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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's because Linux contains non-free firmwares. The Linux-Libre fork of Linux became part of GNU sometime in the last year (I can't find the announcement).




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