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Re: GNU/Linux Naming

From: Rui Miguel Silva Seabra
Subject: Re: GNU/Linux Naming
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2007 22:01:58 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.15+20070412 (2007-04-11)

On Wed, Dec 05, 2007 at 12:27:49PM -0800, mike3 wrote:
> On Dec 5, 8:01 am, Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <> wrote:
> > On Wed, Dec 05, 2007 at 12:46:00AM -0800, mike3 wrote:
> > > I do not see the reason why "GNU/Linux" should be preferred over just
> > > "Linux" to refer to the system.
> >
> > Hi, you can get *all* of Linux at
> >
> > For a few examples of GNU/Linux, check Debian GNU/Linux, Red Hat Enterprise
> > [GNU/]Linux, Ubuntu [GNU/]Linux, etc...
> >
> > > The arugment seems to be that the GNU
> > > project, which contributed a great deal to the Free operating system
> > > called "Linux" or "GNU/Linux", should get credited for these
> > > contributions in the name. There is nothing wrong with giving credit
> > > -- in fact, it should be done. But in a NAME? Does this mean we have
> > > to name movies, books, etc. even all computer software out there, in
> > > such a way as to credit the creators and contributors? There are other
> > > ways to do that, you know. I do not understand why *names* are the
> > > appropriate place to give credit. What's the reason, anyway?
> >
> > Hi Toad, I guess I can call you Toad instead of Mike, after all, what is
> > it about names that matters?
> >
> Well, I wouldn't like it, although it's funny, just because that is
> not
> the name that I have or use.

"Linux" though, or "GNU/Linux", or
> whatever, is just a collection of computer programs,

No, Linux is a kernel, you can get all of it in a single tar ball at  ... you know, neat packages called
linux-VERSION.tar.bz2 (for instance).

> The thing I was referring to was specifically the idea of *names
> giving credit*. The logic seems to be that the proper place for the
> *credit* is in the *name*. That's what I do not get. Why can't one
> just call it "Linux", and yet have the credit given for GNU somewhere
> else?

Hi Toad :)

> Is it because it emphasizes the "Linux" component, and
> therefore could be thought of in some sense as explicitly
> _denying_ the GNU contribution, while "GNU/Linux" emphasizes
> both components? Why not some new name with no emphasis
> on either?

Because there no need for that?

Linux : a kernel
GNU : an operating system, with HURD as its kernel.
GNU/Linux (or as some also use GNU+Linux) : GNU using the kernel Linux

Red Hat : a commercial GNU/Linux variant
Debian : a GNU/Linux variant

Do you think yet another name helps or changes anything positively?


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