to take the opportunity. Yet the suddenness of Stallman’s resignations makes at least one long-neglected issue impossible to ignore: how are the current leaders of free software to be replaced? Or do they need to be replaced at all? After all, much of the work of the FSF is already done by its executive director.

    Free software may not have any choice except change if it is going to survive. The last decade has seen an erosion of FSF authority that, if allowed to last another decade, might very well reduce free software to a private club that is ignored by others. The FSF needs badly to publicize its efforts, to cultivate the relations it had with journalists in the first years of the millennium, and to make common cause where possible — yes, even with those who prefer the term “open source” to “free software.”

Richard Stallman and the GNU project

  • Richard Stallman and the GNU project

    While Richard Stallman has resigned from the Free Software Foundation and MIT, he continues to hold onto his position as the head of the GNU project. Now, the FSF has announced that it is "working with GNU leadership on a shared understanding of the relationship for the future" and is seeking comments from the community on what that should be.

    Meanwhile, a group of maintainers for specific GNU project has posted a joint statement calling for new leadership at GNU. "We believe that Richard Stallman cannot represent all of GNU. We think it is now time for GNU maintainers to collectively decide about the organization of the project. The GNU Project we want to build is one that everyone can trust to defend their freedom."

"18 maintainers want him out as leader"

  • GNU means GNU's Not U: Stallman insists he's still Chief GNUisance while 18 maintainers want him out as leader

    On Monday, a group of maintainers of the GNU Project, the free operating system created by Richard Stallman, questioned Stallman's leadership and emitted a joint statement for rethinking how the project should be managed going forward.

    Late last month, after resigning as president of the Free Foundation in the wake of catastrophically insensitive statements posted to an MIT mailing list, and a social media backlash, Stallman also appeared to resign as the head of the GNU Project.

    A statement saying as much appeared on his personal website. But then it disappeared, leaving speculation that his site had been hacked.

    In an email to The Register, Matt Lee, a free and open-source software developer and one of the 18 signatories of the joint statement, offered support for that theory.

    "Regarding his website being defaced, Stallman's personal site has been hosted by Positive Internet in the UK for a long time and he has many volunteers who update parts of the site daily," Lee said.

[Some] Maintainers Move to Oust Richard Stallman from Leadership

  • GNU Project Maintainers Move to Oust Richard Stallman from Leadership

    The Stallman saga has continued to grow stranger in the aftermath of his resignations, as many were concerned that he would be homeless after his website featured a notice that he was “Seeking Housing,” accompanied by a link leading to his specific requirements for a temporary residence. His personal site was also reportedly vandalized nine days ago with a message that he was stepping down from the GNU.

    The defacement with the false GNU resignation message was reverted shortly thereafter on September 30, and replaced with the header saying he continues to be “Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project” with no intention of stopping soon. Stallman has not yet publicly acknowledged the statement from the GNU maintainers. He has also not yet responded to our request for comment.

thoughts on rms and gnu

  • thoughts on rms and gnu

    Yesterday, a collective of GNU maintainers publicly posted a statement advocating collective decision-making in the GNU project. I would like to expand on what that statement means to me and why I signed on.

    For many years now, I have not considered Richard Stallman (RMS) to be the head of the GNU project. Yes, he created GNU, speaking it into existence via prophetic narrative and via code; yes, he inspired many people, myself included, to make the vision of a GNU system into a reality; and yes, he should be recognized for these things. But accomplishing difficult and important tasks for GNU in the past does not grant RMS perpetual sovereignty over GNU in the future.

Ludovic Courtès (Guix) accusing Stallman of Thoughtcrime

  • Ludovic Courtès (Guix) accusing Stallman of Thoughtcrime

    It is in contradiction to GNU Kind Communication Guidelines: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/kind-communication.html where by it says: "The only political positions that the GNU Project endorses are (1) that users should have control of their own computing (for instance, through free software) and (2) supporting basic human rights in computing."

