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View Full Version : Why do people persist in calling "GNU/Linux", "Linux"?



youbuntu
November 11th, 2009, 07:57 PM
If there is one thing that amuses but also irritates me, it is that a LOT of people who *should* actually know better, persist in calling "GNU/Linux", "Linux".

"GNU/Linux" or "GNU+Linux" is the *ONLY* correct terminology for the OS we all use and love. It is through ignorance of the historical facts, that "GNU/Linux" has simply become branded under the "Linux" umbrella - this is WHOLLY incorrect, and distorts the facts about how the operating system as a whole, evolved. In the early 1980's, Richard Stallman founded the FSF, and decided to start the work to build the myriad components of the GNU part of the soon to become "GNU/Linux" OS.
It was only when Linus Torvalds released the "Linux" *kernel* under the GPL (please pay attention to this distinction - "Linux" kernel was originally NON-GPL!), that the GNU operating system was finally completed, and able to be named "GNU/Linux". Learn your facts, if you're SERIOUS about Free software, GNU & the GPL.

It is sheer foolishness to continue calling "GNU/Linux, "Linux", as "Linux" is *ONLY* the kernel part of the OS we use, and GNU was developed MUCH earlier, and has many, many more software applications & components to it, than just a kernel. GNU is the software operating AROUND the kernel; "Linux" is *ONLY* the kernel, ALONE!.

I am extremely surprised that Ubuntu GNU/Linux, in fact calls itself "Ubuntu Linux" - should they know better?... I think so.


Google "Richard Stallman" if you want to know the REAL facts, and help yourselves to understand why calling the operating system we all know and love, "Linux", is completely wrong. This has to stop, it is a farce.

KiwiNZ
November 11th, 2009, 08:02 PM
Do you call a Bus a Omnibus?
A pram a Perambulator ?

It a mouth full and a pain.

RiceMonster
November 11th, 2009, 08:03 PM
Why do people persist in complaining about people not calling it "GNU/Linux"?

Thread over. Goodbye.

Странник
November 11th, 2009, 08:07 PM
GNU doesn't sound so friendly and non-geeky like Linux

Nevon
November 11th, 2009, 08:07 PM
Why is it so important for some people that you go out of your way to say and write GNU/Linux instead of the more commonly used "Linux", which is shorter, easier to say/write, and even looks better in print? Call it what you will, I don't really care. I'm still going to call it Linux.

ViperChief
November 11th, 2009, 08:09 PM
Because GNU-slash-Linux and GNU-plus-Linux sound stupid.

If Linux wants to be taken seriously by anyone besides hobbyists and 13 year old kids who think they're 1337! they need drop the stupid names. GNU/Linux is a mouthful and sounds ridiculous.

subdivision
November 11th, 2009, 08:11 PM
Because GNU-slash-Linux and GNU-plus-Linux sound stupid.

If Linux wants to be taken seriously by anyone besides hobbyists and 13 year old kids who think they're 1337! they need drop the stupid names. GNU/Linux is a mouthful and sounds ridiculous.

Come on now, Thunar is an awesome name.

Simian Man
November 11th, 2009, 08:11 PM
Gnu is a stupid name.

blur xc
November 11th, 2009, 08:12 PM
Google "Richard Stallman" if you want to know the REAL facts, and help yourselves to understand why calling the operating system we all know and love, "Linux", is completely wrong. This has to stop, it is a farce.

I Googled Richard Stallman and the first thing I found was a video of him eating something off of his foot.

BM

subdivision
November 11th, 2009, 08:12 PM
Gnu is a stupid name.

But a tasty animal.

Pogeymanz
November 11th, 2009, 08:14 PM
I agree that it should be called GNU/Linux.

Let's not throw a hissy fit here, people. I'm not offended when someone says "Linux" because it's shorter, but if you're writing something somewhat official, you really should write "GNU/Linux".

To be honest, I'm not sure how anyone can argue that laziness determines what something's proper name is... I go by the name Rob, but that doesn't mean that I write that on official documents.

youbuntu
November 11th, 2009, 08:18 PM
So calling something by a name, which is *factually incorrect*, isn't a good enough reason?. If you're too ignorant to come up with a better answer than "it sounds better", then there really is little hope for us.

