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I'd Just Like To Interject For A Moment

#1 User is offline   GavinHarrison 

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 03:44 AM

What you’re referring to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/Linux, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.

Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called “Linux”, and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project. There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use.

Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine’s resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called “Linux” distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux.
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#2 User is offline   Car54 

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 08:21 AM

Thanks for that info, and now we also know what your Avatar is about :) http://www.gnu.org/

Posted Image

So the catch phrase that people like to use, distro, is that just a word to imply the many versions of GNU based Linux?

This post has been edited by Car54: 21 October 2010 - 08:22 AM

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#3 User is offline   GavinHarrison 

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 12:20 AM

View PostCar54, on 21 October 2010 - 08:21 AM, said:

Thanks for that info, and now we also know what your Avatar is about :) http://www.gnu.org/

Posted Image

So the catch phrase that people like to use, distro, is that just a word to imply the many versions of GNU based Linux?


I'm not sure what you mean by 'GNU based Linux'. But yes, when people say 'distro' that just means they are talking about a different version of what is essentially the GNU/Linux operating system. Some of these contain software that is not-free and in the spirit of the GNU project but they are still distributions of GNU/Linux.

When I talk about free software, I am talking about software that gives its users the following freedoms:
* The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
* The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
* The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
* The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

The website you linked to has a lot of good information on this.

This post has been edited by GavinHarrison: 22 October 2010 - 12:21 AM

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#4 User is offline   Car54 

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 02:55 AM

Thanks Gavin as that was a real question I was asking and not a question/statement

I guess what I meant as far as GNU based Linux is that on this link, Fedora is considered a Linux distro, correct, a version of Linux? If so, then is it just known or implied that the fully functional system as you mentioned in post #1 is GNU, and thus all Linux distros are GNU based (fully functional systems, I just may have worded it wrong), as GNU is not mentioned on the Fedora web page?

Thanks for your help Gavin, and this thread you started, as this is all pretty new to me. I just set up a VMWare Player about 6 weeks ago, and have Ubuntu as one of my Virtual Machines, so this will help me to have a better understanding of the foundational aspects of GNU/Linux as I learn more about using it. :)

This post has been edited by Car54: 22 October 2010 - 03:01 AM

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#5 User is offline   GavinHarrison 

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 04:04 AM

View PostCar54, on 22 October 2010 - 02:55 AM, said:

Thanks Gavin as that was a real question I was asking and not a question/statement

I guess what I meant as far as GNU based Linux is that on this link, Fedora is considered a Linux distro, correct, a version of Linux? If so, then is it just known or implied that the fully functional system as you mentioned in post #1 is GNU, and thus all Linux distros are GNU based (fully functional systems, I just may have worded it wrong), as GNU is not mentioned on the Fedora web page?

Thanks for your help Gavin, and this thread you started, as this is all pretty new to me. I just set up a VMWare Player about 6 weeks ago, and have Ubuntu as one of my Virtual Machines, so this will help me to have a better understanding of the foundational aspects of GNU/Linux as I learn more about using it. :)


The web-page says that Fedora is 'Linux-based'. It should really say 'based on GNU/Linux' because it is based on an operating system that uses the Linux kernel and many GNU components. When the GNU project was trying to build a completely free operating system they were struggling with the kernel. Luckily, Linus Torvalds stepped in and made the Linux kernel free to use. In this case, GNU and Linux go hand in hand.
It is worth remembering that you can have an OS that uses the Linux kernel but has no GNU components, such as the Android. In this case you should say "Android contains Linux". Android contains just as much of Linux as GNU/Linux does. What it doesn't have is GNU.

Onto your point about whether it is well-known that 'Linux-based' actually means (in most cases) 'GNU/Linux based'. It is not, and this is a big problem.
It is important that the GNU project get recognition for their work. If more people know about GNU then more people will find out about their ideals and hopefully follow them. It is confusing to refer to the kernel and OS by the same name, this is also a problem. Some people don't say 'GNU/Linux' because it is easier to say 'Linux', others simply don't know about GNU, even if they have been using it for many years.

