20 Great Quotes from Richard M. Stallman

I have here a collection of 20 of my favorite quotes from the famous free software evangelist and living legend Richard M. Stallman. I hope you will all like this one. Here it goes:

1- "I could have made money this way, and perhaps amused myself writing code. But I knew that at the end of my career, I would look back on years of building walls to divide people, and feel I had spent my life making the world a worse place."

2- "When I do this, some people think that it's because I want my ego to be fed, right? Of course, I'm not asking you to call it "Stallmanix"!"

3- "I'm always happy when I'm protesting."

4- "Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave you alone."

5- "People sometimes ask me if it is a sin in the Church of Emacs to use vi. Using a free version of vi is not a sin; it is a penance. So happy hacking."

6- "If programmers deserve to be rewarded for creating innovative programs, by the same token they deserve to be punished if they restrict the use of these programs."

7- "Fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria."

8- "People said I should accept the world. Bullshit! I don't accept the world."

9- "Giving the Linus Torvalds Award to the Free Software Foundation is a bit like giving the Han Solo Award to the Rebel Alliance."

10- "Would a dating service on the net be ‘frowned upon’ . . . ? I hope not. But even if it is, don’t let that stop you from notifying me via net mail if you start one."

11- "Once GNU is written, everyone will be able to obtain good system software free, just like air."

12- "If you want to accomplish something in the world, idealism is not enough--you need to choose a method that works to achieve the goal. In other words, you need to be "pragmatic."

13- "No person, no idea, and no religion deserves to be illegal to insult, not even the Church of Emacs."

14- "Today many people are switching to free software for purely practical reasons. That is good, as far as it goes, but that isn't all we need to do! Attracting users to free software is not the whole job, just the first step."

15- "If in my lifetime the problem of non-free software is solved, I could perhaps relax and write software again. But I might instead try to help deal with the world's larger problems. Standing up to an evil system is exhilarating, and now I have a taste for it."

16- "I see nothing unethical in the job it does. Why shouldn't you send a copy of some music to a friend?"

17- "'Free software' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of 'free' as in 'free speech,' not as in 'free beer'."

18- "For personal reasons, I do not browse the web from my computer. (I also have not net connection much of the time.) To look at page I send mail to a demon which runs wget and mails the page back to me. It is very efficient use of my time, but it is slow in real time."

19- "Playfully doing something difficult, whether useful or not, that is hacking."

20- "Copying all or parts of a program is as natural to a programmer as breathing, and as productive. It ought to be as free."

If you have a favorite Richard M. Stallman quote, feel free to share it to us.

You may also want to check out our list of funny computer quotes.


  1. AnonymousJune 21, 2008

    I've always like most of the quotes above. But here's another one to add to the list:

    "To have the choice between proprietary software packages, is being able to choose your master. Freedom means not having a master. And in the area of computing, freedom means not using proprietary software. "


  2. AnonymousJune 21, 2008

    How about this amusing quotation from RMS --
    I'm the last survivor of a dead culture, and I don't really belong in the world anymore. And in some ways I feel I ought to be dead.

  3. AnonymousJune 22, 2008

    Here is my 21st
    "If we see some one drowning and we know how to swim, and of course,if he is not Bush,then we have a moral responsibility to rescue him"

  4. Here is more.

  5. AnonymousJune 22, 2008

    I forget where I saw this (attributed to RMS):

    "Odious ideas are not entitled to hide from criticism behind the human shield of their believers' feelings."

    Or something like that.


  6. AnonymousJune 23, 2008

    The one I use as a sig for NNTP and mailing lists is this:

    "Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
    and if you use the program, he is your master."

    (The one I use for regular mail is from Ben Franklin, about freedom, but general not software freedom.)

  7. AnonymousJune 23, 2008

    you are confusing your question

  8. AnonymousJuly 04, 2008

    How about this one:

    "I'm just another nut, and no one should listen to me, much less enumerate my idiotic sayings."

  9. AnonymousJuly 07, 2008

    Here is a Stallman video showing him at his best (not porn)

  10. Sir Richard Stallman is my GOD....

  11. "Teaching children to use Windows is like teaching them to smoke tobacco—in a world where only one company sells tobacco."