Richard Stallman's Personal Site

Political Articles | Political Notes | Travel Experiences | Travel Photos
Fiction | Books | Sayings | Personal Ad | Humor | Non-Political Articles
RMS personal FAQ | Scientific Links | Airlines | Serious Bio | Humorous Bio
Comics | Photos and Drawings of Me | Lifelong Activist | Speaking Schedule
Empire of the Megacorporations | There Ought to Be a Law | Links | Archive | Thanks

Site search: advanced

Send comments/questions about the search engine to: rms at gnu dot org

Amazon | Apple | Facebook | Skype

RSS site feed for the most recent political notes and news items.

This is the personal web site of Richard Stallman.
The views expressed here are my personal views, not those of the Free Software Foundation or the GNU Project.

Support the US Green Party

Human rights, environment, health, people not plutocrats.

Support the Citizens Climate Lobby

The largest part of the site is the political notes, and they are typically updated every day.

I'm looking for someone to write site-specific scripts to post comments on certain web sites. The scripts should interact with the servers by wget or something like it. Please email rms at the gnu site if you want to volunteer.

I am making a list of the photos people like best, among those I have taken and posted here. Please look in the Photos directory and email rms at gnu period org with the URLs of your favorites. Please give the path to the full size image and not the web page the image resides in. No more than three photos per person please.

Civil Liberties Minute: This directory exists to make Civil Liberties Minute available in Ogg format. The files are published automatically on behalf Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, not me. I am proud to be an ACLU member, but I don't necessarily agree with the any particular point in these recordings. just announced it would put up a paywall. Please look through the past political notes for links to and try to find replacement links. Send any links you find to rms at gnu period org.

The Independent also has a paywall, so links to are probably broken now. If you can find the updated URLs at The Independent for links in the Political Notes, please send them to rms at gnu period org. has a paywall, but it makes an exception for incoming links (their so-called "social-media exception"). Due to this, it is okay to link to articles on

My policy for links is that you should be able to follow the link and see the article without identifying yourself. I don't reject a site for asking general questions, such as your zip code, because I think it is legitimate for you to give false answers. I don't reject a site on account of other bad practices, such as sending nonfree Javascript code to your browser, but you might want to customize your browser to protect yourself. The LibreJS program will do parts of the job.

[America Means Civil Liberties / Patriotism Means Protecting 
             Them / ]
graphic by Susan Henson
Americans, you may wish to copy this icon to your own page, as a way of showing what patriotism means to you.

Urgent action items

Recording of Guantanamero

Listen to the recording of Guantanamero, a protest song written in Spanish. The recording is in Ogg Vorbis format. To install an Ogg Vorbis player, see the FSF's Ogg Players page.

There Ought to Be a Law

Mimi and Eunice

The Mimi and Eunice book by Nina Paley is great.


Here are some quotations that I particularly like.

Most recent Political Notes and News Items

(RSS Feed)

See the current pol-notes page for more.

(You may need to scroll down for more text if there is blank space in this column.)

[More Cartoons]

Not f'd. You won't find us on Facebook

Copy this button (courtesy of R.Siddharth) to express your rejection of Facebook.

Vote for Benjamin Kallos for New York City Council

Support the Green Party

Don't do business with Apple

Don't do business with Amazon

Don't use Skype


The Olympics


Non-oppressive Commercial Ebooks

Don't use Facebook

Facebook's face recognition demonstrates a threat to everyone's privacy. I therefore ask people not to put photos of me on Facebook; you can do likewise.

Of course, Facebook is bad for many other reasons as well.

Boycott Harry Potter Books, Movies, etc.

See harry-potter.html.

Internet Music EULAS

"Free Trade" Treaties

No national identity cards

I'd like to make a list of countries that do not require a national identity card, and have no plans to adopt one. If you live in or have confirmed knowledge of such a country, please send email to rms at

Here's my list of countries with no national ID cards and no plans for one: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, the Philippines. Australia's previous government tried to institute national ID cards, but the Labor government dropped the plan.

India is now trying to institute national ID cards. Support the campaign against them.

Austria doesn't require people to have a national ID card, but requires people to notify the police of where they are staying even for 3 days.

Switzerland has national ID cards which are optional, but they or some other government ID card are needed for some purposes.