Hopefully I answered your questions. It is very heartening to see somebody like yourself approach this with an open and curious mind.
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#6 User is offline   Car54 

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 04:41 AM

Excellent reply Gavin, very helpful. :)

The first PC I owned and started with was Windows XP, so this is the only OS I've known and somewhat understood. So thank you for your kind words, and your excellent, thoughtful, replies. :)

This post has been edited by Car54: 22 October 2010 - 04:54 AM

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#7 User is offline   publicmenace 

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:55 PM

I hate extra typing so I'm going to continue using just "Linux" in referring to this OS.
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#8 User is offline   GavinHarrison 

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 06:54 AM

View Postpublicmenace, on 22 November 2010 - 08:55 PM, said:

I hate extra typing so I'm going to continue using just "Linux" in referring to this OS.


But it isn't 'extra' typing. Extra typing would be 'GNU/Linux blah blah blah pointless text'. You can't get GNU/Linux any shorter so to suggest that there are excess characters is simply wrong.
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#9 User is offline   myloginname 

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 08:11 AM

Actually, that would kind of be the whole point. Does it matter if its wrong? In this world, no. It's just like IM short forms. All sorts of abbreviations that don't make any sense. So what? Also, I don't think GNU/Linux would be a very attractive name for an OS. The world these days is all about advertising and media. I doubt Mac OS Snow Leopard makes any sense. But it sounds "cool". Linux already has such a small userbase, but it is well developed and I don't think they would give it such a pointless name.

Would you go up to your friend and say "Wow, GNU/Linux is so awesome!!" Or say "Have you tried GNU/Linux?" You probably wouldn't. And that is why it's called Linux.

Also, you say we use GNU everyday. So are you saying we should call Windows GNU/Windows? Or whatever other programs that may use GNU, and add a GNU/ to the beginning?

I agree, GNU should get some recognization. But to call Linux GNU/Linux is absolutely ridiculous. Why doesn't Linux just say that they base their kernel on GNU? That is their question to answer. You bring up a good point, but also a bad point.
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#10 User is offline   Kazmatron 

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 01:14 PM

View Postmyloginname, on 28 November 2010 - 08:11 AM, said:

I agree, GNU should get some recognization. But to call Linux GNU/Linux is absolutely ridiculous. Why doesn't Linux just say that they base their kernel on GNU? That is their question to answer. You bring up a good point, but also a bad point.


GNU actually has nothing to do with the kernel. The kernel is straight up Linux. GNU is the set of tools, or programs, utilizing the Linux kernel.

I will also continue calling it Linux. GNU "slash" Linux is just not a friendly name. It's too long and more technical than it needs to be. Like I've said before....if GNU puts out their own distro, I'll call that one GNU/Linux.

And, besides....how long has it been called "Linux?" Since early 90's? Just leave it alone.

This post has been edited by Kazmatron: 28 November 2010 - 01:18 PM

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#11 User is offline   GavinHarrison 

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:29 AM

View Postmyloginname, on 28 November 2010 - 08:11 AM, said:

Actually, that would kind of be the whole point. Does it matter if its wrong? In this world, no. It's just like IM short forms. All sorts of abbreviations that don't make any sense. So what?


Is it important whether people know the system's origin, history, and purpose? Yes—because people who forget history are often condemned to repeat it. The Free World that has developed around GNU/Linux is not guaranteed to survive; the problems that led the GNU Project to develop GNU are not completely eradicated, and they threaten to come back. If an abbreviation doesn't make sense, people ignore it or look it up. This is far less harmful than people thinking they know what it is when actually they are mistaken.

View Postmyloginname, on 28 November 2010 - 08:11 AM, said:

Also, I don't think GNU/Linux would be a very attractive name for an OS. The world these days is all about advertising and media. I doubt Mac OS Snow Leopard makes any sense. But it sounds "cool". Linux already has such a small userbase, but it is well developed and I don't think they would give it such a pointless name.