Why don't we just call it something arbitrary like... I dunno, "Ubuntu Microsoft Linux Windows"?. Sound crazy? - it makes JUST as little factual sense. Would you call windows "DOS++"?. No, because it is incorrect.

The bottom line is that I am correct in my assumptions - people don't care about the GNU/Linux heritage, and if you guys *really* don't care, then you may as well abandon Ubuntu/whatever, and go to Microsoft Windows like the rest of the people who are too lazy or ignorant to care. Naming something *correctly* is highly important - if you are called "John", then shall I call you by your middle name instead , "Keith"? :-?

If you're not concerned about factual accuracy and the correct naming of something which you all *evidently* STRIVE to promote, then I can only summise that your loyalty to the cause is hollow and meaningless. "Linux" is the Kernel, so let us continue, from this point forth, to call "Microsoft Windows", "DOS++" - agreed?

Think about it folks - I am not flaming you, *but* I AM asking you to think about accuracy... but if you don't care, then I am going to be the last one capable of helping you.

howefield
November 11th, 2009, 08:21 PM
GNU is the software operating AROUND the kernel; "Linux" is *ONLY* the kernel, ALONE!.

Really, who cares ? Apart from the pedants.

Common usage means it is only a matter of time before no one will even think about using the historical but redundant term... GNU/Linux

Does that thought keep you awake at night ?

Seriously, it isn't worth it., it is only the using of the software that matters, not what it is called.

subdivision
November 11th, 2009, 08:22 PM
Naming something *correctly* is highly important - if you are called "John", then shall I call you by your middle name instead , "Keith"? :-?


Are we really going to equate talking about an OS to talking to a person? Get a grip. it's not important.

Xbehave
November 11th, 2009, 08:23 PM
Because KDE/QT/GTK/X/GNU/BSD/LINUX is a bit of a mouthful.

RiceMonster
November 11th, 2009, 08:23 PM
So calling something by a name, which is *factually incorrect*, isn't a good enough reason?. If you're too ignorant to come up with a better answer than "it sounds better", then there really is little hope for us.

Why don't we just call it something arbitrary like... I dunno, "Ubuntu Microsoft Linux Windows"?. Sound crazy? - it makes JUST as little factual sense. Would you call windows "DOS++"?. No, because it is incorrect.

The bottom line is that I am correct in my assumptions - people don't care about the GNU/Linux heritage, and if you guys *really* don't care, then you may as well abandon Ubuntu/whatever, and go to Microsoft Windows like the rest of the people who are too lazy or ignorant to care. Naming something *correctly* is highly important - if you are called "John", then shall I call you by your middle name instead , "Keith"? :-?

If you're not concerned about factual accuracy and the correct naming of something which you all *evidently* STRIVE to promote, then I can only summise that your loyalty to the cause is hollow and meaningless. "Linux" is the Kernel, so let us continue, from this point forth, to call "Microsoft Windows", "DOS++" - agreed?

Think about it folks - I am not flaming you, *but* I AM asking you to think about accuracy... but if you don't care, then I am going to be the last one capable of helping you.

Okay, let's examine the system I'm using here:

I don't use bash, I use zsh. I also use KDE, and tons of KDE applications, which likely make up the same amount, if not more than the GNU utils and libraries. Oh, and a number of the technologies have companies such as Red Hat heavily involved in developing them. Hey, why don't I call it Red Hat/zsh/X/KDE/GNU/Linux! Now everyone gets credit!

Furthermore, if you really want Linux to make its way to the general population, you wouldn't spend your time complaining about trivial things such as what people are calling it. Do you really expect people to take it seriously when you insist they call it what you think it should be called? "Linux" means an OS that uses the Linux kernel. That's more info than people need and there's too many parties involved to worry about who gets credit.

doas777
November 11th, 2009, 08:23 PM
uh,
1) linux sounds kewl and computery (it has an X).
2) gnu/linux sounds stupid and cumbersome. at the very least it would be "linux-new"
3) I don't change what I call things, just to satisfy someone's ego.
4) at least some lay folks know the name "linux". why confuse them.
5) if the gnu folks are satisfied with the linux kernel, why are they still working on hurd? it seems like they are waiting for an opportunity to kick the kernel to the curb. not exactly a cozy working relationship. how woould you feel if a competitor kept trying to get everyone to put his name in front of yours?
6) how do you pronounce "/" without sounding like a tool?
7)gnu is a stupid name. ohhh a recursive acronym. now my adherents will be stuck explaining this to everyone for ever.

