Computer hackers and users from across the world will celebrate GNU's anniversary with special events. These include a specially convened GNU Hackers Meeting in Biel, Switzerland and a hackday for hackers of any skill level at the FSF's headquarters in Boston, MA.
On September 27, 1983, a computer scientist named Richard Stallman announced the plan to develop a free software Unix-like operating system called GNU, for "GNU's not Unix." GNU is the only operating system developed specifically for the sake of users' freedom, and has remained true to its founding ideals for forty years. Since 1983, the GNU Project has provided a full, ethical replacement for proprietary operating systems.
When describing GNU's history and the background behind its initial announcement, Stallman (often known simply as "RMS") stated, "with a free operating system, we could again have a community of cooperating hackers -- and invite anyone to join. And anyone would be able to use a computer without starting out by conspiring to deprive his or her friends."
"When we look back at the history of the free software movement -- or the idea that users should be in control of their own computing -- it starts with GNU," said Zoë Kooyman, executive director of the FSF, which sponsors GNU's development. "The GNU System isn't just the most widely used operating system that is based on free software. GNU is also at the core of a philosophy that has guided the free software movement for forty years."