In its 30 years of existence, the GNU project has developed hundreds of software programs. Everything from system kernels to shells to desktop environments. They've created almost everything necessary to assemble a complete operating system: boot loaders, dozens of libraries (including the granddaddy of them all GLIBC), and scads of basic system tools and utilities. They've written language compilers and interpreters, as well as many other development tools of the highest quality. GNU currently has about 400 actively maintained quality software packages. You can get them from the GNU Project's pages and other related websites. Here are three good sources:
- The GNU Project's software page: The offical source of GNU programs/packages, with over 400 listed.
- The Free Software Foundation's directory of GNU packages: Another good source with about the same number, most of them are also available at the above location.
- Savannah, the Free Software forge's list of official GNU software: It Currently has 434 packages listed as "official GNU software." Again, there's a lot of redundancy with the above sources.
One of the many things misunderstood, or forgotten, about GNU is that the project has also produced a number of high quality graphical desktop applications. Here's a quick look at five of them:
Emacs: Known as the 800 pound gorilla of text editors, but it is so much more. It's developers have extended Emacs to the point, that it probably is best considered an Integrated Development Environment, or IDE. It's website says:
GNU Emacs is an extensible, customizable text editor—and more. At its core is an interpreter for Emacs Lisp, a dialect of the Lisp programming language with extensions to support text editing.
But that's not all, it goes on to describe dozens of features of the program, including: content-sensitive editing modes, complete documentation -- builtin, and full Unicode support.
Gnumeric: The GNU System's spreadsheet is also an official application of the GNOME desktop environment. It has all standard spreadsheet functionality, and, while it does not attempt to imitate any other spreadsheet application it does have support for many other spreadsheet's formats including Microsoft Excel's. It's also available for many systems: GNU, other Unices, MS Windows, and others.
GnuCash: Its website says it best:
GnuCash is personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.
Designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible, GnuCash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. As quick and intuitive to use as a checkbook register, it is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.
GIMP: The GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP is GNU's answer to Adobe Photoshop. It has much of the functionality of Photoshop, including photo enhancement and digital retouching with the added benefits of being Free Software and being available for almost any platform, including: GNU, MS Windows, and Mac OS X (to name a few). It's interface is customizable and it has support for many file formats.
SpaceChart: SpaceChart is a star map. It's a GNU application that lets you fly to the stars, well not quite, but it does let you see them, in glorious 3D and rotate them to view from any angle. It also allows you to see how they are distributed in space, to learn the distances of various stars, as well as many other functions. It's also a GNOME app that runs on GNU, FreeBSD, and Solaris.
This is just a sampling of the many wonderful apps GNU has produced over the years. To learn more, visit the repositories listed above.