slumbergod
November 11th, 2009, 08:24 PM
Why do you use "OS" instead of writing out operating system in full? Because you are lazy? Oh gee, that is why many people just use Linux as term. It is acceptable. I dread having to deal with geeks in real life who just can't handle using common terminology like everyone else. You give LINUX a bad reputation.

youbuntu
November 11th, 2009, 08:24 PM
The point, I feel, is being *totally* missed, either purposely, or through sheer ignorance. Linus Torvalds was the *VERY LAST GUY ON THE SCENE* - he was the latecomer to the party, and brought the least amount of beer with him.

Why would you name a product after someone who contributed to it, NINE YEARS after it had started?. This makes no sense, and if you do some reading/Google video watching, you'll find out why.

Do you call a cake, "sugar"?. Cake contains sugar, but the majority of it is NOT sugar, and it makes up a TINY fraction of the cake. Perhaps you can see my point, and yes, maybe "GNU/Linux" *is* a long winded name, but what is preferable - facts, or convenience?...

subdivision
November 11th, 2009, 08:26 PM
The point, I feel, is being *totally* missed, either purposely, or through sheer ignorance. Linus Torvalds was the *VERY LAST GUY ON THE SCENE* - he was the latecomer to the party, and brought the least amount of beer with him.


So how's the HURD kernel coming along?

Oh, right. Least amount of beer huh? Hmm.

gnomeuser
November 11th, 2009, 08:26 PM
GNU/Linux is stupid for the reason that it assumes that every bit of the system is isn't Linux is GNU. It also deprives other contributors of acknowledgement. In fact the more correct thing might be to call it (in my case) GNU/X.org/Freedesktop.org/GNOME/Mono/OpenOffice.org/Google/Linux.

The Free Software Foundation and RMS needs to lay off, they did not as they so arrogantly claim create everything the OS is that isn't the kernel.

What people should do is proudly say that distro they use and since the collective system has become known as Linux, using that is probably okay as well since it is the only universal term we have and it is the one that is likely known outside of the existing group of users. Though here Ubuntu is growing it's share.

Deicider
November 11th, 2009, 08:26 PM
op,whats ur age?

ve4cib
November 11th, 2009, 08:27 PM
Terminologies and definitions change over time.

In the beginning there were "horeseless carriages." Then came "automobiles." Finally "cars." But really, the term "horeseless carriage," being the first and most-descriptive name, is clearly the correct one to use, right?

Society has decided that "GNU/Linux" is cumbersome to say, ugly to print, and generally more-verbose than necessary to get the point across. 90% of people don't talk about kernels in their everyday lives, but operating systems do come up with not uncommon frequency. Thus using "Linux" as a verbal short-hand for the OS technically called "GNU/Linux" was accepted into modern parlance, since the risk of confusing the kernel with the OS was minimal. Occasionally someone might ask

- "'Linux?' You mean 'GNU/Linux' right?"
- "Yes"
- "Ah, okay. You were saying...?"

This verbal short-hand started to take root, and its use started to spread, until we get where we are today. Interestingly, now we get a variation on the conversation above:

- "GNU/Linux is --"
- "'GNU/Linux?' You mean Linux, right?"
- "Well, no, you see Linux is a kernel, and GNU is --"
- "Shut up. I don't care about operating system nomenclature sufficiently to allow your diatribe to exhaust my otherwise-valuable coffee break. You were saying about operating systems...?"

konqueror7
November 11th, 2009, 08:27 PM
am i lost? is this wikipedia?

whether it be GNU/Linux or Linux, it still points to one common thing, to an OS. pronouncing GNU everytime you refer to linux is just too much of a hassle, its not lazyness, its just the fact that you don't have to specify everything to their whole name.

