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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Even better
by deathshadow on Tue 20th Aug 2013 00:29 UTC
Member since:

It's Linux WITHOUT the crap that makes most Linsux distros blow chunks, or most *nix based OS for that matter... X11 implementation.

Much as OSX doesn't use X11 atop Darwin (BSD) (though they have a X11 stack to sit atop their own), Android uses it's own graphics API and interface. I swear it's the only way to make Linsux (and *nix OS' in general) not blow chunks while having a GUI so far as a desktop or consumer level OS is concerned.

Hell, if X11's "xLib" API wasn't such unusable trash, GTK, Motif, Athena, Qt, Openlook, and all the other 'toolkits' wouldn't even exist. Hell half of those aren't even built direct on Xlib, and instead have Xt (xToolkit) only further abstracting the fact the underlying library is cryptic poorly documented rubbish it's a miracle anyone can do anything useful with it!

X11 (Xfree,, whatever the **** is trendy this year) is 90%+ of why for me, Linux is a useless tinkertoy as a desktop OS. (another 5% would be the steaming pile of unreadable trash known as freetype, kerning text like a sweetly retarded crack addict)

Though I swear, reading this article my I was hearing in my brain Stallman's infamous:

I'd just like to interject for moment. What you're refering to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/Linux, or as I've recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.

Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called Linux, and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project.

There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called Linux distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux!

... and as Android keeps proving, the less GNU the better.

Edited 2013-08-20 00:35 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Even better
by shmerl on Tue 20th Aug 2013 01:06 in reply to "Even better"
shmerl Member since:

Your criticism of X11 was pointless. Modern mobile Linux is using Wayland these days (or in case of Ubuntu - Mir).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Even better
by deathshadow on Tue 20th Aug 2013 02:44 in reply to "RE: Even better"
deathshadow Member since:

No, yours just proves my point... since even some distros and devs have FINALLY realized the real problem.

Edited 2013-08-20 02:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2