that old GNU/Linux argument

Alexandre Oliva aoliva at
Tue Jul 29 02:49:30 UTC 2008

On Jul 28, 2008, Marko Vojinovic <vvmarko at> wrote:

> On Monday 28 July 2008 16:56, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> And it's not GNU utilities.  It's an operating system.  If it was just
>> "the GNU utilities", you might be right.

> GNU is *not* an operating system. An operating system must have a kernel as 
> its part.  GNU does not, so it is not an operating system.

It does, so it is.  Hurd is its kernel, it is part of the GNU
operating system.  See how the GNU project makes the distro with the
Hurd kernel available: it's under `gnu', not under `gnu+hurd' or any
such nonsense.

GNU/Linux is another operating system.  Its kernel is Linux.  It is
nearly identical to the GNU[/Hurd] operating system, except for the
small kernel.

> So stop promoting GNU as an operating system. It is intended to be one, but 
> never made it on its own. It is a tried-and-failed-to-be-operating-system.

Everyone who uses GNU on top of Linux would disagree if only they knew
that it was the GNU operating system they were using, and Linux was
just the kernel that replaced the Hurd.

> GNU within Fedora (or any Linux distro) is *not* an operating system. 
> It is only a part of an os.

GNU+Linux makes for an operating system.  Linux by itself doesn't.

So how does your argument support calling the operating system Linux,
rather than GNU+Linux?

Alexandre Oliva
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{,}
FSFLA Board Member       ¡Sé Libre! =>
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{,}

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