a long rebuttal to the Linux-is-the-engine fallacy

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Mon Jul 28 01:35:04 UTC 2008

Gordon Messmer wrote:
> > 
> Well, the kernel's purpose is to load other, more sophisticated 
> applications.  Again, there's no magic in the Linux kernel.  It's just a 
> program, like all of the others.

I'd call fork() and exec() somewhat magic in this context, seeing as how 
  no unix program but init could run without them.  All those gnu-ish 
programs with the exception of grub and memtest86++ would still be 
waiting around for the hurd to start them if it weren't for linux.

>> I agree that grub is as essential as the Linux kernel according to my 
>> measuring stick (that is why I mentioned it in the first place), but 
>> it is eliminated from the contest on other grounds. And I hope we all 
>> agree that giving the name to a distro based on the bootloader is 
>> plain silly.
> No more than naming an operating system after its kernel.  I'm not aware 
> of any other operating system which is referred to by a name which is 
> clearly the name of its kernel and nothing else.

Unix/opensolaris/freebsd/openbsd???  What other operating system 
combines its name with a political movement?

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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