2 Replies - 254 Views - Last Post: 30 June 2015 - 10:42 PM

#1 CrypticGalaxy  Icon User is offline

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What is GNU?

Posted 30 June 2015 - 05:33 PM

A quick google search didn't give me much; it's an operating system based upon free software? This doesn't make much sense for me, could someone please explain?

And what is Mingw? I've heard that come up in multiple programming tutorials, but never is an explanation given.
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Replies To: What is GNU?

#2 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is GNU?

Posted 30 June 2015 - 07:34 PM

GNU stand's for "GNU's Not Unix" - it was Richard Stallman's project to rebuild Unix on entirely open-source foundations. If you are familiar with Linux, that operating system was essentially founded on the GNU project, with Linus Torvalds adding only the kernel. (Stallman suggests, and I think he's right, that fairness would dictate calling it the GNU/Linux operating system)

I'm finding it hard to believe you haven't been able to find any useful sources of information on this. If you want a pretty biased view, everything Stallman has written is available for free, and it gives you a good idea of how he feels about the whole business. See the Free Software Foundation shop to buy in dead-tree flavor or to find links to bitwise form.
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#3 ndc85430  Icon User is offline

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Re: What is GNU?

Posted 30 June 2015 - 10:42 PM

MinGW is "minimalist GNU for Windows". It's a subset of the GNU programs that give you a development environment for Windows. For example, it comes with the GNU Compiler Collection, which includes compilers for C, C++, Fortran and other languages. MinGW is therefore one option you have for, say, a C compiler on Windows.
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