GNU and Linux

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pascal@diogoantunes.org
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Iscritto: 09/03/2012

Hi, I want to know when a distribution with linux kernel isn't more a GNU/Linux.
Like Opensuse, and another opensource distribution, can i say is a GNU/Linux ?
Where is the limit ?
When a distribution isn't more a GNU/Linux ?

Chris

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Iscritto: 04/23/2011

All your major distributions are made up of the GNU software and Linux. Linux is just the kernel really. The heart of the operating system. To call it just Linux is a mistake.

By doing so you are ignoring the free software movement's involvement. This issue is not about credit to the GNU project. It is about making people aware of free software.

Unfortunately a lot of people think the issue is about credit. That is not why you should be calling it GNU/Linux though. Calling it GNU/Linux makes me ask why is it called “GNU/Linux”. This leads to the free software conversation.

Those who dislike freedom, are lazy (even a lot of us here are- particular in casual conversation), or just don't know call it Linux. We should avoid that. I try and call it GNU/Linux. It DOES cause conversations too.

When I was in college I ran a GNU/Linux user group. A little over a year after that one of our members finally asked the question of why it's the GNU/Linux user group and not just the Linux User Group. They didn't know what GNU was and had been wanting to ask for over a year. It was a pretty funny conversation considering that they had been to every meeting since the groups formation just about.

tallship
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Iscritto: 10/27/2012

Yeah, Chris has some valid points for the OP, here's a couple of other things to consider, however.

Many distros are not branded as GNU/Linux, and although RMS has issues with that, most of us are okay with it, since it rolls off the tongue easier (Not to mention Linus Torvalds' take on the semantics).

And truth be told, it's not all GNU either. Apache is not, nor is BIND, Sendmail, Perl, etc.... Neither are many of the UNIX tools - regardless of whether they are licensed under the GPL or not.

And if one is to give credit where it's due, Why isn't RMS and the FSF adamant about calling it LGX, like Yggdrasil did? - because the X, following the *L* and the *G* is what makes it possible for the majority of Linux users to *use*, let alone *recommend* it to the all the common Joe's out there? See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yggdrasil_Linux/GNU/X

Answer: Perhaps because it is the MIT license, and not the GNU Public License, and therefore does not rise in priority to the occasion.

And pretty much All Unices (which includes the plethora of Linux distros) ship with Perl as part of the standard installed base - but Perl is released under the Artistic License.

That's just some food for thought though. My real issue is a Linux distro (I've installed Trisquel and taken it for a test drive) that at the heart of it's philosophical brand claims to be based on entirely free software (Like Debian GNU/Linux), yet in my mind isn't, and cannot be.

It is based on the corporate and commercially non-free product base by Canonical, Inc., ewboontew Linux.

While I applaud the spirit and enthusiasm with which FOSS supporters such as myself exert their efforts to spread awareness, understanding, and usage/adoption; I simply cannot see myself recommending a distro that claims to be completely free, that is primarily spawned and based upon another that is certainly not - ewboontew!

I've been using Linux and the BSDs since Jolix, SLS, MCC Interim, Yggdrasil, Slackware, and Debian were birthed, and almost find myself offended that the Trisquel maintainers have the audacity to make such a claim.

My recommendation - go back to Debian, and all will be forgiven. Or stop calling it FREE (As in FSF FREE), because I believe that doing so is a sham and the connotations are contrary to the mission, or at the very least, the "spirit" of the FOSS community.

I hope that helps :)

Kindest regards,

.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Wayland 1.0 has recently been released. In a few years, it will hopefully replace X.

t3g
t3g
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Iscritto: 05/15/2011

I'm really excited to see how Wayland turns out and when Ubuntu makes the switch. I also see it is under a MIT license like X.Org.

aliasbody
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Iscritto: 09/14/2012

I totally agree with you in that point. Every Gnu/Linux Only Free Distributions are based on others Distributions that support and propose non-free software (in the installation of by activating it on the repositories).

