Skip to content, sitemap or skip to search.

Personal tools
Join now
You are here: Home Blogs Licensing Licensing resource series: Free GNU/Linux distributions & GNU Bucks

Licensing resource series: Free GNU/Linux distributions & GNU Bucks

by Donald Robertson Contributions Published on Sep 29, 2016 02:56 PM
This is the latest installment in the Free Software Foundation's Licensing & Compliance Lab's series highlighting licensing resources.
A GNU buck

When Richard Stallman set out to create the GNU Project, the goal was to create a fully free operating system. Over 33 years later, it is now possible for users to have a computer that runs only free software. But even if all the software is available, putting it all together yourself, or finding a distribution that comes with only free software, would be quite the task. That is why we provide a list of Free GNU/Linux distributions.

Each distro on the list is commited to only distributing free software. With many to choose from, you can find a distro that meets your needs while respecting your freedom.

But with so much software making up an entire operating system, how is it possible to make sure that nothing nasty sneaks into the distro? That's where you, and GNU Bucks come in.

Our GNU Bucks program is a fun bounty program for finding licensing issues in endorsed distros. Helpful users and volunteers can file bugs with the distro if they happen to find some potentially non-free software. At the same time, they can email the FSF at Once the maintainer of the distro verifies the issue, the reporter can receive a GNU Buck, signed by Richard Stallman.

Like many of our resources, we depend on users like you to keep our endorsed distributions list and GNU Bucks program up and running. Here's how you can help:

Enjoy this article? Check out our previous entry on the h-node hardware directory.

Document Actions

The FSF is a charity with a worldwide mission to advance software freedom — learn about our history and work. is powered by:


Send your feedback on our translations and new translations of pages to