ZankerH
November 11th, 2009, 08:28 PM
Furthermore, if you really want Linux to make its way to the general population, you wouldn't spend your time complaining about trivial things such as what people are calling it. Do you really expect people to take it seriously when you insist they call it what you think it should be called? "Linux" means an OS that uses the Linux kernel. That's more info than people need and there's too many parties involved to worry about who gets credit.

Why this obsession with GNU/Linux "making it to the general population"? I don't use GNU/Linux because I want it to be popular, I use it because it's Free as in freedom software, and because it fits my needs. If I cared at all about the popularity of an OS I'm using, I'd probably be using a more popular one by now.

I, too, am enraged over the software distributions of GNU/Linux that refer to themselves as "Linux distros". I make a point of always calling the OS what it's called, GNU/Linux, pronounced as "GNU slash Linux".

by the way, I've also noticed some free software enthusiasts have recently taken to calling GNU/Linux, "GNU plus Linux". What's the rationale behind that?

konqueror7
November 11th, 2009, 08:30 PM
... GNU/X.org/Freedesktop.org/GNOME/Mono/OpenOffice.org/Google/Linux...

is this a tongue twister? lol... nice one...

gnomeuser
November 11th, 2009, 08:31 PM
Terminologies and definitions change over time.

In the beginning there were "horeseless carriages." Then came "automobiles." Finally "cars." But really, the term "horeseless carriage," being the first and most-descriptive name, is clearly the correct one to use, right?

Society has decided that "GNU/Linux" is cumbersome to say, ugly to print, and generally more-verbose than necessary to get the point across. 90% of people don't talk about kernels in their everyday lives, but operating systems do come up with not uncommon frequency. Thus using "Linux" as a verbal short-hand for the OS technically called "GNU/Linux" was accepted into modern parlance, since the risk of confusing the kernel with the OS was minimal. Occasionally someone might ask

- "'Linux?' You mean 'GNU/Linux' right?"
- "Yes"
- "Ah, okay. You were saying...?"

This verbal short-hand started to take root, and its use started to spread, until we get where we are today. Interestingly, now we get a variation on the conversation above:

- "GNU/Linux is --"
- "'GNU/Linux?' You mean Linux, right?"
- "Well, no, you see Linux is a kernel, and GNU is --"
- "Shut up. I don't care about operating system nomenclature sufficiently to allow your diatribe to exhaust my otherwise-valuable coffee break. You were saying about operating systems...?"

You wrongly give the impression that the system was initially known as GNU/Linux. This is not the case, one day the FSF just started loudly demanding that it be known as such.

ViperChief
November 11th, 2009, 08:32 PM
The people who care about the stupid name will call it GNU/Linux. The people who care about Linux will know about the GNU contributions involved (not to mention the other hundreds of contributions, but no one seems to care about them in the naming scheme). The people who don't care will just think GNU/Linux is a dumb name and not worthy of their time.

Naming really is everything. I have actually steered away from distros because of stupid names. A lot of people refuse to take Linux seriously. Naming really is one of the issues. Why make it worse by calling it some stupid-sounding name. I mean, really? GNU-slash-Linux?

Simian Man
November 11th, 2009, 08:32 PM
The point, I feel, is being *totally* missed, either purposely, or through sheer ignorance. Linus Torvalds was the *VERY LAST GUY ON THE SCENE* - he was the latecomer to the party, and brought the least amount of beer with him.

If his contribution, the kernel, is so trivial, why is Hurd taking such a long time? Actually the GNU people in a sense started with the easiest problems first. You can replace almost all of the GNU tools with something equivalent like BusyBox.

[h2o]
November 11th, 2009, 08:33 PM
So how's the HURD kernel coming along?
Oh, right. Least amount of beer huh? Hmm.
You took the words right out of my GNU/mouth :)

doas777
November 11th, 2009, 08:33 PM
The bottom line is that I am correct in my assumptions - people don't care about the GNU/Linux heritage, and if you guys *really* don't care, then you may as well abandon Ubuntu/whatever, and go to Microsoft Windows like the rest of the people who are too lazy or ignorant to care.
um, no I don;t think I will. I think I'll have a sandwich instead. or shoudl that be "I'll have an invention of the 4th earl of sandwich" instead?

oss is about freedom, and I won't let you take mine from me with pedantic diatribes about nomenclature.

you should talk to a linguist about the dynamic nature of langague. it isn;t what you think it is.