Comparing a distribution like Trisquel to Linux Mint allows us to understand the ethical vs commercial problem. The two are based upon the same base (Ubuntu) but one has only one person managing it and not working full time on it (Trisquel) and the other have a lot of donations, sponsors, users and full-time working programmers and designers (Linux Mint). So in my mind, the only person that could do a total new Gnu/Linux Distribution would be the FSF themselves, but this isn't going to happen soon.

The best idea in my opinion would be to use (at least for start) a common Base (like Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian or Arch) and simply make it totally independent. And by this I mean more independent that Trisquel, with a new Release Schedule with different packages and a new way of managing things etc... Yes this would be a lot of work but at least we (Free Software Users) would have a totally independent and well maintain Distribution that could clearly compete with others Distributions like Ubuntu for example.

Why can't we have something with dedicated designers, dedicated programmers, dedicated conferences etc... ? Yes we have the lack of human power and money but I think that an idea like this could work. I can be wrong tho... I am trying to fallow this myself and create my own totally free distribution, but I am searching for the best base to adopt and then change in order to create something totally different, just don't know what base choose (Debian/Ubuntu or Arch).. But that's another question.

sphynx
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Iscritto: 11/30/2011

Every Gnu/Linux Only Free Distributions are based on others Distributions that support and propose non-free software [...]

No, no! There is Dragora, which is not based in any other GNU/Linux distribution – which puts its main (and sole) developer, Matías, in a hard situation.

aliasbody
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Iscritto: 09/14/2012

Oh right ! I didn't remember about that one ! (Mainly because I couldn't get it to install using a USB Pen... need to give it a try again). Sorry about that :S..

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

There is another one, which is *the* GNU/Linux distribution for very old computers: ConnochaetOS. Although the FSF does not list it among the free distros (yet?), one can read on the main page of the website:
The Free Software Foundation examined every package very closely and said, that we meet the FSF' criteria at this point. So we consider that the ConnochaetOS project is a success.

sphynx
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Iscritto: 11/30/2011

No problems :-) Try this: http://gungre.se/dragora/bootable_usb.txt

(I found it here: https://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/dragora-bug/2012-08/msg00002.html – also, since I didn't paste here the link to Dragora's webpage: http://dragora.org/en/index.html )

aliasbody
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Iscritto: 09/14/2012

Thanks ;D

sphynx
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Iscritto: 11/30/2011

Before proceeding, you should read ALL of this: https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html

Now lets analyze some of your sayings (which, to those who not realize it, are actions – mainly psychological ones). (non-native English almost-speaker here; I'll do my best)

Many distros are not branded as GNU/Linux, and although RMS has issues with that, most of us are okay with it, since it rolls off the tongue easier (Not to mention Linus Torvalds' take on the semantics). [...]

Trying to reduce the question to personal affects and collective "not-caring-about" is a dumb thing to do; it goes away from the objective matter and creates an atmosphere of "FUD" where the winner will most probably be not the one who loves truth most, but the one who is trained on psychological subterfuges and sabotage.

Besides, I don't know what you are referring about as "Linus' take on the semantics". Could you please expose that instead of putting it on background so an unprepaired reader would assume you're being reasonable without even the object of analysis at hand?

And truth be told, it's not all GNU either. Apache is not, nor is BIND, Sendmail, Perl, etc... [...] And if one is to give credit where it's due, Why isn't RMS and the FSF adamant about calling it LGX, like Yggdrasil did? [...]

Well, no one said it's all GNU; FSF (RMS included) and probably every people in this forum and over the Free Software community(ies) assume it's not. If you had read the topic, you would find one of us pointing to this: https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html#justgnu

What do you mean by being "adamant" about extending the name? Read this: https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html#many

That's just some food for thought though. My real issue is a Linux distro (I've installed Trisquel and taken it for a test drive) that at the heart of it's philosophical brand claims to be based on entirely free software (Like Debian GNU/Linux), yet in my mind isn't, and cannot be.

It is based on the corporate and commercially non-free product base by Canonical, Inc., ewboontew Linux.

