GNU/Linux versus Linux

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roc314
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GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby roc314 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:40 am UTC

I'm surprised that there's no actual thread on this (well, there was one on the use of "Lignux", but that's a different topic).

Which is the preferred name for the most well-known free OS: "GNU/Linux" or "Linux"?


I personally prefer to use GNU/Linux. Most (but not) of my reasoning for this has already been argued by rms, so I'll use a link to state my position.

This is kind of like arguing about the reason for a county to have freedom: "we should have freedom because freedom is good" or "we should have freedom because it creates a more stable, *useful* society". Sure the practical side of things is nice, but shouldn't the primary reason we have software libre be the inherent quality of freedom? At the very least, we need to emphasize the freedom of the aspect, so as to get the general public to protect their rights (as most unexperienced computer users cannot understand the practical side of the issue.

There are reasons other than the idea of emphasizing "open source" that people prefer Linux, but I'm not arguing for you...
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Re: GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby EvanED » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:40 am UTC

"Linux", because I'm lazy. Besides, at the point where you start adding in user space stuff, you should probably be saying "KDE or Gnome/Xorg/GNU/Linux", and that's just ridiculous.

Also, I'm not very ideological when it comes to this sort of stuff. I think OSS is good because of practical benefits, and I think the comparison to whether society should give you freedoms is not very apt for reasons I don't feel like explaining and don't belong in this thread anyway.

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Re: GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby phlip » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:57 am UTC

I'll call it "Linux", partly from laziness, partly because it's the usual colloqual term for the system.

But if I'm talking about, say, bash, or gcc, or something like that, I'll call it a GNU tool, not a Linux tool... since that's what it is.

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Re: GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby Xbehave » Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:43 pm UTC

roc314 wrote:I personally prefer to use GNU/Linux. Most (but not) of my reasoning for this has already been argued by rms, so I'll use a link to state my position.
if you want to advertise your software use a 3-clause bsd otherwise just be quiet and let people use/call it how/what they want.
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Re: GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby Berengal » Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:03 pm UTC

"Linux", because I'm lazy, because I don't call my windows install "Microsoft Office/Microsoft Windows XP Pro 64 bit" (I just call it "wondowz") and mostly because the "GNU/Linux" crowd seems more fanatical about their choice, so it pisses them off more than if I tried to piss of the "Linux" crowd.
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Re: GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby roc314 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:25 pm UTC

Berengal wrote:"Linux", because I'm lazy, because I don't call my windows install "Microsoft Office/Microsoft Windows XP Pro 64 bit" (I just call it "wondowz") and mostly because the "GNU/Linux" crowd seems more fanatical about their choice, so it pisses them off more than if I tried to piss of the "Linux" crowd.


You win points for the best reason to use "Linux". :D

Xbehave wrote:
roc314 wrote:I personally prefer to use GNU/Linux. Most (but not) of my reasoning for this has already been argued by rms, so I'll use a link to state my position.
if you want to advertise your software use a 3-clause bsd otherwise just be quiet and let people use/call it how/what they want.


The way I understand it, Richard Stallman doesn't push the use of "GNU/Linux" because he wants name recognition, but because he wants people to think about the philosophies they support: software being open so that anyone can edit it, the owner of the computer should have the freedom to do whatever they want with their computer, including looking at/editing source code, etc. They want people to think of their ideas--and agree--whenever people hear the name spoken. Sure it's technically propaganda, but it's for a good cause. Kind of like the difference between saying "socialized medicine" and "universal health-care". Both mean the same thing; it is simply a matter of what you want others to think when they hear the word.

(That being said, if you honestly believe that Richard Stallman forces the use of GNU/Linux on people as an ego trip, then I don't blame you for using Linux. In fact, when speaking to people in the know, I never mention anything if they say "Linux", as usually, they already know and have made their choice on what to say, and they usually use FOSS anyways. When talking to Microsoft people or those who have never heard of free or open source software, I do make a point of the use of GNU/Linux.)
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Re: GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby Xanthir » Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:33 pm UTC

I say GNU/Linux when I'm talking about issues that bring it to mind, but otherwise just Linux for brevity. I *do*, however, go out of my way to educate people that almost all of the underlying Linux commands were written by Stallman & co. for their GNU OS, and Torvalds sort of just stumbled onto them after creating his kernel.
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Re: GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby qbg » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:35 pm UTC

Berengal wrote:"Linux", because I'm lazy, because I don't call my windows install "Microsoft Office/Microsoft Windows XP Pro 64 bit" (I just call it "wondowz") and mostly because the "GNU/Linux" crowd seems more fanatical about their choice, so it pisses them off more than if I tried to piss of the "Linux" crowd.

Well, Windows is a kernel and various other parts that make up the basic operating system; GNU/Linux is a kernel and various other parts that make up the basic operating system. If "Windows" is simple enough to describe one, "GNU/Linux" should be simple enough to describe the other.

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Re: GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby EvanED » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:15 pm UTC

qbg wrote:Well, Windows is a kernel and various other parts that make up the basic operating system; GNU/Linux is a kernel and various other parts that make up the basic operating system. If "Windows" is simple enough to describe one, "GNU/Linux" should be simple enough to describe the other.
I still think you need at least X in there to make that a fair comparison. I would also consider that and the DE part of the basic operating system. I'm not going to say I'm running "KDE/Xorg/GNU/Linux".

I wouldn't include Office though.

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Re: GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby hotaru » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:30 pm UTC

i call it GNAA/Lunix.

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Re: GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby phlip » Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:54 pm UTC

A point comes to mind... is it possible for a Linux system to be not GNU? I know the reverse is true, by which I mean I've at least heard of GNU/Hurd, but has anyone been masochistic enough to try wrapping, say, the BSD tools around the Linux kernel?

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Re: GNU/Linux versus Linux

Postby qbg » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:19 pm UTC

phlip wrote:A point comes to mind... is it possible for a Linux system to be not GNU? I know the reverse is true, by which I mean I've at least heard of GNU/Hurd, but has anyone been masochistic enough to try wrapping, say, the BSD tools around the Linux kernel?

There are BusyBox based Linux systems.


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