that old GNU/Linux argument

max bianco maximilianbianco at
Thu Jul 24 17:09:16 UTC 2008

On Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 3:21 AM, Tim <ignored_mailbox at> wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-07-22 at 03:02 -0300, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> So, anyone who insists in naming Linux all of the GNU operating system
>> used with the kernel Linux is contradicting the primary developer of
>> GNU and the primary developer of Linus.
> And going along with how various distributions describe themselves.
> Really, get over it.  The meaning of the term has evolved.  Go argue the
> point with the distributions and the various publications that review
> it.  The users will call it what they do.  They're not going to call it
> GNU/Linux because you and Stallman want them to.  You're the ones riding
> on the coattails of other's success.
>> To get a working system you need a shell, compilers, a library etc
> Take note:  "System" is yet another term that means more than just an
> operating system.  The kernel is the core, pun intended.  Of anything,
> it should get biggest name on the billing.  Around that (and much of it
> in the kernel), is the operating system.  Around that you have a
> computer system (the part that's actually useful to people).  GNU is
> trying to claim more credit than it's due.

So you refer to your car by engine size? You tell people you drive a
2.4 Liter car?
For the record when explaining to completely clueless people what
Linux is, they think Linux is one thing like Windows is one thing.
They will say " You mean like XP and Vista right?"  and you'll respond
*sigh* "No, not like that...." or "Well, sort of but ...."
Try explaining the concept of a distribution to someone who has no
idea what your talking about and you will soon find that calling the
OS Linux is really misleading. I don't care what you call it
personally but the other side has a very valid point. The kernel is
useless without the shell, compiler, etc... Like a car without wheels
it isn't taking you anywhere I don't care how fast it can go, its
useless hanging from a rig in the garage, its not until you drop it
into a frame that it starts to resemble a car and then you still need
wheels, steering wheel(shell?) etc....


If opinions were really like assholes we'd each have just one

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