Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 5th May 2006 11:16 UTC, submitted by Puru Govind
GNU, GPL, Open Source "This famous controversy is there ever since I became aware of operating systems known as GNU/Linux. The GNU General Public License, which is used by Linux as well as most GNU software, armors both characters. GNU/Linux is the term coined by the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman and people who support FSF, for operating systems composed of the FSF's GNU software and the Linux kernel; such systems are generally called Linux."
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RE: They are the same..
by snowbender on Fri 5th May 2006 16:43 UTC in reply to "They are the same.."
snowbender
Member since:
2006-05-04

It is not a double statement. "GNU/Linux" refers to a linux kernel with a GNU userland. To have a minimal operating system you need at least a kernel and userland utilities. With only the kernel, you can't do much. Then you can use the kernel+userland to build applications on top of that.

It is for example possible to build a system, which consists of a *BSD kernel and a GNU userland (instead of the BSD userland). Examples of this are the Debian projects Debian GNU/NetBSD and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. Another example is Nexenta OS, called GNU/Solaris, based on a GNU userland and a SunOS kernel (from OpenSolaris). And then of course, there is also GNU/HURD.

Of course, most of the time someone refers to "linux", they refer to at least the linux kernel with the GNU userland and often at a whole linux distro. I guess RMS is just so obsessed about it, because he wants to make people aware that the GNU tools are an essential part of a linux system. I guess he probably feels like having done a lot of work on the GNU tools and then in the 90s, some guy makes a kernel and becomes all popular and gets all the attention. It's like Linus Torvalds' work is a lot more appreciated and recognised than Stallman's work.

Oh well.. at least he can count me as a huge fan of his own OS... Emacs ;)

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