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- The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop the GNU operating system, a complete Unix-like operating system which is free software—software which respects your freedom.
- Unix-like operating systems are built from a software collection of applications, libraries, and developer tools—plus a program to allocate resources and talk to the hardware, known as a 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) uses the Linux Kernel. The Arch Hurd Project aims to port Arch Linux to the Hurd kernel.
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 AUR.
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: Template:Package Official
compiler collection: Template:Package Official
linker, assembler and other tools: Template:Package Official
parser generator: Template:Package Official
macro processor: Template:Package Official
GNU Build System (autotools):
- automatically configure source code: Template:Package Official
- automatically create Makefiles: Template:Package Official
- library support script: Template:Package Official
Many other optional GNU tools are available in the repositories:
widget toolkit: GTK+
image editor: GIMP
full-screen window manager: GNU Screen
For a list of all current GNU packages, see All GNU Packages