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[4]: More than just Linux
by DrJohnnyFever on Tue 20th Aug 2013 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: More than just Linux"
DrJohnnyFever
Member since:
2012-03-07

Almost all android apps are written in Java and the parts that aren't java are libraries called from java. And even then you have a non standard C library and special graphics libraries you have to use.

And like I said, Android HAS Linux. No argument. You can even touch Linux directly occasionally on Android.

But android is a whole lot more than Linux. To be Android you need a Linux kernel and a whole bunch of other stuff that is not in a normal Unix-like system.

You can put a Linux kernel in place of FreeBSD's kernel. But the system would still look like a "unix" system. You'd be using Unixy type programs. In android this simply isn't the case 99.9% of the time.

I'm not saying this is good or bad. But to equate Android to what most people think of as Linux is like calling iOS Mac OS X. Sorta, but not really.

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