"it doesn't take much to see that the <factual inaccuracies> of three little <oss projects> don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now... Here's looking at you kid" --doas777

RiceMonster
November 11th, 2009, 08:33 PM
Why this obsession with GNU/Linux "making it to the general population"? I don't use GNU/Linux because I want it to be popular, I use it because it's Free as in freedom software, and because it fits my needs. If I cared at all about the popularity of an OS I'm using, I'd probably be using a more popular one by now.

I don't care about Linux making it to the general public. I was commenting on the statement "If you're not concerned about factual accuracy and the correct naming of something which you all *evidently* STRIVE to promote", which implies that the OP cares about Linux making it to the general public.

ve4cib
November 11th, 2009, 08:33 PM
I make a point of always calling the OS what it's called, GNU/Linux, pronounced as "GNU slash Linux".

That's fine. You can say things however you like. But do you correct people when they say "Linux" to you?

Xbehave
November 11th, 2009, 08:33 PM
The point, I feel, is being *totally* missed, either purposely, or through sheer ignorance. Linus Torvalds was the *VERY LAST GUY ON THE SCENE* - he was the latecomer to the party, and brought the least amount of beer with him.
At least he arived, where is your precious GNU hurd kernel now!


Why would you name a product after someone who contributed to it, NINE YEARS after it had started?. This makes no sense, and if you do some reading/Google video watching, you'll find out why.
Linus didn't name linux, that was done by other, saying gnu/linux is a PITA what matters if linux because that provides the kernel api, if you are going to start adding stuff then XORG BASH QT GTK all matter much more than GNU. And pretending all the system tools are GNU tools are stupid, open some man pages, for example crom = 4th Berkeley Distribution (BSD).


maybe "GNU/Linux" *is* a long winded name, but what is preferable - facts, or convenience?...
If you want facts then you have to go with KDE/QT/XORG/GNU/LINUX and convenience is definitely preferable

ViperChief
November 11th, 2009, 08:34 PM
Bottom line: you all *know* where I am coming from with this, and you probably know I am mostly right, but, as I suspected, you have indeed proven your ignorance towards the OS which you use daily & it's heritage, *just* as I had suspected you would.

I suspect you don't care about whether or not your software is "Free software" or "Open-source" either?. It's all just modern convenience, at any price, right?. I'm glad we had this one-sided "debate", and I am glad you all value your freedoms, even though you've proven you probably wouldn't know freedom & backbone if they bit you on the face.

Righty ho, I think I'll end this thread now - all I seem to have attracted is a string of childish & abusive members. Typical.

No one who cares about the heritage is ignorant. As I said above, if you care about the heritage, you already know it. You don't need a name to remind you. The casual users...the non-techie types, don't care about the heritage. But a professional-sounding name is important to them.

duds2008
November 11th, 2009, 08:35 PM
Calling it GNU/Linux is a way for America to take some sort of credit for the creation of Linux. I do not believe that RMS wrote every GNU program. America believe they are the "super power" of the world, but if you look at a lot of the programs written for the "GNU OS" the surnames are typically Russian and Eastern European. I am not trying to say that RMS did not contribute towards Linux. He did after all start the free software philosophy. I do however think that the "almighty" USA should not consider themselves as the founder of all things. Mother Russia is a smart, silent and progressive force that we should all be afraid of.
...
and then there is China. What of them? At the end of the day who cares? Linux will always be Linux, simply because it is quicker to type. And not many people even know that a "gnu" is a type of deer!!;)

Simian Man
November 11th, 2009, 08:35 PM
Bottom line: you all *know* where I am coming from with this, and you probably know I am mostly right, but, as I suspected, you have indeed proven your ignorance towards the OS which you use daily & it's heritage, *just* as I had suspected you would.
No actually, you aren't right at all. This argument was lost by Stallman and his toadies some years ago.


Righty ho, I think I'll end this thread now - all I seem to have attracted is a string of childish & abusive members. Typical.

Actually you, rightly or wrongly, are coming across as a 14 year old who just read some of the essays on gnu.org.

Artificial Intelligence
November 11th, 2009, 08:36 PM
OP requested his/her thread to be closed.