    My domain gnu.support is not connected or sponsored by FSF, neither it is part of GNU project. It is there to publish my opinions or maybe opinions of other people, I am welcoming opinions on every page of this domain.

    I have asked Ludovic Courtès to state the facts that will prove and evidence their statement "that Stallman’s behavior over the years has undermined a core value of the GNU project: the empowerment of all computer users. GNU is not fulfilling its mission when the behavior of its leader alienates a large part of those we want to reach out to." -- as such statement is baseless, fact-less, pure generalization and rumour.

Mark J. Wielaard's Take on GNU

SJVN at it again

  • GNU Project developers object to Richard M Stallman's continued leadership

    Sergey Matveev, a free-software supporter, wrote on a GNU mailing list that he was shocked about attacks and insults to Stallman -- as shown by some developers asking him to leave the GNU Project.

    Stallman himself appeared to have resigned from the Gnu Project when he resigned from the FSF. But this announcement was deleted. It's suspected his website had been hacked. Stallman, himself, has not said what happened.

RMS: No Radical Changes In GNU Project

  • RMS: No Radical Changes In GNU Project

    With Stallman sticking around as head of the GNU and with that the Free Software Foundation re-evaluating their GNU relationship, Richard Stallman is already saying there will be no major changes to the project he founded.

    RMS yesterday sent out a new message on the matter (though it only cleared the mailing list moderation queue a few minutes ago) on info-gnu. His newest message is simply:

    As Chief GNUisance, I'd like to reassure the community that there won't be any radical changes in the GNU Project's goals, principles and policies.

    I would like to make incremental changes in how some decisions are made, because I won't be here forever and we need to ready others to make GNU Project decisions when I can no longer do so. But these won't lead to unbounded or radical changes.

Stallman: No radical changes in GNU Project

  • Stallman: No radical changes in GNU Project
    As Chief GNUisance, I'd like to reassure the community
    that there won't be any radical changes in the GNU Project's
    goals, principles and policies.
    
    I would like to make incremental changes in how some decisions are
    made, because I won't be here forever and we need to ready others to
    make GNU Project decisions when I can no longer do so.  But these
    won't lead to unbounded or radical changes.
    
    -- 
    Dr Richard Stallman
    Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://gnu.org, https://fsf.org)
    Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

Octave.app Statement on Richard Stallman

  • Octave.app Statement on Richard Stallman

    Octave.app is not itself a GNU effort, but depends heavily on and is involved with the work of the GNU Project, especially GNU Octave itself. As such, we feel the need to speak out about the issue of GNU founder Richard Stallman’s behavior.

    Octave.app’s maintainers believe that the Free and Open Source community should be welcoming to a wide population of users and contributors. We also believe that the ideals of Free and Open Source software can best be supported through inclusion, equality, and respect for diversity. Our community’s leadership needs to support those goals, in both words and actions.

    The Octave.app maintainers are deeply troubled by Stallman’s recent statements trivializing sexual assault, and by his history of other exclusionary or offensive statements and behavior. We join the Software Freedom Conservancy in calling for Stallman to step down from positions of leadership in the Free Software movement. We are glad that he has resigned from the Free Software Foundation, and call for the GNU community to reassess his role as head of the GNU Project, and to find a governance arrangement that better supports the need for an inclusive, welcoming community.

Justice for Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman

  • Justice for Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman

    Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman (born 16 March 1953), often known by his initials rms, and occasionally upper-case RMS, is an American free (libre) software movement activist, hacker and programmer. He campaigns for software to be distributed in a manner such that its users receive the freedoms to use, study, distribute, and modify that software. Software that ensures these four freedoms is termed free software. Stallman launched the GNU Project, founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs, and wrote the GNU General Public License.

    Richard Stallman is currently the object of an Internet defamatory campaign which forced him to resign from his position at MIT and even from the FSF which he founded himself. He has actual flaws, but the campaign is largely motivated by mischaracterizations, disproportionality and intolerance.

