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GNU is a recursive acronym for GNU is not Unix.

It reffered to a project that Richard Stallman brought into being in 1983, to develop a complete and freely available operating system.

The GNU projekt developed e.g.

  • Compiler
  • System software (e.g. ls, cp, ...)
  • Emacs
  • ...

This GNU system builds together with Linux in nearly all distributions the operating system.