Denmark and Iceland don't have ID cards as such, but they have ID numbers that citizens are forced to use frequently. For example, in Iceland the national ID number is often required to rent a video or use a gym.

Wikipedia has a list of identity card policies by country.


Stay away from certain countries because of their bad immigration policies.

Flight connections

Avoid flight connections in these airports because of their treatment of passengers.

The Lifelong Activist

People often ask how I manage to continue devoting myself to progressive activism (such as the free software movement) for years without burning out. The best way I can answer is by recommending a book, The Lifelong Activist by Hillary Rettig.

I disagree with the book on one theoretical point in the last part of the book: we shouldn't think of political activism as being marketing and sales, because those terms refer to business, and politics is something much more important than mere business. However, this doesn't diminish the value of the book's practical advice about borrowing techniques from marketing and sales.

Disclosure: I am friends with the author.

Long-term action items

Political Articles

These are my political articles that are not related to the GNU operating system or free software. For GNU-related articles, see the GNU philosophy directory. You can also order copies of my book, 'Free Software, Free Society, 2nd edition', signed or not signed.

Political notes

"Those who profess to favor freedom, yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

Here are notes about various issues I care about, usually with links to more information. The first file is the current one; go there to see the latest notes.

[ Current (2013 March - June) | 2012 November - February | 2012 July - October | 2012 March - June | 2011 November - February | 2011 July - October 2011 March - June | 2010 November - February | 2010 July - October | 2010 March - June | 2009 November - February 2009 July - October | 2009 March - June | 2008 November - February | 2008 July - October | 2008 March - June | 2007 November - February | 2007 July - October | 2007 March - June | 2006 November - February | 2006 July - October | 2006 March - June | 2005 November - February | 2005 July - October | 2005 March - June | 2004 November - February | 2004 July - October | 2004 March - June | 2004 January - April | 2003 November - February | 2003 September - December | 2003 May - August | 2003 January - April | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 ]

Political notes about the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, Italy are being archived on their own page

Travel experiences

Speaking Schedule

Photos about my travels

Scientific Links

A Serious Bio

Richard Matthew Stallman is a software developer and software freedom activist. Born in 1953, he attended Harvard starting in 1970 and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts in physics. From September 1974 to June 1975 he was a graduate student in physics at MIT.

He worked at the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT from 1971 to 1984, learning operating system development by doing it, except for the year he was a graduate student. He wrote the first extensible Emacs text editor there in 1976, and developed the AI technique of dependency-directed backtracking, also known as truth maintenance.

In 1983 Stallman announced the project to develop the GNU operating system, a Unix-like operating system meant to be entirely free software, and has been the project's leader ever since. With that announcement he also launched the Free Software Movement.

Stallman began working on this project on January 5, 1984, resigning from MIT employment in order to do so. In October 1985 he started the Free Software Foundation, of which he is president as a full-time volunteer.

The GNU/Linux system, which is a variant of GNU that also uses the kernel Linux developed by Linus Torvalds, are used in tens or hundreds of millions of computers, and are now preinstalled in computers available in retail stores. However, the distributors of these systems often disregard the ideas of freedom which make free software important, and even include nonfree software in those systems.

That is why, since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time in political advocacy for free software, and spreading the ethical ideas of the movement, as well as campaigning against both software patents and dangerous extension of copyright laws. Before that, Stallman developed a number of widely used software components of the GNU system, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU symbolic debugger (gdb), GNU Emacs, and various other programs for the GNU operating system.

Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, and is the main author of the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license, which implements copyleft.

Stallman gives speeches frequently about free software and related topics. Common speech titles include "The GNU Operating System and the Free Software movement", "The Dangers of Software Patents", and "Copyright and Community in the Age of the Computer Networks". A fourth common topic consists of explaining the changes in version 3 of the GNU General Public License, which was released in June 2007. Another topic is "A Free Digital Society", which treats several different threats to the freedom of computer users today.

In 1999, Stallman called for development of a free on-line encyclopedia through the means of inviting the public to contribute articles.

Free Software, Free Society is Stallman's book of essays. Free as in Freedom provides further biographical information.

He has received the following awards:

Richard Stallman's 1983 biography

(this biography was published in the first edition of "The Hacker's Dictionary".)