It does not matter whether or not the name is 'attractive'.

View Postmyloginname, on 28 November 2010 - 08:11 AM, said:

Would you go up to your friend and say "Wow, GNU/Linux is so awesome!!" Or say "Have you tried GNU/Linux?" You probably wouldn't. And that is why it's called Linux.


Whether or not I would call it GNU/Linux is irrelevant (although I do). People refer to it as Linux because they do not know why GNU/Linux came about. Some GNU/Linux users have never heard of GNU through this mistake.
The popularity of an error does not make that error right. The majority may call it Linux but that is not the right name.

View Postmyloginname, on 28 November 2010 - 08:11 AM, said:

Also, you say we use GNU everyday. So are you saying we should call Windows GNU/Windows? Or whatever other programs that may use GNU, and add a GNU/ to the beginning?


I was referring the GNU/Linux users that have never heard of 'GNU'.
To your 'GNU/Windows' point. It would not be 'GNU/Windows' in the same sense that we mean by “GNU/Linux” The tools of GNU are just a part of the GNU software, which is just a part of the GNU system, and underneath them you would still have another complete operating system which has no code in common with GNU. All in all, that's a very different situation from GNU/Linux.

View Postmyloginname, on 28 November 2010 - 08:11 AM, said:

I agree, GNU should get some recognization. But to call Linux GNU/Linux is absolutely ridiculous. Why doesn't Linux just say that they base their kernel on GNU? That is their question to answer. You bring up a good point, but also a bad point.


See Kazmatrons post on this. Linux was developed seperately from GNU, hence why it is useful to distinguish the two.
Linus Torvalds was partly influenced by a speech about GNU in Finland in 1990. It's possible that even without this influence he might have written a Unix-like kernel, but it probably would not have been free software. Linux became free in 1992 when Linus rereleased it under the GNU GPL. (See the release notes for version 0.12.)


I will also continue calling it Linux. GNU "slash" Linux is just not a friendly name. It's too long and more technical than it needs to be. Like I've said before....if GNU puts out their own distro, I'll call that one GNU/Linux.

And, besides....how long has it been called "Linux?" Since early 90's? Just leave it alone.


Whether or not the name is 'friendly' it irrelevant. Although you can say it without 'pronouncing' the slash be careful not to give people the idea that 'GNU/Linux' is 'GNU Linux'.
Following the rules of English, in the construction “GNU Linux” the word “GNU” modifies “Linux”. This can mean either “GNU's version of Linux” or “Linux, which is a GNU package.” Neither of those meanings fits the situation at hand.

Linux is not a GNU package; that is, it wasn't developed under the GNU Project's aegis or contributed specifically to the GNU Project. Linus Torvalds wrote Linux independently, as his own project. So the “Linux, which is a GNU package” meaning is not right.

I have explained to you before about GNU releasing their own distro. They made an OS and it was called 'GNU/Linux'. It was the original from which all other distros were shaped from.

The length of time an error has been popular has no bearing on whether it is right or not.
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#12 User is offline   BGG001 

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 06:23 AM

You understand that you're arguing over absolutely nothing here, right? Why do you care so much that someone know the history of Linux?' I'm not getting upset because people don't know that Windows is on the NT Kernel 6.1. Does anyone need to know that in order to use Windows? Or why would you care so much that people say 'Linux' instead of 'GNU/Linux?' Is it really that outrageous that it's shortened for the sake of quicker typing and speech for convenience? And beyond all of that, at the end of the day, people are still going to call it Linux, so you're blood pressure is being raised for no reason whatsoever.

