that old GNU/Linux argument

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at
Tue Jul 15 02:25:59 UTC 2008

On Jul 14, 2008, Tim <ignored_mailbox at> wrote:

> On Tue, 2008-07-15 at 02:48 +0200, Björn Persson wrote:
>> What exactly is it that you don't want to call "GNU/Linux"? What
>> pieces of software does it contain?
>> Is Udev part of what you call Linux?
>> Is Bash part of what you call Linux?...

> They're all part of what's released as an OS called something-or-other
> Linux.

That's circular reasoning.

> Whether that be Fedora, Ubuntu, or dozens of others.

Neither Fedora nor Ubuntu have Linux in their names, so this doesn't
support your previous claim in any way.

> Just the same as a lot of software is called Windows software,
> despite never being written by Microsoft.

Windows is an Operating System written *by* Microsoft.  Linux is a
kernel written to work *with* the GNU Operating System.  What is the
parallel you were trying to make?  I don't see any.

> Over time, software *for* Linux, or software *for* Windows just gets
> called Linux software or Windows software.

Except that what you call Linux software isn't actually for Linux.
Have you ever heard of Nexenta (GNU/kOpenSolaris), Debian
GNU/kFreeBSD, and even UnixWare?

If you take *GNU* libc, rebuild it to target a different kernel while
exporting the same ABI, and voila, you can drop Linux entirely from
what you call a Linux Operating System, and pretty much all
applications will still work just the same.  Because they're not
applications for Linux.  They're applications for GNU libc.  They
couldn't care less that they're running on top of the kernel Linux.
For them, the kernel is irrelevant.

Next frequently raised fallacious objections?

Alexandre Oliva
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{,}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! =>
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{,}

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