I was built at a laboratory in Manhattan around 1953, and moved to the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab in 1971. My hobbies include affection, international folk dance, flying, cooking, physics, recorder, puns, science fiction fandom, and programming; I magically get paid for doing the last one. About a year ago i split up with the PDP-10 computer to which I was married for ten years. We still love each other, but the world is taking us in different directions. For the moment I still live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, among our old memories. "Richard Stallman" is just my mundane name; you can call me "rms".

image of rms playing recorder to a butterfly that is visiting the computer room (jpeg 2k) (jpeg 64k) There is a black-and-white photograph of me as a 5820K Encapsulated Postscript file, a 3762K JPEG file, and a 5815K TIFF file.

Here is a color photo in JPEG format.

image or rms with a stuff gnu in the foreground Here is a more recent photo.

Photos and drawings

"You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul."
-Mahatma Gandhi

A photo of me, in Svalbard, wearing a snowmobile suit. Taken by Håkon Wium Lie, released under CC BY.

A photo taken by Bill Ebbesen at the Danish Technical University on 2007/03/31. It is free to use and redistribute (placed in the public domain worldwide by the original copyright holder).

Photos from Copyright vs. Community event, Jan 31, 2008.

A photo from a recent interview.

A photo of RMS with a large "aureole" by Roberto Brenlla.

An imaginative painting of Richard Stallman, by Jin Wicked.

Another drawing of me, by Banlu Kemiyatorn.

Some humor

Here I am wearing my "power tie".

Here I am struggling to open a bottle of water.

My application to an join Marian Henley's Ex Boyfriends List

My funny poetry and song parodies

My Cartoons

My Puns in English (New puns (common cold and truffles) March 2013).

My Puns in Spanish

My Puns in French (New pun 02/2013)

My Puns in Portuguese

Linguistic Swifties (Now with: Wintu, Penutian, Cochiti, Taos, and Towa.)

What Republicans Believe.

I am a
     Saint In the Church Of Emacs --Saint IGNUcius-- The Church of Emacs will soon be officially listed by at least one person as his religion for census purposes.

There are no godfathers in the Church of Emacs, since there are no gods, but you can be someone's editorfather.

Stallman Does Dallas: "I have to warn you that Texans have been known to have an adverse reaction to my personality . . . "

The Dalai Lama today announced the official release of Yellow Hat GNU/Linux.

Pre-Zen Studies.

I found A funny song about the Mickey Mouse Copyright Act (officially the Sonny Bono Copyright Act) which extended copyright retroactively by 20 years on works made as early as the 1920s.

If you are a geek and read Spanish, you will love Raulito el Friki, who said "Hello, world!" immediately after he was born. Here's an archive of this now-defunct comic strip.

Sleeping with Stallman at MIT.

Un malentendido gracioso.

Here's an April Fool about me. I don't know who wrote it, but I think it's funny.

ESR's favorite programming language: Objectivist C.

American Extremists

My Small Mouth


A science fiction story: Jinnetic Engineering (in Portuguese, Farsi, Spanish, Armenian, Russian, French, and Italian).

The Right to Read


My books on the Philosophy of Software Freedom, available from the GNU Press.

Non-Political Articles

Made for You (December 2012) (local copy)

Quantum Theory and Abortion Rights

A proposal for gender neutrality in Spanish, suitable for both speech and writing.

Origin of the POSIX name.

On Hacking: In June 2000, while visiting Korea, I did a fun hack that clearly illustrates the original and true meaning of the word "hacker".

My Childhood Sweetheart

Love and Dance

Predicting the attack on Pearl Harbor


Other sites and organizations of interest:


I would like to thank:

Please send comments on these web pages to rms at gnu period org.

Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and redistribution of this entire page are permitted provided this notice is preserved.
Verbatim copying and redistribution of any of the photos in the photos subdirectory is permitted under the Creative Commons Noderivs license version 3.0 or later. You can copy and redistribute the photo of me playing music to the butterfly under the Creative Commons Noderivs Nocommercial license version 3.0 or later. Any other photos of me in this (the toplevel) directory may be copied and redistributed under the Creative Commons Noderivs license version 3.0 or later.