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: don't over generalize
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 19th Aug 2013 18:24 UTC in reply to "don't over generalize"
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

What are you talking about, Open Office/ Gimp all use X-server, so those are out because it doesn't use X-server. Neither do my production servers... Are they not linux?

And actually my cyanogen phone here *does* run vim and nano. Thank you very much.

Saying Android is *not* linux is like saying that a Rolls Royce is *not* a car. Its not devoid of any meaningful purpose, its just wrong.

Reply Parent Score: 14

RE[2]: don't over generalize
by hdjhfds on Mon 19th Aug 2013 18:56 in reply to "RE: don't over generalize"
hdjhfds Member since:
2013-08-19

Yeah, put words in people's mouths. That's the way to go.

Who said "android is not linux"?

Reply Parent Score: -1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Try running a couple software which you can run without trouble in any conventional linux distribution. Open office? Gimp? Nano? Vim?


What is the point of that statement if not a counter argument to "Android is Linux"?

None of those applications are linux or even *nix specific.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: don't over generalize
by lucas_maximus on Mon 19th Aug 2013 19:35 in reply to "RE: don't over generalize"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I going to say this maybe in another way.

What makes Windows for example Windows? It certainly isn't the kernel for most people ... it is the user interface, system libraries etc.

I think that is how some people feel about Android. I think GNU/Linux is silly.

But like MacOSX and iOS it doesn't necessarily have to have unix underpinnings to work like it does for most of the people that use it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I think the truth of the matter is: end users don't care about kernels as long as they work.

That makes a lot of sense. I think I'm coming to the conclusion that nothing else will in this conversation, other than what Thom said. There is very little room for logical argument here as its about definition. And Thom is being very textbook. Countering that with an attempt to redefine things based on one's feelings or experiences isn't fertile ground for productive discussions.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: don't over generalize
by Fergy on Mon 19th Aug 2013 20:17 in reply to "RE[2]: don't over generalize"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

What makes Windows for example Windows? It certainly isn't the kernel for most people ... it is the user interface, system libraries etc.

Apps.

Without apps Windows is just another OS like you can see with Windows RT.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: don't over generalize
by fretinator on Mon 19th Aug 2013 21:30 in reply to "RE[2]: don't over generalize"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I going to say this maybe in another way. What makes Windows for example Windows? It certainly isn't the kernel for most people ... it is the user interface, system libraries etc.

True, calling Android Linux is like calling a Nokia phone a "Windows" Phone.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: don't over generalize
by CFWhitman on Wed 21st Aug 2013 19:02 in reply to "RE: don't over generalize"
CFWhitman Member since:
2013-08-21

Actually, no, saying that Android is not Linux is not at all like saying that a Rolls Royce is not a car.

Unless you are going to make up a new definition of the word "Linux" then it refers to one of two things (I think two things are already enough).

The first thing that "Linux" can mean is the kernel (you can argue that technically this is the only meaning). In that context an operating system is more than its kernel. Saying that Android is Linux would be like saying that a car is an engine. Obviously a car is not an engine, though a working car will contain an engine. So in this sense Android is not Linux.

The second thing that "Linux" can refer to is the operating system that has been popularized under the term "Linux." Android is a different operating system than the operating system known as Linux, so in this sense also Android is not Linux. To continue with the analogy, if you take a Jeep and put a Ford engine or a Chevrolet engine in it (both of which I have seen done), it doesn't turn the Jeep into a Ford or a Chevy.

Yes, Android is a Linux based operating system. No, it is not Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 2