Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 27

Thread: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    19th Hole
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    Quote Originally Posted by Copper Bezel View Post
    It's complicated.
    I agree with your very complete and well-considered assessment. I don't agree that it's complicated. I've often wanted to make the same point to "GNU/linux" acolytes: that their arguments for "proper" attribution should, by their own logic, be extended to X11, and then onward to the DE and then the distro. This would give us the mouthful: Linux/GNU/X11/Unity/Ubuntu. And their reply―that a workable system can be assembled sans GUI but not sans GNU―is disingenuous: the average user does not run a CLI. In fact, a pure CLI is useless to the average user. Without the GUI, it is likely that MS would have completely dominated the computing landscape by now and Linux would have been consigned to the dustbin of history quite some time ago.

    However, there is a place (and a use) for a short memorable single word that refers to the guts of the thing. And since it is, after all, the guts that we are talking about, it is perfectly logical to call it by the name of the kernel, since the kernel is its most fundamental and most irreducible unit.

    Anyway, I am not about to make a religion out of it. I have no real beef with those who call it "GNU/Linux". If one wants to call it by this ungainly nomenclature, go nuts. My beef is with their making a religion out of it... their insistence that everyone else call it "GNU/Linux", a phrase that I find not only awkward and contrived, but ugly.

    So, trainwreck or not, it's plain "Linux" for me.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Kansas City, KS
    Beans
    1,319
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    Oh, yeah, it's pretty awkward as a term, and I definitely don't say GNU / Linux myself. I do think both "sides" have a pretty fair claim to being more "fundamental", though, which is where the real fuss is. We could all probably more or less agree that the display server, whether that's X11, Mir, or Wayland, is the next in line for fundamentalness (and half of GNU is on the other side of it, if you count GNOME.) The kernel's definitely and unquestionably the thing that makes the computer go, as it were, the first layer that needs to launch and the closest to the metal. And because Linux is a monolithic kernel, it's nearly irreducible.

    But ... yes, you can use GNU and Linux without X11, and deal with a CLI, and yes, you can run Linux without GNU or anything else on top and watch it blink or something. It's like asking which organs of your body are most essential. That's not really the point of the label here. What's more important to say is that you can use Linux without GNU or X11 by buying an Android handset, or that you can use GNU and Linux but not X by buying an Ubuntu one.

    Linux is a kernel that's used in all kinds of environments, and embedded and mobile (GNUless, Xless) Linuxes probably outnumber the servers (X11less) and dwarf the desktop installs (with all three.) But when we talk about "the Linux user base," we don't mean people with Android handsets, people who use the internet and thus interface with Linux servers, or people who buy routers that invisibly use embedded Linux. We somehow mean a somewhat arbitrarily drawn set of people people running Ubuntu desktops, maintaining Redhat servers, or installing Rasbians that check the amount of Mt. Dew left in the fridge - that is, everything from ordinary desktop users to enterprise server sysadmins to homebrew embedded tinkerers, who are all interacting directly with the operating system that we sort of informally think of as "Linux." And the distinguishing bit of code in all those operating systems is still GNU.
    I know I shouldn't use tildes for decoration, but they always make me feel at home~

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    Thread moved to Recurring Discussions.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Michigan
    Beans
    39

    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    Ok, here's my $0.02:

    First, I probably should have posted it there in the first place,

    Second, after taking in everyone's comments, my opinion is that we should call it neither.



    The reason:

    Ubuntu is an OS which uses the Linux kernel, running the set of tool released by GNU as GNU OS,

    However, Linux takes up considerably less of Ubuntu than GNU, however it is still an essential tool to the OS as a whole.

    Neither GNU nor Linux would be considered a "Hammer" in the Ubuntu OS, that would be like saying that you built a hammer into your house, or that you used a piece of your house to built your house....

    Still, I think it should be something like this:

    Ubuntu is an OS which uses the Linux Kernel and a set of core tools and libraries known as GNU along with the Unity desktop environment.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    The Left Coast of the USA
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Kubuntu

    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    Or ...

    Ubuntu is Sheldon Cooper's favorite Linux-based operating system.
    Please read The Forum Rules and The Forum Posting Guidelines
    My Blog
    A thing discovered and kept to oneself must be discovered time and again by others. A thing discovered and shared with others need be discovered only the once.
    This universe is crazy. I'm going back to my own.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu Gnome

    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    Quote Originally Posted by QIII View Post
    Torvalds used GNU tools to develop Linux.
    Can we just clear up this, Linus Torvalds did not use any GNU tools to build the Linux Kernel, its written in C, assembly. The GNU tools were altered/hacked to work with the Linux kernel rather than built with it or for it.

    The GNU has a clear policy on no binary blobs, as such even the Linux Kernel has to be "cleaned" as they put it for it to fit their GNU mandate. This results in the Libre-Linux kernel. The only true GNU kernel is Hurd and that has only support for i386.

