GNU Development Resources

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This page describes the development services available for GNU developers on GNU Project machines. If you would like to make use of one of these services for development of a GNU package, please contact the address listed for the particular service. For full details of the privileges and responsibilities of GNU maintainers, please see the Information for GNU Maintainers document. (The GNU Coding Standards may also be of interest.)

With the abundance of inexpensive computers that can run GNU/Linux, as well as the greater availability of Internet access, many GNU volunteers today have all the computer facilities they need. However, there are still advantages to having central computers where GNU volunteers can work together without having to make their own machines accessible to others.

For that reason, the Free Software Foundation encourages GNU software projects to use the machines at as a home base. Using these machines also benefits the GNU Project indirectly, by increasing public awareness of GNU, and spreading the idea of working together for the benefit of everyone.

CVS and Savannah

We provide remote CVS access for many GNU packages; if you are developing a GNU package and would like to keep the repository on the machines, Savannah offers an easy way to create and manage it. First create yourself an account and then register your GNU package. Within a few hours the CVS repository will be created. You will be able to write into it and manage the list of people who have write access to it by yourself.

A number of projects are already using Savannah for this purpose.

Login Accounts

We give out login access to GNU machines to people who need them for work on GNU software. Having a login account is both a privilege and a responsibility, and they should be used only for your work on GNU. Please read access methods for GNU machines in order to obtain an account.

Mailing Lists

We operate mailing lists for GNU software packages as needed, including both hand-managed lists and automatically managed lists.

When a GNU package is registered on Savannah, a web interface allows developers to create and manage mailing lists dedicated to this package.

If, for some reason, registering the GNU package on Savannah is not possible or desirable, ask to create lists for you, or create them yourself if you're sure you know how.

In general, each GNU software package ought to have a bug-reporting list with the canonical name, plus whatever other aliases may be useful. Some packages share the list but we now encourage packages to set up their own individual lists.

Packages can have other lists for announcements, for asking for help, for posting related source code, for discussion among users, or whatever the package maintainer thinks is useful.

Mailing list archives for automatically-managed lists are available at, as well as through the list manager. Archives for hand-maintained lists are generally kept in /com/archive on the GNU machines.

When a mailing list becomes large enough to justify it, we can set up a gnu.* newsgroup with a two-way link to the mailing list.

Web Server

Our master web server is located at, and has mirrors around the world. We would like to host pages on this server about each and every GNU software package.

The machine which serves the web pages is separate from the rest of the GNU machines. The web pages are stored in a CVS repository on Every GNU package maintainer registered on Savannah is granted write access to the /software/package directory. For an example on how to access it, check the CVS page of the GNU mifluz package.


We can also provide an FTP site for any GNU software package on, which is mirrored worldwide.

We use a different server for test releases, so that people won't install them thinking they are ready for prime time. This server is

The Information for GNU Maintainers document has complete details on the FTP upload process.

Return to GNU's home page.

Please send FSF & GNU inquiries & questions to There are also other ways to contact the FSF.

Please send comments on these web pages to, send other questions to

Copyright (C) 2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Updated: $Date: 2004/12/31 17:03:09 $ $Author: pbrunier $