This post has been edited by BGG001: 05 December 2010 - 06:25 AM

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#13 User is offline   GavinHarrison 

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 03:21 AM

View PostBGG001, on 05 December 2010 - 06:23 AM, said:

You understand that you're arguing over absolutely nothing here, right? Why do you care so much that someone know the history of Linux?' I'm not getting upset because people don't know that Windows is on the NT Kernel 6.1. Does anyone need to know that in order to use Windows?


When you say "the history of Linux" I can't be sure what you're talking about. This is one of the problems. Do you mean the kernel called Linux or the operating system I a referring to as GNU/Linux? Your analogy doesn't really make sense but I am not arguing that knowing the history is essential in order to USE GNU/Linux (after all, there are many people that use GNU/Linux and have never heard of GNU).

View PostBGG001, on 05 December 2010 - 06:23 AM, said:

Or why would you care so much that people say 'Linux' instead of 'GNU/Linux?' Is it really that outrageous that it's shortened for the sake of quicker typing and speech for convenience? And beyond all of that, at the end of the day, people are still going to call it Linux, so you're blood pressure is being raised for no reason whatsoever.


The conversion of 'GNU/Linux' to 'Linux' isn't really a shortening, because you lose the GNU which is important. It also creates confusion because Linux is the name of the kernel. Doing something for convenience isn't always the right thing to do; think of all the companies that exploit child labour.

I've said this many times, the popularity of an error does not make it right. You can't say that people will never call it GNU/Linux.
Imagine saying this to a supporter of the civil rights movement:
"And beyond all of that, at the end of the day, people are still going to be racist, so you're blood pressure is being raised for no reason whatsoever."

It's sad that I have to give examples to highlight your faulty logic.
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#14 User is offline   BGG001 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 10:30 AM

View PostGavinHarrison, on 06 December 2010 - 03:21 AM, said:

View PostBGG001, on 05 December 2010 - 06:23 AM, said:

You understand that you're arguing over absolutely nothing here, right? Why do you care so much that someone know the history of Linux?' I'm not getting upset because people don't know that Windows is on the NT Kernel 6.1. Does anyone need to know that in order to use Windows?


When you say "the history of Linux" I can't be sure what you're talking about. This is one of the problems. Do you mean the kernel called Linux or the operating system I a referring to as GNU/Linux? Your analogy doesn't really make sense but I am not arguing that knowing the history is essential in order to USE GNU/Linux (after all, there are many people that use GNU/Linux and have never heard of GNU).

View PostBGG001, on 05 December 2010 - 06:23 AM, said:

Or why would you care so much that people say 'Linux' instead of 'GNU/Linux?' Is it really that outrageous that it's shortened for the sake of quicker typing and speech for convenience? And beyond all of that, at the end of the day, people are still going to call it Linux, so you're blood pressure is being raised for no reason whatsoever.


The conversion of 'GNU/Linux' to 'Linux' isn't really a shortening, because you lose the GNU which is important. It also creates confusion because Linux is the name of the kernel. Doing something for convenience isn't always the right thing to do; think of all the companies that exploit child labour.

I've said this many times, the popularity of an error does not make it right. You can't say that people will never call it GNU/Linux.
Imagine saying this to a supporter of the civil rights movement:
"And beyond all of that, at the end of the day, people are still going to be racist, so you're blood pressure is being raised for no reason whatsoever."

It's sad that I have to give examples to highlight your faulty logic.


It's sad that you're getting this upset over something that has become publicly accepted even on the developer level. What's more sad is that you compare the shortening of a phrase to child labor and the civil rights movement. Last time I checked, saying "Linux" instead of "GNU/Linux" has not caused war, hasn't started any riots, etc. Perhaps you should find something to actually compare it to that makes sense. This is an obvious sign you've crossed the boundary into lunacy. You have fun trying to convince millions of people to start using "GNU/Linux" as a common term, see how far you get. Judging from this thread, you're already off to a great start!
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#15 User is offline   waldojim 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 12:31 PM

View PostGavinHarrison, on 06 December 2010 - 03:21 AM, said:


The conversion of 'GNU/Linux' to 'Linux' isn't really a shortening, because you lose the GNU which is important. It also creates confusion because Linux is the name of the kernel. Doing something for convenience isn't always the right thing to do; think of all the companies that exploit child labour.