How Richard Stallman repealed Dodd-Frank Act

  • How Richard Stallman repealed Dodd-Frank Act

    In a democracy people should have the right to free speech. Stallman only used that. But his idea was wrong. He accepted that and corrected it. By asking his resignation FSF made lot of confusion. They should have to apologize to Stallman and the public for making this unnecessary issues. Lets bring back Stallman to FSF and Gnu.

    Free speech should be projected. (hate speech and lies are not free speech. its violence)

Regarding an Erroneous Allegation in Richard Stallman’s Disgrace

  • Correction: Regarding an Erroneous Allegation in ‘Richard Stallman’s Disgrace’

    As soon as I read this, I was nearly certain my email correspondent had made exactly this mistake, conflating Stallman with Raymond, and that I had passed the error along. I sincerely and deeply regret the error. I should have known Stallman would never have worked with VA Linux (he’d have insisted upon it being named “VA GNU/Linux”, and likely would have had no interest in what was a very commercial enterprise no matter what its name) and also should have remembered that Stallman was never married.

    [...]

    To be clear, my source is a man, and it was he who conflated Raymond (“ESR”) with Stallman (“RMS”). His former colleague at VA Linux, the woman who was propositioned by Raymond, surely remembers it clearly.

    I have updated the original article to remove the anecdote quoted above, and to point to this correction. My source for the anecdote made an honest error — as Shaw suggests conflating two well-known “TLA Old Nerds”. It was my fault and mine alone for publishing it. Again, I regret the mistake, and apologize for it.

Censorship going on

  • Freedom from censorship on mailing lists

    One prominent tool used to construct the fake community is the email discussion list.

    When people join a discussion list, they assume and believe that they are being exposed to a wide range of opinions. Therefore, when some opinions or critical information is hidden, ordinary members of the list are deceived. People have not consented to this deception.

    In 2018, FSFE used these tactics to make it appear that nobody supported elections any more. In 2019, rogue elements of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) staff used the same tactics to undermine their own founder, Richard Stallman. FSF is the organization that explains their use of the word Free using the phrase Free as in speech, not free as in beer. When they don't even allow Free Speech on their own LibrePlanet-discuss mailing list, the organization loses all credibility.

GNU Project maintainers push to remove Richard Stallman from GNU

  • GNU Project maintainers push to remove Richard Stallman from GNU Project

    At first, it was unclear if Stallman was also resigning from the GNU project after his comments were made public. A message on his website said he was resigning from the GNU project, but it was later deleted. He also released a message that stated: “I recently resigned as president of the FSF, but the FSF continues to provide several forms of crucial support for the GNU Project. As head of the GNU Project, I will be working with the FSF on how to structure the GNU Project’s relationship with the FSF in the future.”

    While the group of GNU maintainers and developers do point out that they own Stallman “a debt of gratitude” for his “decades of important work in the free software movement,” they also acknowledge that “Stallman’s behavior over the years has undermined a core value of the GNU project: the empowerment of all computer users.”

No justification for Stallman’s resignation

  • No justification for Stallman’s resignation

    Richard Stallman, the founder of Free Software Movement, resigned. Did he do something wrong? No. He had some wrong beliefs that he openly told to a semi private email list. Thats a good thing. He openly said things. So others get opportunity to correct him. Right? No. It created a land slide. Finally he was forced to resign from the same institution he founded in 1984 to protect software user’s rights. Then his own project members rejected them. I could not find any genuine reason for all these.

    All these happened because he said something about a news article appeared on a news portal. Actually he was analyzing the words used in news article. Ok let it be a bad thing. So you decided it was wrong and asked for his resignation. You have to make a press release about things. Every is fine. I will accept it.

    But this was not happened. In the same email discussion somebody wrote that that person was worried about the mail get leaking to press. That happened. Email reached outside. Online lynch mob began. Facebook events organized for protest against him. There was a smear campaign event in officially started. Lot of media telling all kinds of lies about Stallman. Then Stallman’s comment came that he was forced to resign from FSF president position.

