This is the Web Site that Started my wonderful journey into all things Linux. The first Free and Open Source Operating System that I tried out was Blag Linux 5 and it is still one of my all time favorites:) I moved on to the base of Blag Fedora after 2 years. But only because there was some problems with the Blag updates at the time. I'm now Running Fedora 14, ArtistX on two of my machined. I ran Debian Etch for 2 years and will soon install Debian 6 on one of my Systems too. They are all great Operating Systems. I've been running them as my Main Operating Systems for over 5 years now. Just try a few of them out and see which ones fit you the best. Distrowatch.com is a great Site to find out what is going on with Linux Distributions and help you find the one for you.
You'll love having complete control of your own Computer!:)
If you're looking for a whole system to install, see our list of GNU/Linux distributions which are entirely free software.
To look for individual free software packages, both GNU and non-GNU, please see the Free Software Directory: a categorized, searchable database of free software. The Directory is actively maintained by the Free Software Foundation and includes links to program home pages where available, as well as entries for all GNU packages. Another list of all GNU packages is below. Free software documentation links are listed separately.
We also maintain a list of high-priority free software projects. Please help with these projects if you can. For other ways to contribute to GNU, including taking over unmaintained GNU packages and helping with development, see the GNU help wanted page.
If you are developing a GNU package, or you are thinking of starting, you may be interested in GNU Software Developer Resources. If you'd like to make your software an official GNU package, see the evaluation information and submission form. For information on the licenses used for GNU software, and on other free software licenses, see our Licenses page.
Finally, here is a short list of free software for Microsoft Windows, for the Windows user who would like to try free software.
How to get GNU software
GNU software is available by several different methods:
- Download it from the web or via FTP: we provide source code for all GNU software, free of charge. (Please also make a donation to the FSF, if you can, to help us write more free software.)
- Get a copy from a friend. (Likewise please make a donation if you can.)
- Download a wholly free GNU/Linux distribution.
- Buy a computer with a wholly free GNU/Linux system preinstalled from one of the companies that offers this.
- Get the development sources for a package and build them, to help with development. Many GNU packages keep their development sources at the GNU hosting site savannah.gnu.org. Some packages use other source repositories, or have none at all. Each package's web pages should give the specifics.
Free GNU/Linux distributions
The FSF is not responsible for the content of other web sites, or how up-to-date their content is.
Following are the GNU/Linux distributions we know of which have a firm policy commitment to only include and only propose free software. They reject non-free applications, non-free programming platforms, non-free drivers, or non-free firmware “blobs”. If by mistake they do include any, they remove it. To learn more about what makes for a free GNU/Linux distribution, see our Guidelines for Free System Distributions.
We list companies that sell hardware preinstalled with a free GNU/Linux distribution separately.
If you know of a distribution that may qualify but isn't listed here, please ask the distribution's maintainers if they want to follow these free software principles. If they do, and they would like their distribution to be listed here, they should write to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
If you're wondering why a certain popular distribution isn't listed here, you may want to check our page explaining why we don't endorse some common distributions. There, we've listed the reasons why several well-known distributions don't meet our guidelines.
Some distributions are making efforts to move toward a completely free system. We thank them for their ongoing work to achieve that goal, and hope to list them here some day.
All of the distributions that follow are installable to a computer's hard drive and most can be run live. They are listed in alphabetical order.
The Free Software Foundation is the principal organizational sponsor of the GNU Operating System. Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote the freedom to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer software, and to defend the rights of Free Software users.