that old GNU/Linux argument

Antonio Olivares olivares14031 at
Mon Jul 21 05:47:40 UTC 2008

> > So far I haven't seen a pro-GNU/Linux person
> describe what GNU/Linux is and
> > what it isn't. It would be interesting to see
> whether they include the
> > kitchen sink in GNU/Linux.
> Correction: Alexandre Oliva has said that "an
> operating system is a kernel 
> plus a bunch of userland libraries and programs that users
> and other 
> applications generally rely on" and that GNU is an
> example of an operating 
> system. I can't believe I forgot that.
> It's a bit vague, but clearly a whole lot less than all
> of Fedora or Debian. 
> It could be taken to mean just a kernel and the GNU command
> line tools, or it 
> could include X and Gnome too.
> Björn Persson
> -- 

Using google with the search phrase "why is it called GNU/Linux?", we get many hits, most notably

Now it becomes a matter of opinion as to why FSF prefers GNU/Linux and others prefer simply Linux.  There are many projects out there that are not from GNU only and the kernel is the core part(the glue that holds everything together as many people say).  It would be nice to have a percentage of which programs/sub projects make up an entire Linux distribution and see by numbers which projects make up a higher percentage.  In the page 

it explains why it is appropriate to call it GNU/Linux 
If we tried to measure the GNU Project's contribution in this way, what would we conclude? One CD-ROM vendor found that in their “Linux distribution”, GNU software was the largest single contingent, around 28% of the total source code, and this included some of the essential major components without which there could be no system. Linux itself was about 3%. (The proportions in 2008 are similar: in the “main” repository of gNewSense, Linux is 1.5% and GNU packages are 15%.) So if you were going to pick a name for the system based on who wrote the programs in the system, the most appropriate single choice would be “GNU”.

I personally do not mind what they call it.  As long as it works for me in the ways that it does, lets me be in control, and runs smoothy I have no objections as to its name.




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