Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Gordon Messmer yinyang at eburg.com
Tue Jul 15 22:28:58 UTC 2008

Les Mikesell wrote:
> Gordon Messmer wrote:
>>> A rare bit of honesty there:
>>>   "In 2008, we found that GNU packages made up 15% of the “main”
>>>   repository of the gNewSense GNU/Linux distribution. Linux made
>>>   up 1.5%. So the same argument would apply even more strongly
>>>   to calling it “Linux”
>> You're reading it incorrectly, by leaving out the question:
>>    GNU is a small fraction of the system nowadays, so why should we
>>    mention it?
>> GNU is arguing, in the quote you posted, that if it is inappropriate 
>> to include GNU in the name for a GNU/Linux distribution, then it is 
>> even more strongly inappropriate to call it "Linux".  Linux is a much 
>> smaller and less significant portion of a GNU/Linux distribution than 
>> GNU is.
> It's not an either/or question. They are right that it is inappropriate 
> but in both cases, not just the straw man they set up.  Call it Fedora, 
> call it freebsd, call it OpenSolaris, and leave politics out of it.

I don't think that they're arguing at all that it's inappropriate to 
call it GNU/Linux.  They're illustrating that the argument which is 
often used for calling a system Linux -- that GNU is a small component 
of a typical GNU/Linux distribution -- is a ridiculous argument, since 
Linux is a much smaller component of the distribution.

Certainly, I have no objections referring to Red Hat's community 
distribution as "Fedora", but when referring to distributions of 
GNU/Linux systems in general or in aggregate, I do try to use the 
appropriate name.

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