He's right, and at the same time wrong. Yes, GNU/Linux includes the GNU tools, but if we start naming the component systems where do we stop? Should i tell people i use Gnome/X.org/GNU/Linux? What makes GNU so special that it deserves to be included in the name?
Linux is a nice simple, catchy name that i can use to communicate something to somebody. Putting GNU in front when i say linux does not change what i'm saying.
The FSF folks, and their followers usually, say that besides the GNU userland (coreutils, libc, etc.) the Linux kernel can't be built without gcc. Of course, there are icc builds, clang builds, although both builds require specific patches, but who am I to argue with all of them. Besides, if the userland is so damn important that they're placing its name in front of the kernel name, where's HURD, 20-something years later? Even DNF managed to deliver.
Sometimes I wish a specific distribution, GNU-free, so people can call it LNG (Linux is Not GNU).
Linux development only managed to get so far, because many companies saw it as a way to get a cheap UNIX clone, and allocated developers to it, specially due to the BSD litigation going on at the time.
If it wasn't for those companies, Linux would be toy kernel now.
The question wasn't about "where's HURD" as in where's the "download URL". I ran most of the Debian flavors. I'm still interested in their progress as well. But the question still remains: if it's so difficult to write an entire userland, and so easy to write an entire kernel, then why the GNU didn't deliver yet "THE" HURD? Why they don't have a completely free GNU OS that I can install on my completely free hardware with an open BIOS, etc. You know, the same old story that doesn't seem to progress anywhere.
Some people are sick and tired to be "corrected" by the FSF gang. I use the term "Linux". Some people, in a very impolite mode, interrupt me with: "the correct name is GNU/Linux" or other unholy mess that RMS could think of.
> If it wasn't for those companies, Linux would be toy kernel now.
I'd say that without the funding of the Linux kernel, GNU would be a toy OS right now. RMS and co. managed to put together an entire UNIX clone at the time, but they simply didn't grasp a proper kernel for their stuff. Bummer.
The "open source software built by volunteers" meme is long dead by now. Fun fact: people need to eat. The problem with FSF is that they see the World in black and white, when everything is mostly shades of gray. I'm an advocate of the free software, but I got sick and tired of the FSF crowd. Their black/white philosophy won't let them see the forest for the trees. I even had a debate about GPL. Seriously, a software license that protects the freedom by restricting the freedom? Have I passed into a parallel reality where this kind of logic works? The argument of a FSF zealot was: "you know, the train is free to move in any direction guided by the rails". That was the moment I stopped arguing with the FSF zealots as there's no point.
I know. I read the license. I understand the reason why such restriction exists and it is debatable if the BSD licensed software suffers because it doesn't have an equivalent restriction (eg: Apple/OS X). But for a crowd that's yapping all day long about freedom, they surely need a proper dictionary.
>He's right, and at the same time wrong. Yes, GNU/Linux includes the GNU tools, but if we start naming the component systems where do we stop? Should i tell people i use Gnome/X.org/GNU/Linux? What makes GNU so special that it deserves to be included in the name?
Their FAQ answers that: GNU is the single largest source of code for the system; if you look at all the packages in e.g. debian or fedora you'll find that the largest percentage by far is written by the GNU. So if you want to call it only one thing, that one thing should be "GNU".
GNU is not a company or a particular group of people. It's more of a label/umbrella under which many projects are developed.
The only reason Linux itself is not considered part of the GNU project is... well I'm not even sure. I guess it's partly because Stallman already had his own baby Kernel in the works (Hurd) and because Linus wanted his own brand name apart from GNU, possibly. Also because GNU itself started as a "system" project and that's what it mostly does, except an outsider provided the Kernel and this Kernel doesn't need the GNU userspace to work. Linux is GPL-licensed software.
As far as I'm concerned it's a matter of egos and tags. I personally go with whatever distribution I use, which is a lot more relevant to practical matters. Debian also runs on NetBSD and FreeBSD kernels, by the way.
Code which is part of the GNU project has its copyright assigned to the Free Software Foundation, which makes it easier for them to sue violators if necessary. Linux doesn't use copyright assignment; its code is owned in part by all of the contributors, and to assign copyright to the FSF, every contributor would have to agree. So that's a practical reason why Linux can't become part of the GNU project.
>GNU is not a company or a particular group of people. It's more of a label/umbrella under which many projects are developed.
True. But it's a representative way to describe the aggregation of all those projects (and doesn't promote a single contributor (a very major one, but still one among many) above everyone else the way calling it "linux" does).
It should be GNU+Linux, not GNU/Linux. This is where the attribution people get seized-up and go all fruity-colored, but its a fact: these are not related sub-brands of each other, they are connected components. You cannot divide Linux from GNU, only add and subtract it.