that old GNU/Linux argument

Tim ignored_mailbox at
Fri Jul 25 01:56:01 UTC 2008

>> 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.

max bianco:
> So you refer to your car by engine size? You tell people you drive a
> 2.4 Liter car?

Some do.  For the petrol heads, that will something they're keen about,
but analogies are always hard to apply when they're too far away from
the original.

> 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. 

When *explaining* something to someone, that's what I do, "explain it."
Whether they understand it is another thing, and unimportant to the
facts.  But I certainly do point out what an operating system is, how
applications are something different, and a distribution is a
conglomeration of things.  It's not hard to explain, other than to
zealots who have their own agenda.

People can pretend all that they like, but the term operating system has
a specific meaning.  Linux does fit the bill.

[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -r

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