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Trisquel GNU/Linux is an example of a Linux distribution endorsed by the FSF as a "fully free" system

GNU variants is a term used by the Free Software Foundation to refer to operating systems which use GNU C Library, with application software and system libraries (in other words, the core userland) from GNU. According to the FSF these include Linux distributions and BSD distributions.[1][2]


Hurd variantsEdit

Screenshot of Debian GNU/Hurd

Debian GNU/Hurd was discussed for a release as technology preview with Debian 7.0 Wheezy, however these plans were discarded due to the immature state of the system.[3] However the maintainers of Debian GNU/Hurd decided to publish an unofficial release on the release date of Debian 7.0. Debian GNU/Hurd is not considered yet to provide the performance and stability expected from a production system. Among the open issues are incomplete implementation of Java and graphical user interfaces and limited hardware driver support.[4] About two thirds of the Debian packages have been ported to Hurd.[5]

Arch Hurd is a derivative work of Arch Linux, porting it to the GNU Hurd system with packages optimised for the Intel P6 architecture. Their goal is to provide an Arch-like user environment (BSD-style init scripts, Pacman package manager, rolling releases, and a simple set up) on the GNU Hurd which is stable enough for at least occasional use. Currently it provides a LiveCD for evaluation purposes and installations guides for LiveCD and conventional installation.

Linux variantsEdit

The term GNU/Linux is used by the FSF and its supporters to refer to an operating system where the Linux kernel is distributed with a GNU system software (userland and GNU C Library). Such distributions are the primary installed base of GNU packages and programs and also of Linux. The most notable official use of this term for a distribution is Debian GNU/Linux.

BSD variantsEdit

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is an operating system for IA-32 and x86-64 computer architectures. It is a distribution of GNU with Debian package management and the kernel of FreeBSD. The k in kFreeBSD is an abbreviation for kernel of,[6] and reflects the fact that only the kernel of the complete FreeBSD operating system is used. The operating system was officially released with Debian Squeeze (6.0) on February 6, 2011.[7] One Debian GNU/kFreeBSD live CD is Ging, which is no longer maintained.[8]

Debian GNU/NetBSD was an experimental port of GNU user-land applications to NetBSD kernel. No official release of this operating system was made; although work was conducted on ports for the IA-32[9] and DEC Alpha[10] architectures, it has not seen active maintenance since 2002 and is no longer available for download.[11]

OpenSolaris (Illumos) variantsEdit

Nexenta OS is the first distribution that combines the GNU userland (with the exception of libc; OpenSolaris' libc is used) and Debian's packaging and organisation with the OpenSolaris kernel. Nexenta OS is available for IA-32 and x86-64 based systems. Nexenta Systems, Inc initiated the project and sponsors its continued development.[12] (Nexenta OS is not GNU variant, due use OpenSolaris libc and multiple Illumos Distributions use GNU userland as default)[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Stallman, Richard (2007-06-19). "Linux and the GNU Project". About the GNU Project. Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 2007-07-22. 
  2. ^ The Debian Project (2007-07-11). "What is Debian?". About Debian. Retrieved 2007-07-22. 
  3. ^ List of potential release architektures for Debian Wheezy
  4. ^ GNU Hurd news
  5. ^ Debian Wiki: Debian GNU/Hurd
  6. ^ "Debian GNU/kFreeBSD FAQ". 
  7. ^ "Debian 6.0 Squeeze released". 
  8. ^ "The Ging FAQ". 
  9. ^ "Debian GNU/NetBSD". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  10. ^ "Debian GNU/NetBSD for Alpha". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  11. ^ "Debian GNU/*BSD News". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  12. ^ Nexenta Systems, Inc. (2007-06-20). "Unix Portal:Nexenta OS - Nexenta OpenSolaris". Sponsors & Support. Archived from the original on 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-07-22. This work is initiated and sponsored by Nexenta Systems, Inc. Technical support is available from a variety of sources, including Community and Web Forums. 
  13. ^ Illumos Foundation. "Distributions". Distributions. Default Userland 

External linksEdit