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

  1. #1
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    Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html

    But on the Linux Foundation's website, (and Wikipedia) they call Linux an OS, not just the Kernel...


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

    When such a question is posted we often see a number of not-very-constructive posts bashing Stallman as the response.
    Maintaining a faint hope that people will refrain from that and focus on the topic this time.
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    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    The Linux Foundation and Linus call it Linux.
    Please read The Forum Rules and The Forum Posting Guidelines

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

    Which makes sense for them. It still causes unnecessary confusion. I think a lot of people think of Torvalds himself as somehow central in the GNU/Linux world, or "belonging" to it, and yet something like Android and something like Ubuntu each get exactly as much from the "Linux" effort, but only one of them is GNU/Linux.

    Isn't this a "recurring discussion"?
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    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    I wonder if you install adobe flash, or something like nvidia-current, if it can still be called gnu?
    Or would we have to use a 3rd name like mostly-gnu/linux?
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    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    Quote Originally Posted by deadflowr View Post
    I wonder if you install adobe flash, or something like nvidia-current, if it can still be called gnu?
    Or would we have to use a 3rd name like mostly-gnu/linux?
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install vrms

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

    Well, it doesn't refer to the license, or you wouldn't have to say /Linux, either. I mean, that's also GPL. "GNU" is referring to an amorphous and ill-defined body of code.
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    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    So, Linux isn't an OS???

    Thats what i've known for the past few weeks, but shouldn't Ubuntu be called a GNU/Linux distro???

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

    No. It's purveyors call it a Linux distro. If someone else wants to call their distro a GNU/Linux distro, that's up to them.

    Torvalds used GNU tools to develop Linux.

    Do you call your home a Hammer/House?

    No.

    There are a lot of bits of GNU software surrounding Linux.

    Do you call your house a Siding/House?

    No.

    What I think causes the confusion is people going around with red faces, stamping their feet and shouting "It's GNU/Linux! It's GNU/Linux!" just because a GNU/Hammer was used in its construction. Let them call it GNU/Linux. It's up to them. Just so it doesn't come to a scene at a dinner party if someone doesn't say GNU.

    The whole "controversy" is silly. You call it a tomato, I call it a to-mah-to.
    Last edited by QIII; May 27th, 2015 at 09:06 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Is it GNU/Linux, or just Linux???

    It's complicated.

    "Linux" is used both to refer to the kernel and, less formally, to the operating systems that use it. Linux systems and Linux users definitely exist. We know what is meant by those phrases. The fact that they're called Linux systems or Linux users is more historical than anything to do properly with the Linux kernel.

    Android and Ubuntu are both systems that use Linux. Ubuntu also uses GNU; GNOME, for instance, is a part of GNU. Debian, from which Ubuntu is packaged, was started by the GNU project. Everything that most users associate with "Linux" systems is more about GNU than it is about the Linux kernel. You could replace the kernel in Ubuntu with something else entirely and never know the difference.

    "Linux" nonetheless tells you a very little bit about the kind of system you're talking about. Most systems you'll ever see in the wild that aren't Mac or Windows really probably are running the Linux kernel, whatever else their operating systems contain. So it's a handy label. "GNU" would have been, too, given a different set of historical accidents. The first people to grab both parts, the middleware/shell environment/toolchain (GNU) and the kernel (Linux), and distribute the system, labeled it with the one name instead of the other, probably because it sounds better.

    GNU likes to have their name at least listed in describing the system. Even they acknowledge that there are others who could be on that list (like X11). I go the other way with it, personally - I just say I use Ubuntu (and Android) and avoid the whole trainwreck.

    Note that this is exactly correct - Ubuntu and Android are exactly the code they refer to. The label "GNU" doesn't describe the whole system, and neither does GNU / Linux / or GNU / Linux / X11 or whatever - it's still not an exact account of what Ubuntu ships with, nor is it true that Ubuntu uses all ​components of those things. (Particularly the Mir blend!)

    Edited to clarify.
    Last edited by Copper Bezel; May 27th, 2015 at 09:01 PM.
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