I've said this many times, the popularity of an error does not make it right. You can't say that people will never call it GNU/Linux.
Imagine saying this to a supporter of the civil rights movement:
"And beyond all of that, at the end of the day, people are still going to be racist, so you're blood pressure is being raised for no reason whatsoever."

It's sad that I have to give examples to highlight your faulty logic.


People don't care. I don't care. The Linux community in general doesn't care. Would you mind doing people a favor?

Find a different lost cause.
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" -- Isaac Asimov

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#16 User is offline   techie4fun 

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 01:50 PM

Quote

People don't care. I don't care. The Linux community in general doesn't care. Would you mind doing people a favor?

Find a different lost cause.


Ditto.

This post has been edited by techie4fun: 07 December 2010 - 01:51 PM

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#17 User is offline   GavinHarrison 

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 02:44 AM

View PostBGG001, on 07 December 2010 - 10:30 AM, said:

It's sad that you're getting this upset over something that has become publicly accepted even on the developer level. What's more sad is that you compare the shortening of a phrase to child labor and the civil rights movement. Last time I checked, saying "Linux" instead of "GNU/Linux" has not caused war, hasn't started any riots, etc. Perhaps you should find something to actually compare it to that makes sense. This is an obvious sign you've crossed the boundary into lunacy. You have fun trying to convince millions of people to start using "GNU/Linux" as a common term, see how far you get. Judging from this thread, you're already off to a great start!


I used extreme examples to highlight my point; just because something is practical or widely accepted does not mean it is right. You say that Linux is the most commonly used term, so what? GNU/Linux is the right name, Linux is wrong. By remembering GNU people can find out about the ideals that brought about the operating system and hopefully adopt them.

You seem to be making that implication that unless something starts riots or wars it must be ok.

View Postwaldojim, on 07 December 2010 - 12:31 PM, said:


People don't care. I don't care. The Linux community in general doesn't care. Would you mind doing people a favor?

Find a different lost cause.


What do you mean by the 'Linux community'? This is one of the problems associated by referring to the kernel and operating system by the same name. Whether or not people care is irrelevant but it is ludicrous to say that nobody cares (I'm not sure what you where getting at with that bold statement).

"If people don't care about a wrong there is no point in trying to right it?" This is what you are trying to say and it is outrageous.
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#18 User is offline   waldojim 

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 11:26 AM

View PostGavinHarrison, on 08 December 2010 - 02:44 AM, said:

What do you mean by the 'Linux community'? This is one of the problems associated by referring to the kernel and operating system by the same name. Whether or not people care is irrelevant but it is ludicrous to say that nobody cares (I'm not sure what you where getting at with that bold statement).

"If people don't care about a wrong there is no point in trying to right it?" This is what you are trying to say and it is outrageous.


Tell you what, go to the Ubuntu community forums, the LINUX MINT (notice they don't call themselves GNU/Linux MINT) Forums, the Fedora LINUX Forums (again notice no GNU/Linux, etc - tell me how many of them seem to mind. Come back and show me how many developers actually care. Linux is FAR MORE than the Kernel OR the GNU tool set. Grow up, get a life, and find some real tragedy to worry about. Because bitching on a forum or two (for that matter a forum that isn't even Linux minded) about your ideals, is a whole lot like trolling Facebook and trying to teach people proper grammar, no one farking cares.
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" -- Isaac Asimov

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#19 User is offline   coastie65 

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 02:02 PM

I have locked this thread. It doesn't seem to be accomplishing anything , but keeping things stirred up. Should this be ressurrected elsewhere, a ban will be requested. I am tired of removing identical Copy Pasted stuff from other discussions about this. coastie

This post has been edited by coastie65: 09 December 2010 - 01:35 PM

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