that old GNU/Linux argument

Björn Persson listor3.rombobeorn at
Thu Jul 17 21:38:53 UTC 2008

Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-07-16 at 23:33 +0200, Björn Persson wrote:
> > Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:
> > > I can't help but point out that your
> > > definition of "operating system" does not include GNU, since GNU does
> > > not have a kernel.
> >
> > Ever heard of the Hurd?
> Ever since it was first mooted. Has anyone ever seen one? Are there any
> in production use anywhere in the world?

That's irrelevant. Production use wasn't part of Alexandre's definition 
of "operating system". GNU does have a kernel. Its name is the Hurd. You can 
install the Hurd on a computer together with libraries and programs from the 
GNU project to form a basic operating system. You can boot it, log in and run 
programs. Therefore, contrary to what you wrote, GNU does fit Alexandre's 
definition of "operating system".

> However that's not my point. You can't claim that GNU={libraries+apps}
> and also GNU={libraries+apps+kernel}. In this discussion even the
> pro-GNU people are using the first definition, not the second.

So what *is* your point? Are you claiming that the Hurd isn't part of the GNU 
project? Or are you arguing that instead of "GNU/Linux" people should 
say "GNU-except-the-Hurd/Linux"?

Björn Persson

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