    This is wrong. I cannot accept it. But FSF did that. By accepting the resignation what FSF tell the world that they approves all smear campaign and lies spread in the society. In another words you can say that FSF secretly conspired with others for these smear campaign to fire Stallman. That usually happen in power structures.

LWN Reproduced

Audio on this topic

  • Linux Action News 127

    Richard Stallman's GNU leadership is challenged by an influential group of maintainers, SUSE drops OpenStack "for the customer," and Google claims Stadia will be faster than a gaming PC.

    Plus OpenLibra aims to save us from Facebook but already has a miss, lousy news for Telegram, and enormous changes for AMP.

Use and throw culture based on lies...

  • Use and throw culture based on lies can’t be coming from Free Software philosophy

    Similar thing happened to Stallman. Actually in an ironic way. This community is created by Stallman only. By 1980s beginning software sharing community was ceased to exist. Then 1983 Stallman himself gave birth to a new community with all legal protection. Because before there were no legal framework for sharing software. Stallman used copyleft idea and GPL to create such a community. There were no help and there were no support. Last 35 years he worked for that.

    Now some new bosses think that he dont look good. He is boring, repeating same thing all these 35 years. Lets get rid off him. You idiots, actually this is his house. You people piggybacked there.

    Still you can have a say if Stallman did anything wrong about free software. But there is nothing he did wrong. Still again I may support you if you with some guts initiate a trial against him on your own behalf. But you did nothing. Instead what you a shameless creature did? Hiding bind an upset woman reacting to smear campaign and lies. This is unacceptable and unethical.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

10 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 19.10

For the record, we’ve written a list of ‘things to do after installing Ubuntu’ for the past 20 Ubuntu releases. That’s two lists a year, every year, for a decade — and each list is specifically tailored to each version of Ubuntu. Our rundown for Ubuntu 19.10? Well, it’s no exception! As always: we never suggest you do anything that would damage or harm your install. So for tips on how to butcher Eoan with beta software, unstable drivers, and deep-level config meddling, you’ll need to look elsewhere! Otherwise read on for plenty of useful pointers and pertinent advice on how to get the most from your spangly new Linux system. Let’s go! Read more

today's leftovers

  • Google Ejects Open-Source WireGuard From Android Play Store Over Donation Link In App

    Apparently Google doesn't appreciate donation links/buttons within programs found on the Google Play Store even when it's one of the main sources of revenue for open-source programs. WireGuard has been reportedly dropped over this according to WireGuard lead developer Jason Donenfeld. After waiting days for Google to review the latest version of their secure VPN tunnel application, it was approved and then removed and delisted -- including older versions of WireGuard. The reversal comes on the basis of violating their "payments policy". Of course, Google would much prefer payments be routed through them so they can take their cut...

  • [Older] Sourcehut makes BSD software better

    Every day, Sourcehut runs continuous integration for FreeBSD and OpenBSD for dozens of projects, and believe it or not, some of them don’t even use Sourcehut for distribution! Improving the BSD software ecosystem is important to us, and as such our platform is designed to embrace the environment around it, rather than building a new walled garden. This makes it easy for existing software projects to plug into our CI infastructure, and many BSD projects take advantage of this to improve their software.

    Some of this software is foundational stuff, and their improvements trickle down to the entire BSD ecosystem. Let’s highlight a few great projects that take advantage of our BSD offerings.

  • Security updates for Thursday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (sudo), Debian (libsdl1.2 and libsdl2), Mageia (e2fsprogs, kernel, libpcap and tcpdump, nmap, and sudo), openSUSE (GraphicsMagick and sudo), Oracle (java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, jss, and kernel), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk and java-11-openjdk), Scientific Linux (jss), SUSE (gcc7 and libreoffice), and Ubuntu (leading to a double-free, libsdl1.2, and tiff).

  • Grasp Docker networking basics with these commands and tips

    Docker communicates over network addresses and ports. Within Docker hosts, this occurs with host or bridge networking. With host networking, the Docker host sends all communications via named pipes. This method, however, can pose a security risk, as all traffic flows across the same set of containers with no segregation. The other approach from Docker, bridge networking, provides an internal network that connects to the external one. Use the docker network ls command to see a list of available networks. This command should return results that look similar to the output in Figure 1.

OSS: Events, WordPress and Licensing

  • Director Digital Business Solutions to kick off ApacheCon Europe in Berlin

    The European Commission, a long-time user of open source software, is strengthening its relationship with the Apache Foundation. At the Hackathon in May, the Commission brought together more than 30 developers involved in six different Apache projects. Attendees came from Croatia, Ireland, Poland and Romania, and even from Russia and the United States. At the meeting, many developers met in person for the first time. The hackathon helped the project members build connections and strengthen bonds.

  • FOSSCOMM 2019 aftermath

    FOSSCOMM (Free and Open Source Software Communities Meeting) is a Greek conference aiming at free-software and open-source enthusiasts, developers, and communities. This year was held at Lamia from October 11 to October 13. It is a tradition for me to attend to this conference. Usually I have presentations and of course booths to inform the attendees about the projects I represent. This year the structure of the conference was kind of different. Usually the conference starts on Friday with "beer event". Now it started with registration and a presentation. Personally I made my plan to leave from Thessaloniki by bus. It took me about 4 hours on the road. So when I arrived, I went to my hotel and then waited for Pantelis to go to the University and setup our booths.

  • Automattic Announces Mark Davies as Chief Financial Officer

    Automattic Inc., the parent company of WordPress.com, WooCommerce, and Tumblr, among other products, has announced that Mark Davies has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer. Davies comes to Automattic from Vivint, a $1B+ annual revenue smart home technology company, where he served as chief financial officer since 2013. The news follows Automattic's recent $300 million Series D investment round from Salesforce Ventures, and its acquisition in September of the social blogging platform Tumblr.

  • Empowering Generations of Digital Natives

    Technology is changing faster each year. Digital literacy can vary between ages but there are lots of ways different generations can work together and empower each as digital citizens. No matter whether you’re a parent or caregiver, teacher or mentor, it’s hard to know the best way to teach younger generations the skills needed to be an excellent digital citizen. If you’re not confident about your own tech skills, you may wonder how you can help younger generations become savvy digital citizens. But using technology responsibly is about more than just technical skills. By collaborating across generations, you can also strengthen all your family members’ skills, and offer a shared understanding of what the internet can provide and how to use it to help your neighborhoods and wider society.

  • How to Verify Smart Contracts on Etherscan

    You have your smart contract written, tested, and deployed. However, customers aren’t willing to do business with you unless they know the contract’s source code. After all, it could be set up in a way that’s not in their interest. Thankfully, Etherscan offers a neat tool that allows you to verify smart contracts so interested parties can see the source code and verify for themselves that everything is as it should be. While the process is simple, there are intricacies that might cause problems, especially to people not very familiar with Ethereum and the Solidity programming language.

  • Ethical Open Source: Is the world ready?

    Given its incredible popularity in the marketplace, there is no question that many software developers (and their respective companies) today see great value in using software that is subject to open source licenses. Users focus on the advantages to be had by gaining access, usually at no or minimal charge, to the software’s source code and to the thriving open source community supporting such projects. Powered by a worldwide community supporting the code base, open source code is generally perceived to be more reliable, robust and flexible than so-called proprietary software, with increased transparency leading to better code stability, faster bug fixes, and more frequent updates and enhancements. Historically the question of ethics and open source software (OSS) has mainly focussed on the goal of obtaining and guaranteeing certain “software freedoms,” namely the freedom to use, study, share and modify the software (as exemplified by the Free Software Definition and copyleft licenses such as the GPL family), and to ensure that derivative works were distributed under the same license terms to end “predatory vendor lock-in.”