Hm?

Debian GNU/Linux is not entirely Free as Trisquel understand "Free". Trisquel follows every aspect of the FSDG – https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.html –; it's not perfect, of course, because non-free issues keep coming from Ubuntu, but Trisquel's commitment is to get rid of them. Trisquel is Ubuntu purified. Why have you not understood it?

Here's why Debian GNU/Linux is (and other G/L distros are) not 100% Free GNU/Linux distribution(s): https://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.html

While I applaud the spirit and enthusiasm with which FOSS supporters such as myself [Wait there, buddy. You are applauding yourself...!] exert their efforts to spread awareness, understanding, and usage/adoption; [...]

Lets just not mix Free Software with Open Source: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html

[...] I simply cannot see myself recommending a distro that claims to be completely free, that is primarily spawned and based upon another that is certainly not - ewboontew! [...]

I'm sure you do not know too much about Trisquel. Please read the first paragraph of this: https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/documentation

It appears to me you are "porting" your bad feeling about Ubuntu to other things that have not to do with the causes of that feeling.

[...] I've been using Linux and the BSDs since Jolix, SLS, MCC Interim, Yggdrasil, Slackware, and Debian were birthed, [...]

Wooah, some authority in the matter is rising!

[...] and almost find myself offended that the Trisquel maintainers have the audacity to make such a claim. [...]

Well, Your Majesty, I'm sorry your "crown" has been claimed by someone else. What will we do about it?

[...] My recommendation - go back to Debian, and all will be forgiven. [...]

Your mercy lay upon us, O grateful one! Perhaps we should be scared of being summarily executed, sent to Siberia or something like that...

[...] Or stop calling it FREE (As in FSF FREE), because I believe that doing so is a sham and the connotations are contrary to the mission, or at the very least, the "spirit" of the FOSS community. [...]

Wait there. FSF explicitly recognizes Trisquel as one of the few 100% Free GNU/Linux Distributions: https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html – what do you mean by "stop calling it free as in "FSF free"?)

And well, Merlin, your clock is inverted. FSF came before every "FOSS" community; if you have ever read anything about Free Software history, you would know that. For example, without doing so much research:

"For more than a decade now, the Free Software Foundation has argued against this "open source" characterization of the free software movement. Free software advocates have primarily argued against this framing because "open source" is an explicit effort to deemphasize our core message of freedom and obscure our movement's role in the success of the software we have built. We have argued that "open source" is bad, fundamentally, because it attempts to keep people from talking about software freedom."
http://mako.cc/writing/hill-when_free_software_isnt_better.html

You can find more about GNU and its history here: https://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu.html

[...] I hope that helps :)

You are really out of your mind.

aliasbody
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Iscritto: 09/14/2012

It is the usual case. The principles get forgotten in the corner of the brain when a new shinny thing appears, and a lot of points are unknown from the public (even from those interested in the question). I am saying this but I'm probably the worst since I defend an idea with (for me) still a lot of questions to ask and a lot of answers to receive, but I'm working on it :D

Chris

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Iscritto: 04/23/2011

Be careful what you say. Read and re-read the FSF site.

None of us are perfect. RMS isn't either. We should all ask questions, think, and evaluate the answers for ourselves.

RMS and the FSF have many bright people who have thought long and hard about these issues. More so than anybody else. It's worth listening to. Chances are there is nothing you can think of which hasn't already been answered on the FSF's web site (unless you want to start talking about crypto, export laws, and what the GNU GPL has to say about it).

aliasbody
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Iscritto: 09/14/2012

A lot of my question didn't have a question in the FSF website. Or worse, have one but doesn't answer very well. This is why I started the email to RMS 6 weeks ago that (by the search after that) bring me right to this beautiful distribution.

I'm just saying (sadly tho) that a lot of people select "shiny things" over their freedom, and this is something that must be taught to people (as it is already done of course).

Chris

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Iscritto: 04/23/2011

Trisquel is not basing Ubuntu off a “non-free” distribution. Trisquel is based off a distribution which has included non-free software without the non-free components.

