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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Android is Linux...
by majipoor on Mon 19th Aug 2013 20:43 UTC
Member since:

... as much as iOS is BSD, I guess.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Android is Linux...
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 19th Aug 2013 20:47 in reply to "Android is Linux..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

Stupid analogy that makes no sense. iOS has no BSD kernel. At all.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Android is Linux...
by majipoor on Mon 19th Aug 2013 20:58 in reply to "RE: Android is Linux..."
majipoor Member since:

Yes, Android actually use a Linux kernel while iOS use a kernel derived from BSD, but the final result is the same: Android is as different from Linux than iOS is different from BSD.

The only difference is that Apple didn't keep the original kernel and broke the link from the very beginning. Are you sure Google will not do that some day?

I am however sure that semantically you are right. But I also see how desperate Linux fans must be if they need to consider Android as a "normal" Linux distribution in order to be able to say that Linux did finally succeed ;)

Edited 2013-08-19 20:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Android is Linux...
by some1 on Mon 19th Aug 2013 21:12 in reply to "RE: Android is Linux..."
some1 Member since:

iOS has a few big chunks of BSD code in its kernel:
It's not, of course, comparable with Android, which has a normal Linux kernel with the number of patches comparable to "standard" distros.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Android is Linux...
by Drumhellar on Mon 19th Aug 2013 21:16 in reply to "RE: Android is Linux..."
Drumhellar Member since:

iOS has no BSD kernel. At all.

Not quite none at all. iOS uses XNU. A significant chunk of XNU is 4.3BSD, taken from the FreeBSD kernel. The BSD-based kernel components are (according to Wikipedia):

-Unix process model (Atop Mach tasks)
-VFS layer, for writing file system drivers (HFS/HFS+ is implemented using this)
-network stack
-basic security policies (including user/group IDs)
-UNIX System-V IPC mechanisms
-Crypto framework
-Mandatory Access Control features

plus a few others. As a fraction of the code size, it might not be very much, but many of these are among the most important parts of the kernel.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Android is Linux...
by Lazarus on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 04:53 in reply to "RE: Android is Linux..."
Lazarus Member since:

iOS has no BSD kernel. At all.

While true Mac OS X and the derivative iOS do not use anything resembling a typical BSD kernel, there is a lot of BSD code in XNU (the OS X/iOS kernel) including VFS, networking, process model, security and so on, that the Mach kernel core does not provide.

That is not even taking into account that the Mach kernel project itself was based on an old BSD kernel release.

Reply Parent Score: 4