Why it's call "Linux" and not "GNU/Linux"

Why it's call "Linux" and not "GNU/Linux"

Post by Baby Pean » Fri, 23 Aug 2002 03:38:23



If RMS had one ball to begin with he's do what Theo de Raadt did to
create OpenBSD: a global string substitute.  Theo simply imported
NetBSD into a new CVS
tree and changed all occurances of "NetBSD" to "OpenBSD".  That's it.
He went on to modify the OS with some original and some borrowed code.

RMS could just go through Debian GNU/Linux and change all the strings
that say
"Linux" to say "MiniDeb" or something.  Then change the project name
to "Debian GNU/1".  When the Hurd comes out they could have "Debian
GNU/2".

Surely the GNU project could maintain a Linux fork.  You could be
seeing this:

Wednesday Aug 21, 2000

The GNU Project releases it's first full system, Debian GNU/1 today
using the
MiniDeb kernel (which was derived from some other project we don't
like to talk
about.)

GNU/1 is Free Software.  You can [...and so on...]

Instead you see this:

RMS> Oh Please Mr. Torvalds may I have the honor of sticking /Linux on
RMS> the name of the GNU project?

LBT> No, RMS, you must call the whole thing Linux the way the rest of
LBT> the world does.

 
 
 

Why it's call "Linux" and not "GNU/Linux"

Post by Donn Mille » Fri, 23 Aug 2002 05:30:01



> RMS could just go through Debian GNU/Linux and change all the strings
> that say
> "Linux" to say "MiniDeb" or something.  Then change the project name
> to "Debian GNU/1".  When the Hurd comes out they could have "Debian
> GNU/2".
> LBT> No, RMS, you must call the whole thing Linux the way the rest of
> LBT> the world does.

Well, I'd say that the Linux kernel is GPL'd, but it's still not GNU
software.  And, you don't have to use any GPL/GNU software around the
Linux kernel if you don't want to.  You can use whatever userland you
want, like for example, you could very well have a BSDL'd userland.
For example, FreeBSD uses a lot of GPL'd software in the base system,
although it's in a smaller amount than most Linux distros.  If it's
called GNU/Linux, that implies that you can't use anything but GNU
software in the userland, which isn't true.  Then the question
becomes:  how much GNU software is required in order to be qualifed as
a "GNU system"?  You can use whatever software you please around the
Linux kernel, and there are other software licenses besides GPL (even
LGPL, for example).  So it shouldn't be called GNU/Linux, IMO.

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Why it's call "Linux" and not "GNU/Linux"

Post by Baby Pean » Sun, 25 Aug 2002 02:14:24




> > RMS could just go through Debian GNU/Linux and change all the strings
> > that say
> > "Linux" to say "MiniDeb" or something.  Then change the project name
> > to "Debian GNU/1".  When the Hurd comes out they could have "Debian
> > GNU/2".

> > LBT> No, RMS, you must call the whole thing Linux the way the rest of
> > LBT> the world does.

> Well, I'd say that the Linux kernel is GPL'd, but it's still not GNU
> software.  And, you don't have to use any GPL/GNU software around the
> Linux kernel if you don't want to.  You can use whatever userland you
> want, like for example, you could very well have a BSDL'd userland.
> For example, FreeBSD uses a lot of GPL'd software in the base system,
> although it's in a smaller amount than most Linux distros.  If it's
> called GNU/Linux, that implies that you can't use anything but GNU
> software in the userland, which isn't true.  Then the question
> becomes:  how much GNU software is required in order to be qualifed as
> a "GNU system"?  You can use whatever software you please around the
> Linux kernel, and there are other software licenses besides GPL (even
> LGPL, for example).  So it shouldn't be called GNU/Linux, IMO.

The GNU Project FAQ on GNU and Linux says that the "/" in GNU/Linux
means "combined with".  Therefor "GNU/Linux" means "GNU combined with
Linux".  It is not a modifier of Linux like a distro name (e.g.
"DeadRat Linux") would be.
 
 
 

Why it's call "Linux" and not "GNU/Linux"

Post by Matthew Gardine » Sun, 25 Aug 2002 13:27:43







>> > RMS could just go through Debian GNU/Linux and change all the strings
>> > that say
>> > "Linux" to say "MiniDeb" or something.  Then change the project name
>> > to "Debian GNU/1".  When the Hurd comes out they could have "Debian
>> > GNU/2".

>> > LBT> No, RMS, you must call the whole thing Linux the way the rest of
>> > LBT> the world does.

>> Well, I'd say that the Linux kernel is GPL'd, but it's still not GNU
>> software.  And, you don't have to use any GPL/GNU software around the
>> Linux kernel if you don't want to.  You can use whatever userland you
>> want, like for example, you could very well have a BSDL'd userland.
>> For example, FreeBSD uses a lot of GPL'd software in the base system,
>> although it's in a smaller amount than most Linux distros.  If it's
>> called GNU/Linux, that implies that you can't use anything but GNU
>> software in the userland, which isn't true.  Then the question
>> becomes:  how much GNU software is required in order to be qualifed as
>> a "GNU system"?  You can use whatever software you please around the
>> Linux kernel, and there are other software licenses besides GPL (even
>> LGPL, for example).  So it shouldn't be called GNU/Linux, IMO.

> The GNU Project FAQ on GNU and Linux says that the "/" in GNU/Linux
> means "combined with".  Therefor "GNU/Linux" means "GNU combined with
> Linux".  It is not a modifier of Linux like a distro name (e.g.
> "DeadRat Linux") would be.

Well, if that is the case why not call it GNU/BSD/X11/MIT/Linux to be
completely politically correct.

Matthew Gardiner

 
 
 

Why it's call "Linux" and not "GNU/Linux"

Post by Rob S. Wolfra » Sat, 31 Aug 2002 08:16:08



> Well, I'd say that the Linux kernel is GPL'd, but it's still not GNU
> software.

Agreed.

Quote:> And, you don't have to use any GPL/GNU software around the
> Linux kernel if you don't want to.

Here is where I think you are wrong. Of course you can replace all
userland tools that are needed for basic Unix functionality with non-GNU
versions, but you cannot do without GNU libc.

Quote:> You can use whatever userland you
> want, like for example, you could very well have a BSDL'd userland.
> For example, FreeBSD uses a lot of GPL'd software in the base system,
> although it's in a smaller amount than most Linux distros.  If it's
> called GNU/Linux, that implies that you can't use anything but GNU
> software in the userland, which isn't true.  Then the question
> becomes:  how much GNU software is required in order to be qualifed as
> a "GNU system"?

The GNU system was a know beast back in 1991. Linus referred to it in
his "when men were men" announcement, as did Andy Tanenbaum in the
infamous "linux is obsolete" thread, both on comp.os.minix.
Dropping another kernel into a know system does not change the system
enough to stop calling it GNU. I think RMS at least shows the courtesy
to point out that at least one *essential* part of the OS is non-GNU,
hence the /Linux. It differentiates GNU/Linux from GNU/HURD and
GNU/FreeBSD.

Bottomline is, you *can* remove X from a Unix-like system and still have
a UNIX-like system. You can also do this for TeX, perl, gcc etc. You
*can not* do this for ls, wc, find, ar, libc etc. The availability of
that userland was no accident and preserving the name GNU is essential
to make people aware *why* it was no accident.

Cheers,
Rob
--

   UNIX was never designed to keep stupid people from doing stupid things,
   but it does allow clever people to do clever things.
                -- "Greycloud" in c.o.l.a.