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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Member since:

And there is the small problem that the Android kernel is not the Linux kernel but a fork, and that most device drivers are not even open source (embedded chips produced in China, they don't care much about the GPL)

Reply Parent Score: 4

silviucc Member since:

So my install of Ubuntu is not Linux because I use the nvidia binary blob eh and because the Ubuntu kernel also carries some other patches that are not included in the mainline kernel ?

Who knew?!

Reply Parent Score: 7

Carewolf Member since:

NVidia does not violate the GPL, they just have a small open source part that expose a new kernel interface that their binary driver can use. The android device drivers do not bother to do that.

Reply Parent Score: 3

aligatro Member since:

Didn't android linux kernel merge into linux kernel mainline?

Reply Parent Score: 5

Carewolf Member since:

Parts of it, but not all of it, and some parts are not acceptable for the mainline.

Reply Parent Score: 4