To add to this Ubuntu, LinuxMint, and other distributions are made almost of entirely free software. Trisquel is not promoting Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, or any other distribution which includes non-free software. Trisquel does not link to any of these distributions. Trisquel does not link to sites which include information on non-free software either.

Why it is based off the free parts of Ubuntu is because it is well maintained and targeted at desktop users. The same as Trisquel is. This is a good example of cooperation on something where two sides with two different perspectives on things makes a lot of sense. There should be more of this. Not less.

This cooperation means that a lot of bugs get fixed, patches applied, in Trisquel. Many of these improvements (all free software) are not applied to Debian. Debian is geared more toward the server than the desktop. It has very long release cycles, testing phases, etc.

Trisquel is not using the non-free portions of Ubuntu though. Canonical does not introduce new non-free software to the distribution either. Neither does Linux Mint. They are including third party components for which they have little or no control over.

I'm not a fan of distributions like Linux Mint including non-free components because it gives companies the perception of non-free software being ok. If it is ok then they have fewer reasons to release the source code under acceptable free software licenses. The argument becomes one of a purely technical matter. That is mainly that free software works better, integrates better, etc. This is a good reason although not as good a reason as the ethical. People have to be ethical if they want to force corporations to do the same.

onpon4
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Iscritto: 05/30/2012

Being based on a bad distro doesn't make Trisquel bad. That reasoning is flawed. Ubuntu's core software is free. Trisquel just improves the situation by taking out what nonfree software is there. Free programs don't suddenly become infected with badness because they were included in a nonfree operating system.

If being based on Ubuntu makes Trisquel bad, then Freedoom is also bad (if you consider nonfree game data and art assets to be ethically unacceptable), as would be a fork of AssaultCube that replaces the art in it with free art. I hope you can see how little sense that makes.

It would also mean that nonfree programs that are later freed are unethical, and this makes no sense, either. For example, Qt. Qt was unethical back when it was nonfree, but now it is free software. To say that Qt is bad today would be a bit silly. The same goes for Linux, Game Editor, Ryzom, and a lot of others that started out as nonfree (only) software. Like inclusion with nonfree software, having been nonfree in the past does not infect the current, free version of the software. Free software is free software.

onpon4
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Iscritto: 05/30/2012

I have in the past considered calling GNU/Linux "GNU/X/Linux", to reflect what people like about the OS better while still keeping it recognizable, mostly because you have people saying "most people don't care about the low-level stuff that is GNU". Of course, my retort to that would be that the same also applies to Linux; if you replaced Linux with another kernel, most users wouldn't notice a difference. The only difference would be that "Linux" would suddenly be completely incorrect.

X, on the other hand, is something very visible. If that went away or was replaced, a difference might be noticed.

But really, X isn't that major of a component. While taking out either GNU or Linux without replacing them would break the system, taking out X would not; it would just be a lot less graphical.

Chris

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Iscritto: 04/23/2011

I'm going to repeat myself.

Calling it GNU/Linux has nothing to do with the software. It has to do with the freedom. If your even considering the components your missing the point of calling it GNU/Linux in the first place.

Linux (the mainline kernel) follows a different ideology than GNU. GNU follows the free software ideology. Linus and “open source” proponents write free software for pragmatic (it's better) reasons. They have no issue including non-free software (binary blobs) where it makes things work. They would include free versions if they were available. GNU developers write free software free code for ethical reasons (freedom). You don't have to accept the ethical side to see why free software is superior in a technical way to non-free software.

Linux Mint would support our efforts (ThinkPenguin) just as much as Trisquel would. There are two entirely different reasons though. Linux Mint would do it because it works better. Trisquel would do it because it is the right thing to do. Bot sides think free software is the way to go. One though is willing to compromise ethics and the other is not (since for them it is not an ethical issue).

