Free Software Foundation

From LinuxReviews
Jump to navigationJump to search
Free Software Foundation
MottoFree Software, Free Society
FormationOctober 4, 1985; 36 years ago (1985-10-04)[1]
TypeAmerican 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Legal status501(c)(3)
HeadquartersBoston, Massachusetts, USA
Region served
Geoffrey Knauth
Slightly more than one million USD/year

The Free Software Foundation is an American organization founded by Honorary Doctor Richard Stallman on October 4th 1985 for the purpose of supporting and promoting free software. The organization provides legal and structural aid to the free software movement, it runs campaigns promoting free software and free software related issues and it publishes a series of widely used free software licenses such as the GNU General Public License.

Richard Stallman was president until he was squeezed out and forced to resign in October 2019.

The Free software foundation holds the copyright to many core parts of the GNU operating system such as GNU C Library (glibc) and the GNU Compiler Collection (gcc).

Current Organization


  • Geoffrey Knauth


  • Alexandre Oliva, Red Hat Brasil.
  • Gerald J. Sussman, Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT.
  • Henry Poole
  • Kat Walsh, American lawyer.
  • Odile Bénassy, long-time French free software activist.


The entirety of the current Free Software Foundation staff consists of:

  • John Sullivan, Executive Director, Clerk
  • Andrew Engelbrecht, Senior Systems Administrator
  • Craig Topham, Copyright & Licensing Associate
  • Dana Morgenstein, Outreach & Communications Coordinator
  • Donald Robertson, Licensing and Compliance Manager
  • Greg Farough, Campaigns Manager
  • Ian Kelling, Senior Systems Administrator
  • Jeanne Rasata, Membership Coordinator
  • John Hsieh, Deputy Director
  • Matt Lavallee, Operations Assistant
  • Michael McMahon, Web Developer
  • Ruben Rodriguez, Chief Technology Officer
  • Zoë Kooyman, Program Manager

There are, additionally, a number of unpaid and unemployed volunteers working for the FSF.


The Free Software Foundation certifies hardware that is free from proprietary firmware and other non-free software as with a "Respects Your Freedom" certification. Hardware certified so far include motherboards like the Talos II Mainboard and Talos II Lite, re-branded Wi-Fi cards, USB audio cards and a limited amount of other hardware.

Current Campaigns

The free software foundation has many long-running area-specific freedom-promoting campaigns including:


Rare old stallman holding sign.jpg
Richard Stallman holding a sign promoting free software.

The FSF was founded by Honorary Doctor Richard Stallman on October 4th, 1985. He remained president until October 2019. Geoffrey Knauth was elected new permanent president of the FSF in October 2020.

Latest FSF-Related News Stories

  • Trying to Understand the Lynching of Stallman: for an Uncompromising Defense of Free/Libre Software
    Some people taking part in the mob lynching RMS for sure hate his guts. Because he is “weird” and they think he is “creepy”, because he doesn't obey to any of the social conventions of our times, because he isn’t considerate towards them, etc. anti-conformists, anarchists and neuro-divergent people often face this kind of hate. Some take part because they want to get the social credit of being on the side of “justice”.
  • You know what? I support RMS. Hate me if you will
    "I have decided I won’t keep lying to myself, nor I will cancel myself because of people whose respect I will probably lose after writing this. Remember I said I supported him but thought he should resign? Guess what? It was bullshit, I was lying to myself and to everyone."
  • FSF India Board Statement On RMS Re-joining The FSF Board
    The Free Software Foundation of India has released a statement in support of Richard Stallman and his return to the FSF's board. They call the recent attempts at vilifying Richard Stallman "dangerous".


  1. Corporations Division Entity Summary for ID Number: 042888848. Secretary of Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved on 2020-08-10.
  2. Staff of the Free Software Foundation. Retrieved on 5 October 2019.

Add your comment
LinuxReviews welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.