that old GNU/Linux argument

DJ Delorie dj at
Thu Jul 17 03:41:26 UTC 2008

Alexandre Oliva <aoliva at> writes:
> You can't go 'hey, ma, look this book I wrote' when what you wrote
> was only the preface.

Likewise, you can't go "hey, world, look at this operating system I
wrote" when all what wrote was only the C library.

Maybe we should call it glibClinux, like we do for uClinux?  And since
you can use newlib instead of glibc if you want, we'll need a
Newlib/Linux too.

You're been using Windows as an example of "an operating system" but
Windows isn't Windows without the graphics.  By your examples, we
should be calling the OS X/Linux.  Or XglibClinux.  Or kdeXgliClinux.

But wait, an OS includes IPC, right?  Sigh.  dbusKdeXglibClinux then.

Oh wait, you included DOS in your example OS list.  DOS comes with
ZERO libraries and applications[*] (does even count? even
if it did, there were a lot of substitutes for it).  So we're back to
just Linux again.

It's a matter of semantics.  The FSF is defining "operating system" as
"the stuff the FSF did, plus Linux", in order to convince the world
that they deserve more attribution than everyone else.  That the other
contributors are NOT making similar demands on the world speaks highly
of them.  That other people define "operating system" differently
seems to be an ignored point by the FSF proponents.

Potayto.  Potahto.  Get over it.

[*] Ok, it came with a few device drivers and such, but nothing of a
    type that isn't in the Linux kernel these days.

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