Interjection! (Richard Stallman) by Michael Retriever

Interjection! (Richard Stallman)

Michael Retriever

29 September 2013 at 19:45:22 MDT

I'd just like to interject for a moment. What you're referring to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/Linux, or as I've recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.

Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called Linux, and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project.

There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called Linux distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux.

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  • Link

    It's debatable certainly. Basically people are just used to saying Linux and it got stuck that way. Here this might interest you if you haven't already seen it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU/Linux\_naming\_controversy

    • Link

      Interesting link! I feel I should name it GNU/Linux myself because for me the GNU project is mainly what makes GNU/Linux my OS of choice: the free / libre ideals it carries.

      PS: the speech is not mine but Stallman's.