I hope I explained that well and didn't screw anything up.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

And most people do not see that GNU is not only about low-level/text-only stuffs. I get tired of reading that. GNOME, for instance, is part of the GNU project and its executive director, Karen Sandler, is always prone to remember the meaning of GNOME's "G". And there are tens of other high-level applications developed under the GNU umbrella: GIMP, GnuCash, GNU Octave, GNU Health, Liquid War 6, GNU MediaGoblin, etc. I voluntarily chose sub-projects that cover very different needs.

aliasbody
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Iscritto: 09/14/2012

Just one question, can anyone create an application with the GNU name (using for example the GPLv3 license) or does it need to ask permissions for it ?

sphynx
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Iscritto: 11/30/2011

I don't know, but here is one case: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/gnutella.html

lembas
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Iscritto: 05/13/2010

Here's one answer and to me the canonical one

http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html

Chris

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Iscritto: 04/23/2011

The key words in the above faqs are calling it Linux "give[s] inordinate weight to those developers' views". That is views of Linus and others- which don't jive with the free software view. The one looks at it from an ethical perspective and the other being the convenience of the developers.

lembas
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Iscritto: 05/13/2010

A similar and related discussion is whether to talk about free software or open source. Many people use the two as synonyms but that's not accurate. If one knows his software history, he will know that open source was but a marketing campaign for free software, started by Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens. In a few years Perens realized the campaign was not a great idea and left it behind and returned to the original terminology.

The difference between free software vs. open source is the same as with GNU/Linux vs. Linux, the former spreads knowledge about and emphasizes freedom. Which is kinda the point.

Here are a few articles on this subject:
* http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html
* http://mako.cc/writing/hill-when_free_software_isnt_better.html
* http://mako.cc/copyrighteous/20120809-00

Chris

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Iscritto: 04/23/2011

You got it spot on. I think the majority of GNU/Linux users today don't get it. This includes a lot of prominent persons (developers). If your going to use non-free software why are you using GNU/Linux? If you are for open source then you almost certainly don't understand the threat non-free software poses or what makes GNU/Linux what it is (great). 

So few people understand the problem and/or are unwilling to protest non-free software that GNU/Linux users are getting stuck in really crummy situations.

freeme
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Iscritto: 10/10/2012

I prefer the term "GNU System' because it most accurately describes what I have. I've been doing a bit of a license audit on my GNU system and this is what I have found:

85.5% GPL licensed (GPLv1-3 & LGPL 2-3)
17.82% MIT licensed(X Windows System mostly)
6% BSD licesned (vixie-cron, poppler-data, libogg, libvorbis, etc)

These numbers are greater than 100%, because of multi-licensed packages. I have 623 packages installed, but 694 licenses installed and haven't yet accounted for multi-licensed packages. This is on my Gentoo system, not Trisquel, because I don't know how to do this type of thing on Trisquel.

But the point is, there is no more accurate name for this system than GNU, as the licenses clearly show. Add in the fact a GNU system can run on various kernels, like Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, etc and it becomes clear the system is really GNU.

onpon4
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Iscritto: 05/30/2012

It's not about the license. GNU is an operating system and a perfectly good name for what we call "GNU/Linux". But we call it "GNU/Linux" because "GNU" is unrecognized by a lot of people, and also because it would be ungentlemanly of the GNU project ask people to not recognize Linux at all in the name.

jxself
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Iscritto: 09/13/2010

freeme said:
> I prefer the term "GNU System"

You may want to consider this before calling the whole thing GNU:
http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html#justgnu

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

I agree with onpon4: GNU is an operating system project with hundreds of packages. The contribution in terms of licensing looks secondary when it comes to naming the GNU/Linux operating system. It turns out GNU is the number one contributor whatever the metrics you want to use (number of packages, number of lines of code, number of executed lines of code, historical precedence, etc.).

