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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Comment by drcouzelis
by drcouzelis on Mon 19th Aug 2013 17:49 UTC
drcouzelis
Member since:
2010-01-11

> Repeat after me: Android is just as much 'Linux' as Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, or anything else that uses the Linux kernel.

I love Linux but I hate Android. Thanks to your comment, I was just able to figure out why.

I don't just love Linux. I love Linux, GNU, and the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard.

That's why I prefer Maemo, and that's why I'm waiting for SailfishOS / Jolla. It's Linux like all the other Linux distributions.

Edited 2013-08-19 17:50 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by drcouzelis
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 19th Aug 2013 18:05 in reply to "Comment by drcouzelis"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard


"standard"?

Haha.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by drcouzelis
by drcouzelis on Mon 19th Aug 2013 19:00 in reply to "RE: Comment by drcouzelis"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

Yes, standard.

When I use a new Linux distribution, I already know where most files are located because of a standard.

That same hierarchy allows me to install the software that's made "for Linux" on any Linux distribution without modification, except Android.

Did I use the incorrect term? Is it called something other than the FHS?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Comment by drcouzelis
by Bobthearch on Mon 19th Aug 2013 18:21 in reply to "Comment by drcouzelis"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

and the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard.


That's the part of Linux I dislike the most. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by drcouzelis
by drcouzelis on Mon 19th Aug 2013 18:54 in reply to "RE: Comment by drcouzelis"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

Do you like the filesystem hierarchy that Android has?

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by drcouzelis
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 19th Aug 2013 18:27 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.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by drcouzelis
by brostenen on Tue 20th Aug 2013 09:02 in reply to "Comment by drcouzelis"
brostenen Member since:
2007-01-16

Have you ever tried to look at the file-system in an android terminal? Looks much like any other Linux distrobution to me.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by drcouzelis
by DrJohnnyFever on Tue 20th Aug 2013 09:04 in reply to "RE: Comment by drcouzelis"
DrJohnnyFever Member since:
2012-03-07

Never said Linux wasn't part of the mix, but an android zip is 100MB to 200MB of stuff and Linux is 3MB. the remaining 197MB of stuff is nowhere to be found in any Linux distro. 90% of the system is totally different.

Edited 2013-08-20 09:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by drcouzelis
by drcouzelis on Wed 21st Aug 2013 01:35 in reply to "RE: Comment by drcouzelis"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

Have you ever tried to look at the file-system in an android terminal?

Yes.

Here's a simple example of my point:

In Maemo, I wanted to make changes to the icons that were displayed in my collection of applications (change icons, remove icons...). I found the ".desktop" files in "/usr/share/applications" and was able to make my changes in "~/.local/share/applications", just like I do on my desktop. I didn't have to search for how to do it on the Internet, and I did using only the applications that came with the OS (Terminal, Vi).

Reply Parent Score: 4