Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often referred to by his early RMS and sometimes RMS is an American free software activist and programmer. It undertakes that the software will be distributed in such a way that its users have the freedom to use, study, distribute, and modify this software. Software that guarantees these freedoms is called free software. Stallman started the GNU Project, created the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU and GNU MACS compiler collection, and wrote the GNU General Public License.
Stallman announced plans for the GNU operating system on several ARPANET and USENET mailing lists in September 1983. He started the project himself and described: “As an operating system developer I had the right skills for the job. Although I could not succeed, I realized that I had been selected for this position. I chose the system to be compatible with Unix. It should be designed to be portable and Unix users can easily switch to it. '
In 1985, Stellman published the GNU Manifesto to describe his inspiration for creating a free operating system called GNU that would be compatible with Unix. The name GNU is a recurring abbreviation for 'GNU's Not Unix'. Soon after, he created a non-profit organization called the Free Software Foundation to employ free software programmers and provide a legal framework for the free software movement. Stallman is an unemployed president of the FSF, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit based in Massachusetts. Stallman popularized the concept of copyleft, a legal mechanism to protect the rights to change and redistribute free software. It was first implemented in the GNU MACS General Public License, and in 1989 the first GNU Program Independent General Public License (GPL) was released. By then, most of the GNU system was finished.
Stallman was responsible for providing several essential tools, including a text editor (Emacs), a compiler (GCC), a debugger (GNU debugger), and a car maker (GNU make). The notable omission was a fall. In 1990, members of the GNU Project began using Carnegie Mellon's Mach microkernel in a project called GNU Herd, which has not yet reached the level of maturity required for full POSIX compliance.
In 1991, Finnish student Linus Torvalds used GNU development tools to create free monolithic Linux kernels. Existing GNU Project programs can easily be ported to the resulting platform. Most sources use the name Linux to denote a normally powered operating system, while Stellman and FSF call it GNU / Linux. This has been a long-standing controversy in the free software community. Stollman argues that not using GNU on behalf of the operating system unfairly reduces the value of the GNU Project and weakens the stability of the free software movement by breaking the link between software and free software.