Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Aug 2013 17:27 UTC
Linux Steve Cheney:

There's more to the platform wars than mobile - Android is starting to take off in non-mobile markets in a massive way - Internet of Things, Television (Chromecast), etc. To date Linux has been the dominant OS but Android is now taking some embedded designs which would have run Linux. The effective decoupling of Android from carriers for non-mobile markets + the richness of tools and the existing developer ecosystem will likely cement Android as the definitive open source OS of the next decade. This will have pluses for Google but also unintended consequences.

A common misconception among people who don't really understand what Linux is - one that I'm seeing pop up more and more now that people are trying to paint Android in a negative light - i.e., as competition to not just iOS, but also the noble and open source Linux.

Repeat after me: Android is just as much 'Linux' as Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, or anything else that uses the Linux kernel. Technically, a better term would be 'Linux distribution', since Linux in and of itself is just a kernel. Wikipedia defines 'Linux distribution' quite well:

A Linux distribution (often called distro for short) is a member of the family of Unix-like operating systems built on top of the Linux kernel. Such distributions are operating systems including a large collection of software applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, media players, and database applications. These operating systems consist of the Linux kernel and, usually, a set of libraries and utilities from the GNU Project, with graphics support from the X Window System. Distributions optimized for size may not contain X and tend to use more compact alternatives to the GNU utilities, such as BusyBox, uClibc, or dietlibc.

Android is a Linux distribution, and is an addition to the Linux ecosystem - not a challenger. Painting it as such is just a sign of ignorance.

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RE: Comment by drcouzelis
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 19th Aug 2013 18:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by drcouzelis"
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

Put another way, I think that is pretty much exactly what this article is saying. In fact, it could have been written just like this:

https://www.gnu.org/gnu/linux-and-gnu.html

...or the many articles written condemning the use of "Linux" instead of "GNU/Linux" (or the reverse) but then it probably wouldn't spark as many hits or comments. This article was probably just slyly and purposely written to be vague in order to start a heated debate on those two terms and their common but long-criticized interchangeable use.

My cousin owns a TV that runs Linux. If I had such a set, I wouldn't say that I run Linux on my TV--I would say that my TV runs/is powered by Linux. But face it, that doesn't mean much, because the old remote control is your interface and the only things you can do are adjust some basic settings and switch channels/inputs. The way I see it, the TV is what I use, and theoretically they should all work practically the same and as intended with the only differences being in flashiness and menu order, no matter what kernel is running behind the scenes. I wouldn't consider myself to be "using Linux" when the kernel's only purpose is to make the thing work.

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