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From Wikipedia:

GNU is an operating system and an extensive collection of computer software. GNU is composed wholly of free software, most of which is licensed under the GNU Project's own General Public License (GPL). GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix!".

Because the GNU kernel, Hurd, is not production-ready [1], GNU is usually used with the Linux kernel. Arch Linux is such a GNU/Linux distribution, using GNU software like the Bash shell, the GNU coreutils, the GNU toolchain and numerous other utilities and libraries. This page does not attempt to list all of the nearly 400 GNU packages and only highlights some.


GNU software is documented using the Texinfo typesetting syntax. You can view Info documents using the info program, provided by the texinfo package.

While most GNU software also provides man pages, the Info documents tend to be more comprehensive. To view an Info document, simply enter:

$ info page_name

Base system

  • Bash — It is an sh-compatible shell that incorporates useful features from the Korn shell (ksh) and C shell (csh). || bash
  • Coreutils — Coreutils provides the basic file, shell and text manipulation utilities of the GNU operating system. || coreutils
  • GRUB — GRUB is the bootloader from the GNU project. || grub
  • gzip — gzip is both a file format and a software application for compression and decompression. || gzip
  • tar — It provides the ability to create or decompress tar archives, as well as various other kinds of manipulation. || tar


Most tools of the GNU toolchain are dependencies of the base-devel package, except glibc (required by base) and GDB.

  • Binutils — A set of programs to assemble and manipulate binary and object files. Includes ld. || binutils
  • Bison — The GNU general-purpose parser generator. || bison
  • GCC — The GNU Compiler Collection - C and C++ frontends. || gcc
  • GDB — The GNU Debugger. || gdb
  • glibc — GNU's implementation of the C library. || glibc (required by base)
  • m4 — The GNU macro processor. || m4
  • make — GNU make utility to maintain groups of programs. || make

Build system

From Wikipedia:

The GNU Build System, also known as the Autotools, is a suite of programming tools designed to assist in making source code packages portable to many Unix-like systems.
  • Autoconf — Tool for automatically configuring source code. || autoconf
  • Automake — Tool for automatically creating Makefiles. || automake
  • Libtool — A generic library support script. || libtool

Other software

Many other optional GNU tools are available in the official repositories: || aspell
  • bc — An arbitrary precision calculator language. || bc || ddrescue
  • Emacs — An extensible, customizable, self-documenting text editor. || emacs, emacs-nativecomp, emacs-nox
  • FreeFont — A free family of scalable outline fonts. || gnu-free-fonts
  • GIMP — An image editor. || gimp || gnucash || gnumeric
  • GnuPG — An OpenPGP implementation. || gnupg
  • Indent — C language source code formatting program. || indent
  • Jami — Peer-to-peer communication solution. || jami-qt, jami-daemon || lilypond
  • Mailman — A mailing list manager. || mailman3 || mc
  • nano — A command-line text editor. || nano
  • Ocrad — OCR program based on a feature extraction method. || ocrad
  • Octave — A scientific programming language. || octave
  • Parted — A partition manager. || parted
  • plotutils — Set of utilities and libraries for plotting. || plotutils
  • Readline — A line-editing library for command-line interfaces. || readline
  • Screen — A terminal multiplexer. || screen
  • Stow — Manage installation of multiple softwares in the same directory tree. || stow
  • Units — Converts between different units. || unitsAUR
  • Wget — Network utility to retrieve files from the web. || wget
  • Zile — A lightweight clone of emacs. || zileAUR

See also