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Re: "MIT/GNU/Linux"

From: Tim X
Subject: Re: "MIT/GNU/Linux"
Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2006 11:28:50 +1100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.92 (gnu/linux)

Giorgos Keramidas <address@hidden> writes:

> First of all, there are other examples where "parts" have a different
> name from the "whole".  Consider for example the fine difference between
> "SunOS" and "The Solaris Operating Environment" :)

Can you expand on this point? I'm asking as this seems to contradict
what I was told by Sun and other sys admins and recall reading some
years ago. My understanding is that sunOS was what Sun called the
operating system they had prior to Solaris. When they brought out
Solaris, they faced a bit of industry resistance and released SunOS (I
can't remember, but think it might have been v4.5 or v5.4 or something
like that), which was essentially the same as solaris (v2.3?). If
there is a more precise difference, I'd be intrested in knowing it
and/or being corrected.

With respect to comments re kernel == OS, I don't agree. The kernel
and the operating system are two different things, but somewhat
dependent on each other. For example, you could run hurd instead of
the Linux kernel. 

Now for some final clarification - at what point does GNU/Linux become
something other than GNU/Linux? For example, I would expect a
distribution like Debian is certainly of the GNU/Linux variety.
However, what about Red Hat and SuSe? Possibly even more unclear, what
about the distribution Oracle is planning to release as the supported
platform for their Oracle databases, can you also call this GNU/Linux? 

If there are some distributions which are GNU/Linux and some which are
not, what is the generic name used to refer to all of them
collectively (i.e. in the sense of Unix or *nix)? In the old DOS days,
you referred to DOS when talking about the generic OS, and DR DOS, MS
DOS, PC MOS etc when referring to specific flavors. If we want to say
that something runs on all "Linux" based systems, what is the correct

I also gather from listening to RMS and from some reading that we
should also avoid referring to GNU software as open source, but
instead as "Free Software". 


tcross (at) rapttech dot com dot au

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