that old GNU/Linux argument

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at
Wed Jul 16 06:02:57 UTC 2008

On Jul 15, 2008, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at> wrote:

> Gordon Messmer wrote:
>> Les Mikesell wrote:
>>> What was the working system before Linux?

>> It was GNU.  GNU, as a system, pre-dates Linux.

> As a system of what?

An operating system, whose kernel was still under development.  And,
like every other component of the GNU Operating System, still is.

>> GNU was not built on top of Linux.  Linux was eventually able to run GNU.

> GNU what?

GNU Operating System.  That stuff you could get from long before there were such things as ftp://

> I was more interested in running apache and sendmail at the time and
> didn't care if it was bsd, linux, or unix underneath.

Apache?!?  You're not going far back enough.  Apache is younger that
Linux, IIRC.  Certainly much younger than GNU.

sendmail, yeah, I'm pretty sure the GNU Project decided to not
implement its own MTA back in mid 1980's because sendmail was Free
Software, and so the other pieces were designed to just use it.

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

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