Because the GNU kernel, Hurd, is not production-ready , GNU is usually used with the Linux kernel. Arch Linux is such a GNU/Linux distribution, using GNU software like the Bash shell, the GNU coreutils, the GNU toolchain and numerous other utilities and libraries. This page does not attempt to list all of the nearly 400 GNU packages and only highlights some.

From Wikipedia:

GNU is an operating system and an extensive collection of computer software. GNU is composed wholly of free software, most of which is licensed under the GNU Project's own General Public License (GPL). GNU is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix!".


GNU software is documented using the Texinfo typesetting syntax. You can view Info documents using the info program, provided by the texinfo package.

While most GNU software also provides man pages, the Info documents tend to be more comprehensive. To view an Info document, simply enter:

$ info page_name

Base system

  • GRUB GRUB is the bootloader from the GNU project. || grub
  • Bash It is an sh-compatible shell that incorporates useful features from the Korn shell (ksh) and C shell (csh). || bash
  • Coreutils Coreutils provides the basic file, shell and text manipulation utilities of the GNU operating system. || coreutils
  • gzip gzip is both a file format and a software application for compression and decompression. || gzip
  • tar It provides the ability to create or decompress tar archives, as well as various other kinds of manipulation. || tar


Most tools of the GNU toolchain are in the group, except glibc (required by ) and GDB.

  • glibc GNU's implementation of the C library. || glibc (required by base)
  • GNU Binutils A set of programs to assemble and manipulate binary and object files. Includes ld. || binutils

Build system

From Wikipedia:

The GNU Build System, also known as the Autotools, is a suite of programming tools designed to assist in making source code packages portable to many Unix-like systems.

Other software

Many other optional GNU tools are available in the official repositories:

  • GTK A widget toolkit. || gtk2, gtk3, gtk4 || parted
  • GNU Stow Manage installation of multiple softwares in the same directory tree. || stow
  • LilyPond A music engraving program. || lilypond || aspell

See also

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