Those are old counts but I could not put the hand on a more recent analysis which I read and which should have drawn the same conclusion (if the analyst would not have wrongly put GNOME outside the GNU project!): in the operating system we use, more lines of code come from GNU than from Linux.

pascal@diogoantunes.org
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Iscritto: 09/03/2012

But why i have to named a distribution "GNU/?" if it doesn't care freedom and it have no (or few) gnu programs.
To people, i say always "GNU/Linux" and revise when people say just "Linux".
But how can i say "GNU/Linux" to a distribution who doesn't respect freedom ?
GNU = freedom.
Linux = (what ? - open source movement what doesn't care freedom ?)

A RHEL distribution is a "GNU/Linux" system, right ? So freedom plus what equals a system UNIX-like what doesn't respect my freedom.
In this case, how can i say in same time that respect and not my freedom ?

onpon4
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Iscritto: 05/30/2012

It's not about philosophy, it's about the system. There are no systems that use Linux but are not GNU, except for Android, that I'm aware of (and nobody calls Android "GNU" because that would be incorrect).

Chris

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Iscritto: 04/23/2011

True.

Android might have a kernel derived from Linux although you should probably be careful in calling it a “Linux”. It is not done in the spirit of “Linux” or free software and calling it “Linux” is like like calling Apple's Mac OS X a BSD. There may be some truth behind it although it is completely misleading and the accuracy is a bit if not completely off. Calling “Linux” (as a whole system) Linux is also misleading.

Android's kernel was forked and major changes were made. Until recently those changes weren't going back into the mainline kernel. I think thats changes now though. The rest of the system though remains heavily non-free. It's hardly comparable to a GNU/Linux desktop system.

There have been combinations that I think would be classifiable as “Linux” (without GNU although still in the spirit of free software) or “GNU/Linux” for hand held devices and phones. Though most if not all of them would be utilizing at least some non-free pieces. That's been due to the companies producing the hardware or designs closing things up though rather than the developers of the system doing so. Android itself is based on code that Google has not released the source code for.

aloniv

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Iscritto: 01/11/2011

There are no systems that use Linux but are not GNU, except for Android, that I'm aware of (and nobody calls Android "GNU" because that would be incorrect).

webOS also uses Linux.

ivaylo
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Iscritto: 07/26/2010

On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 12:28:20PM +0100, name at domain wrote:
> There are no systems that use Linux but are not GNU, except for

As much as I am for the proper naming (GNU/Linux) of the system, that
statement is not true.

Embedded systems like routers usually use the kernel Linux and BusyBox
which is not part for the GNU project. It has code contributed by or
on behalf of the FSF. For me it is convenient in such cases to say that
these systems use *the kernel* Linux.

pascal@diogoantunes.org
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Iscritto: 09/03/2012

Okay, so a RHEL is a GNU/Linux because it has components GNU. Which are they ?
What is the difference about a HP-UX, or a Solaris system with a GNU/Linux ?
Which component makes a GNU + Linux kernel a GNU/Linux ?

--
There are no systems that use Linux but are not GNU, except for Android,
--
Why ?

Horgeon
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Iscritto: 03/29/2011

In my understanding, it is mainly coreutils (bash and command line tools) and glibc.

pascal@diogoantunes.org
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Iscritto: 09/03/2012

So low level programs ?
without glibc, a UNIX-like can't be named GNU/Linux ?
With glibc, a program can be compilate to dialoging with the kernel.
So without glibc, a GNU/Linux system can not exist without an alternative.

If i am right, i understand better why GNU/Linux.

Horgeon
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Iscritto: 03/29/2011

I count GNU as being something you can't remove without making your system unusable, and a low level program is a requirement for that. Open Synaptic, and try to remove the package libc-bin. You will get a nice warning that it can break your system.

Try to remove libgcc1 aswell. And coreutils.

You can't.

Also, from the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD page [1]: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is a port that consists of GNU userland using the GNU C library on top of FreeBSD's kernel, coupled with the regular Debian package set.

[1] http://www.debian.org/ports/kfreebsd-gnu/

There is more to history than that which I might have to re-read.

pascal@diogoantunes.org
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Iscritto: 09/03/2012

I didn't know GNU + kFreeBSD.
Interresting ...

Ok, recorded.

Chris

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Iscritto: 04/23/2011

In my humble view RHEL is a "Linux" because it is almost entirely free software. The fact it has the Linux kernel is almost unimportant. When people say "Linux" they are not referring to the kernel. They are referring to a set of components which are free software. Those components are not always the same although generally consist of GNU, Linux (or derived kernel), X, and a free desktop environment. If you take out X though it's still "Linux". The same would be true if you took out GNU or the Linux kernel and replaced it with something else. An example of this is what Canonical is doing with Ubuntu and Wayland. And there are also different versions of X. There was a move many years ago by most if not all major distributions.

Unless you start messing around and doing something like what Apple, Google or Microsoft have done and have violated the free software ideals in significant ways during the design of the "distribution" it's a "Linux" to the extent people mean the entire system rather than just the kernel. Which is almost always the case as few people use the terms the way the free software camp would like.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Take a look at the list of GNU sub-projects at the bottom of this page. That includes small sub-projects such as GNOME or GCC (irony inside). Again, any sensible metrics you want to chose, you are going to find out that the GNU contribution to your (desktop) operating system is larger than that of Linux. In Android, this is not the case: Google's and Linux's contributions are far larger.

freeme
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Iscritto: 10/10/2012

Exactly! Count the licenses of installed software on any GNU system and the GPL family of licenses will be overwhelmingly represented. Using my own case as an example, if a presidential candidate won an election with 85% of the vote, we would consider that to be a landslide. The same is true of an 85% GPL licensed GNU system.

Magic Banana

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

Again, I do not think that who writes the license should vindicate the credit for the software it did not write (see this message)... but it turns out that who writes the most famous licenses (the FSF) also rules the most significant contribution, in terms of code, to the operating system (the GNU project).

freeme
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Iscritto: 10/10/2012

My point is not to deny anyone credit for software they wrote, nor is my point to mislead people into thinking the Linux kernel is a GNU project. It would be more correct and much less confusing if I called my system a GNU licensed system or a GPL system. For me, it really IS about the license. You have no idea. There's a huge amount of safety for me, that flows from the GPL licenses, so that's what I look for and even try to count.

onpon4
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Iscritto: 05/30/2012

What's so safe to you as a user about the GPL compared to other free licenses or free programs in the public domain? All of them give you freedom; the GPL just makes it impossible for the software to be re-released as nonfree software. It sounds like "free system" would make more sense.

Cyberhawk

I am a translator!

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Iscritto: 07/27/2010

The naming of the OS is not about the license ,freeme. While it is true that you can get a feeling of safety from using a GPL'd program and that the GPL is one of the best licenses out there, there is one simple fact: not all software that is GPL'd was written by the GNU Project. Linux (the kernel) is GPL'd software. That is why there can be a project like libre-linux that strips the kernel of the non-free parts. Yet it would be completely wrong to say, that Linux was written as a part of the GNU Project, Linus didn't want to contribute to GNU at any point in time, he wanted his own OS and just used what was out there to complete his OS while the GNU Project used his kernel to complete theirs.

I'm sure there are a lot of other programs that are written under the GPL license just because it's so good and not because the program was written by participants of the GNU Project.

The OS should be called GNU/Linux, just because there were two efforts to write an OS, the GNU effort and the Linus Torvalds effort. No one else who contributed really wanted to write an OS, everyone who contributed outside the GNU Project and the Linux Project did just write programs without the aim for writing an OS, so they can't be the namegivers for the resulting system.

freeme
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Iscritto: 10/10/2012

As far as I know, there is nothing in the license that would dictate what I should call my system. Calling it a GPL or GNU licensed system, is quite factual, particularly when I can provide the stats that clearly show that's what it is. This is especially true in the case where I specifically SEEK GPL code, because of the protections the GPL licenses provide to me as a user. Like it or not, for me at least, 'GNU licensed' or 'GPL licensed' systems and code is a BRAND that I look for in the market.

However, I am smart enough to know that what is important to me, may not be as important to others, so I have no right whatsoever to attempt to force others to label their system as I label mine.

Cyberhawk

I am a translator!

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Iscritto: 07/27/2010

GNU is not a license, it is a name for an OS. If you try to use GPL licensed code where you can, that's fine and there are surelly reasons for that. What I'm trying to bring accross is:

GNU = Gnu's Not Unix
GNU GPL = GNU General Public License

The one is the name for an OS. The other is a license. You can't name a computer operating system the GPL-system. It's like saying some OS is the Copyright-system.

And programs that don't belong to the GNU-Project sometimes are also under the GPL. It would be wrong to say they are GNU software though, people who participate at GNU didn't write it. It's like if I would write something and release it under an Apache license. It would not mean my program is part of the Apache project, because I am not and no one at Apache would even know about me and my stuff.

freeme
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Iscritto: 10/10/2012

Actually, were I to name my system based on the projects which contributed to it, the name would be:

GENTOO/GNU/GRSECURITY/KDE4/PORTAGE/QT4/LINUX.

And that's a ridiculously long name.

Here's the deal. Those who insist on calling the system GNU/LINUX are not only living in the past, but are also denying authors of other software which is heavily used. KDE is the main way I interface with my system. If I call my system GNU/LINUX, that is a lie, because KDE is getting no credit whatsoever, even though it is the primary way I use my system.

At the time the Linux kernel was added to the GNU system, the GNU project was it. There was no other free code for such a system, just like there was no other kernel for the GNU Project at that time. The GNU system had no kernel, just like the Linux kernel had no OS. That's not the case now and hasn't been for what, almost two decades now?

My point is, code can be replaced. I could run my system on BSD in 30 minutes with Debian, and within an evening on Gentoo/BSD. The kernel is replaceable. Likewise, code authored by the GNU project is also replaceable. Even GCC could be replaced, eventually.

So what then, is the most important contribution of the GNU Project, knowing that any code, no matter who authored it, whether it be a compiler or a kernel could be replaced? THE LICENSE! The code might die or be replaced, but the LICENSE is the LEGACY.

The proof is all around you. The GNU project didn't have to write KDE, or Liberoffice, or literally thousands of other programs. The reason why is because the GNU Project GOT THE LICENSE RIGHT! The license is about the 4 freedoms, but also more human and emotional needs than just that. People point to the GPL licenses and think "THAT is the 'RIGHT' license." They tell themselves, "THAT is the license for MY code." For some, the GPL licenses appeal to a sense of justice or fairness. Others know we have a better society when we share, as outlined in the GNU licenses. For developers it protects their code from being locked away. For some using GPL licensed code reflects a very strong rational self-interest. No matter the reasons, the GPL licenses SPEAK to people at a deep level, which is why so many non-GNU projects are also licensed under the GPL. Were the GNU Project to die tomorrow, how would it matter, since the FREEDOMS AND THE PRINCIPLES IN THE LICENSES would live on? THIS is the legacy of the GNU Project, at least in my eyes.

Like you said Cyberhawk, 'programs that don't belong to the GNU-Project sometimes are also under the GPL,' which is why I am denying KDE credit if I call my system GNU/LINUX. As the GNU family of licenses have spread, very few systems today consist of code solely authored by the GNU project. How sad would it be if 90% of Debian main was GPL, and every one of those apps were authored solely by the GNU Project? It would mean the only people who cared about the freedoms and principles of the license was the GNU project itself. But that's not the case. The GNU Project GOT THE LICENSE RIGHT, so the license spread like wildfire, which means even if the GNU Project died, the freedoms and the principles will live on. THAT's the legacy, for me at least.

So I won't name my system KDE4/QT4/GNU/GENTOO/PORTAGE/GRSECURITY/LINUX, because "GNU" or "GPL" licensed system covers the overwhelming amount of software I actually use and very clearly defines the entire point that I've set my system up the way I have.

And congrats to the GNU Project, because the freedoms and the principles in the GNU license have spread far beyond the project itself. There's no doubt about it. The GNU Project succeeded at exactly what they set out to do.