    The whole "we should call it GNU/Linux (GNU+Linux)" or whatever else is pushing the limits. The actual meaning of "Operating System" has been twisted and misinterpreted to include the "userland and software applications".

    The Operating System controls hardware and allows access to software resources. The only thing that relates to that as far as software goes is C Programming Language. Now people could argue (and many do) that the kernel is built with GCC (GNU C Compiler) and that Linux is nothing without the GNU tools, this is also a misconception. As stated before Linux can be ran without any GNU tools, it has even been compiled with Clang/LLVM. GNU on the other hand has difficulty running with any other setup bar Hurd (the Debian Kfreebsd which used the FreeBSD kernel and GNU userland is afaik the only project to have tried to port GNU to alternative kernels and has been working on it since before 2005).

    People can choose to give GNU credit or not imho as for their part. But I would not feel right calling anything bar a distro that follows GNU policy closely (Trisquel) or was at some point funded by them (Debian) a GNU/Linux release. Ubuntu although being based on Debian is NOT a GNU/Linux distribution as it allows and even recommends the use of Proprietary Binary Blobs. Ubuntu is an Open Source project and uses the GPL/LGPL licences from the Free Software Foundation and GNU Project. I don't think this warrants it being called GNU/Linux, unless we are going to call it something really long to cover every other licence used.

    Think I've rambled enough this guy does a great breakdown of it Michael Lustfield I-use-linux-get-it-right

    Oh and take note that even with a "Pure" GNU OS only 13% of that are actually GNU Tools..
    Last edited by QIII; May 30th, 2015 at 04:00 AM. Reason: Sorry... hit the edit button and not reply...

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    The Left Coast of the USA
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Kubuntu

    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    GCC? That's not a GNU tool? The GNU C Compiler?

    He used that under minix (after porting it) in his attempts to compile the kernel while he was working on it. That's the GNU hammer he used. That doesn't make the product GNU.

    Your point is correct, however. Linux did not need GNU. Any other tool set could have been used. But after 31 years, GNU still does not have a HURD.
    Last edited by QIII; May 30th, 2015 at 04:26 AM.
    Please read The Forum Rules and The Forum Posting Guidelines
    My Blog
    A thing discovered and kept to oneself must be discovered time and again by others. A thing discovered and shared with others need be discovered only the once.
    This universe is crazy. I'm going back to my own.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu Gnome

    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    I didn't mean to say the GCC wasn't part of the GNU, if it seemed I did I apologise, I just meant that although it was the "first" to be used doesn't make it the only one that could have been used. If I remember correctly Bash and GCC were the first tools to be ported over and others quickly followed suit.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    The Left Coast of the USA
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Kubuntu

    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    I agree that it was not the only thing he could have used. Hence, my analogy to a GNU hammer. It could as easily have been a Craftsman hammer.

    It's just a historical accident.
    Please read The Forum Rules and The Forum Posting Guidelines
    My Blog
    A thing discovered and kept to oneself must be discovered time and again by others. A thing discovered and shared with others need be discovered only the once.
    This universe is crazy. I'm going back to my own.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Kansas City, KS
    Beans
    1,319
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoiaGuyver View Post
    Think I've rambled enough this guy does a great breakdown of it Michael Lustfield I-use-linux-get-it-right
    That's ... really hard to follow, particularly once he brings in the quotations without any indent or quotation marks to, like, mark them as quotes, and most of what he says is less correct than the statements he is attempting to respond to from the GNU site.

    The Operating System controls hardware and allows access to software resources. The only thing that relates to that as far as software goes is C Programming Language.
    Whoa, hold on. That line doesn't mean "access to resources for developing software." A machine doesn't need to be able to compile its own code to have an operating system. The phrase is ambiguous, but the most sensible interpretation I can take from it is "allows (application) software to access resources", that is, operates as middleware.

    More importantly, the operating system in the modern sense of the phrase absolutely is the whole mess, from the kernel and shell environment to the libraries and middleware and on up to the desktop interface and basic builtin utilities like file managers and so on. You definitely can't redefine it to something that would include less GNU.

    Who used what to build what is also irrelevant. I mean, "X could have used another Y instead" carries little weight when Linux and GNU were the only games in town, but also just misses the point. I mean, that's an argument that the whole project of open source operating systems was set i motion by one and only one of these two groups. If that's the case, then a modern Debian running a (hypothetical) Hurd kernel would still be a "Linux," because that's what we call the operating systems that grew out of these things that happened in the late 80s and early 90s.

    It's much less confusing to at least acknowledge that Linux is the name of the kernel and that we're describing operating systems by association - "those sorts of things that tend to use Linux kernels." "Linux-based" does that in a way "a Linux" does not.
    I know I shouldn't use tildes for decoration, but they always make me feel at home~

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •