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El proyecto GNU fué lanzado en 1984 para desarollar el sistema operativo GNU, un completo sistema operativo tipo Unix el cual es software libre y respeta su libertad.
Los sistemas operativos tipo Unix son construidos con una colección de aplicaciones, librerías y herramientas para el desarrollador más un programa que permite asignar recursos y hablar con el hardware, conocido como el kernel. [...]
The combination of GNU and Linux is the GNU/Linux operating system, now used by millions and sometimes incorrectly called simply “Linux”.
The name “GNU” is a recursive acronym for “GNU's Not Unix!”

Since Arch Linux is a GNU/Linux based distribution, many of its basic tools are from the GNU Project. This article will give a brief description of the core components, as well as some other useful applications.

The Base System

At the end of the installation process, an Arch system is nothing more than the Linux Kernel, the GNU toolchain, and a few other useful command line tools. The minimal install normally contains the entire base group.


While Hurd, the GNU Kernel, is under active development, there is not yet a stable version. For this reason Arch and most other GNU based systems use the Linux Kernel. The Arch Hurd Project aims to port Arch Linux to the Hurd kernel.

Software Collection

bootloader: GRUB is the standard bootloader for Arch Linux, which is now maintained by GNU.

C library: glibc is "the library which defines the `system calls' and other basic facilities such as open, malloc, printf, exit..."[1]

binary utilities: binutils provides the "collection of programming tools for the manipulation of object code in various object file formats"[2].

shell: Bash, another GNU based application[3], is the default shell.

core utilities: The coreutils package contains "the basic file, shell and text manipulation utilities"[4].

compression: gzip and Tar handle many packages for GNU/Linux systems. For example, those from the Arch User Repository come as Gzipped tarballs.

Development Tools

Though not necessary, users have the option of installing the base-devel group for some software development tools. This group is a requirement for building packages from the Arch User Repository.

Among base-devel are several members of the GNU toolchain, a "suite of tools used in a serial manner [...] for developing applications and operating systems". The key components of this toolchain are:

compilation and build: make

compiler collection: gcc

linker, assembler and other tools: binutils

parser generator: bison

macro processor: m4

GNU Build System (autotools):

automatically configure source code: autoconf
automatically create Makefiles: automake
library support script: libtool

Other Tools

Many other optional GNU tools are available in the official repositories:

widget toolkit: GTK+

desktop environment: GNOME

flash player: gnash

spreadsheet: Gnumeric

image editor: GIMP

full-screen window manager: GNU Screen


For a list of all current GNU projects, see All GNU Packages