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'Free Unix!': The world-changing proclamation made 30 years ago today

PCWorld - It was 30 years ago today that the seeds were planted for both Linux and the open-source software movement, though neither is called that name by the man who help set both of them into motion, the irascible Richard Stallman.

On that day, Stallman, then working at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, posted on the net.unix-wizards and net.usoft newsgroups about an ambitious new project he was embarking on.

”Free Unix!” began the missive.

”Starting this Thanksgiving I am going to write a complete Unix-compatible software system called GNU (for Gnu’s Not Unix), and give it away free to everyone who can use it. Contributions of time, money, programs and equipment are greatly needed,” he wrote.

Little did he know how many contributions this project would get in the decades to follow.