The Top GNU News Of 2016: Hurd, Libreboot, GCC, GRUB

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 29 December 2016 at 06:30 AM EST. Add A Comment
Continuing in our various annual recaps this week as we end out 2016, here is a look at the most popular GNU/FSF news of the year.

This year saw updates to GNU Hurd, the successful GCC 6 release, the GNU Compiler Collection 7 marching along for its release in a few months, the drama over Libreboot, Glibc updates, and over one hundred new GNU program updates/releases.

Here's a look at the GNU happenings that topped 2016 by popularity on Phoronix:

Libreboot Leaves The GNU, The Free Software Foundation Denounced
It was only in May that Libreboot became an official GNU project but now this free software Coreboot downstream has parted ways.

FSF, RMS Issue Statements Over Libreboot's Accusations
Thursday night we wrote about Libreboot leaving the GNU and denouncing the GNU and FSF with rather harsh words. That thread generated more than 120 comments with differing views while now the Free Software Foundation issued a statement as well as Richard M Stallman.

GCC Might Finally Drop The GNU Compiler For Java (GCJ)
The GNU Compiler for Java (GCJ) while made a lot of progress in its early years as a free software Java compiler, in recent years it's basically been in maintenance mode and might now be removed entirely from GCC.

FSF Issues Fresh Statement Over ZFS On Linux With GPL Enforcement
The Free Software Foundation has issued a fresh statement today concerning the recent ZFS file-system efforts on Linux, driven in large part by Canonical's plans for shipping ZFS support in Ubuntu 16.04.

Developer Warns Of "Uncorrectable Freedom & Security Issues" For x86
A developer long involved in Coreboot/Libreboot development is trying to call attention to "uncorrectable freedom and security issues" on x86 platforms with nearly all post-2009 Intel systems and post-2013 AMD systems.

FSF Issues Statement Against Intel's Management Engine (ME)
The Free Software Foundation is a bit late to the party, but have finally come out publicly against Intel's Management Engine (ME).

GNU Taler 0.0.0 Released: GNU Tries To Get Into Electronic Payments
GNU Taler "v0.0.0" was announced today as the initial alpha release of this project aiming to be a free software electronic payment system but so far just fits alongside some of the other obscure or early-on GNU projects.

GNU Hurd Is Working On Sound Support, Still Lacks 64-bit & Good USB Support
One year ago was a status update on GNU Hurd where it was mentioned that GNU Hurd lacks 64-bit, audio, and USB support among other features for this micro-kernel free software project alternative to the Linux kernel. Sound support for Hurd is now in the works, but other features remain missing.

GCC Compiler Finishes Nuking Java Support (GCJ)
The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is finishing up the removal of Java / GCJ support ahead of next year's GCC 7 release.

There Are Many Features Coming For GRUB 2.02
After writing yesterday about F2FS support being worked on for GRUB2, I decided to explore what features are coming for their GRUB 2.02 release.

GNU Bash 4.4 Released With Wide Variety Of Changes
GNU Bash 4.4 was released today with a wide variety of new features and changes.

Libgcrypt 1.7 Adds New Algorithms, Performance Improvements
Werner Koch announced the release today of libgcrypt 1.7, a major update to this general cryptographic library.

GNU Rates GitHub & SourceForge With "F" Ratings
The Free Software Foundation today announced their evaluations of major code repository-hosting services per the standards of the GNU Ethical Criteria for Code Repositories.

The Free Software Foundation Is Trying To Figure Out Its Future
The Free Software Foundation is more than 30 years old now and in charting a potential new course for the organization, they are looking for your help by filling out a survey.

Gneural Network: GNU Gets Into Programmable Neural Networks
The inaugural release of Gneural Network is now available, a new GNU Project to implement programmable neural networks.

Libgcrypt/GnuPG Hit By Critical Security Problem Since 1998
Werner Koch today publicly announced that Libgcrypt and GnuPG have a "critical security problem" with all versions released prior to today and it affects all platforms.

Recapping The New Features Of GCC 6: OpenMP 4.5, HSA, C++14, AMD Zen & More
As GCC 6 should be officially released soon, here's a quick overview of the improvements and new features for this yearly free software compiler update.

Libreboot, Coreboot Downstream, Becomes A GNU Project
Libreboot, the downstream of Coreboot that doesn't permit any closed-source microcode/firmware blobs as part of the hardware initialization process for this alternative to proprietary BIOS/UEFI, has become an official GNU project.

GNU C Library 2.24 Released
Glibc 2.24 was released today as the newest version of the GNU C Library.

GCC 5.4 Compiler Released, Fixed 147+ Bugs
Version 5.4 of the GNU Compiler Collection is now available.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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