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Josh-D. S. Davis

Xaminmo / Omnimax / Max Omni / Mad Scientist / Midnight Shadow / Radiation Master

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Josh 201604 KWP
I keep seeing people throw a fit when someone suggests that it should be called GNU/Linux and not Linux. People say, "You can have a Linux system without GNU."

If someone asks you what you drive, you don't say, "A 1999 Gasoline V8".
If you do, you're a moron, or you're being silly.

Linux is the engine, or maybe even the whole drivetrain.
The filesystems are the wheels - whether you go for the old rusty solid cast rims (minix) or chrome wheels with wide tires (ext3), or custom annodized rims (Reiser, XFS, etc).
GNU is the chassis, instrumentation, pedals, and rearview mirror - all part of a cheap mod kit that simulates a UNIX brand car.
Xwindows is the paint, decals. OpenGL, PEX, PHEGS, etc are the spoiler, ground effects, and custom exhaust.

I have yet to see a system that does not rely on GNU tools for the binaries, for booting, for shell access, etc. It's possible, but NO distro with even 1% market provides that.

So with all of that in mind, I don't REALLY care if people say GNU/Linux or just Linux because it is assumed that your Linux system uses GNU utilities.

Yes, If I had thrown the whole pack of GNU goodness on a Solaris box, I would refer to it as Solaris with GNU (same as GNL/Solaris, but better semantics to me) if I used primarily the GNU tools, which I would, because Solaris tar doesn't support -z.

Plus, there is NO such thing as "Linux v7.2", 7.3 or 8. Linux is currently at versions 2.4 and 2.5.

Oh, you mean RedHat Linux 8. Why didn't you say so? "What do you drive?" "A car". "What kind of car?" "a 2002." This would get you beaten up. Don't do it.

Examples of proper system identification would be:
RedHat Linux 8.0 on x86
RedHat Linux 7.3 on i386
Debian Woody on a Pentium II 400
Slackware 7 on Alpha
ELKS on a MIPS 4700 SBC
CygWin current on Windows 2000
GNU/Linux complied from scratch, with RPM 1.4 and Alien.

Examples of bad system identification would be:
Linux v6.5
Risk System
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Linux is a Kernel, not an O/S. Find me a distribution with 1% market share that is GNUless. I'll exclude GCCless as a requirement even.

Did you even read the article? It doesn't matter that it includes GNU utils. Hell, the vast majority of them include XFree86 too. Do the XFree86 developers insist on calling it XFree86/Linux? No... the LOC argument is complete crap.

As it says, the reason GNU and/or GCC is so prevalent is because of Linux. (Since Hurd is such an amazingly complete and functional OS...)

Yes, I read the article. I read it a year ago too.
The Xfree is a bad comparison. It is based on the assumption that everyone runs X and that X is required to run a Linux box.

I don't run X. Many distrubutions exist without X, and almost all of them support installing without installing X.

And yah, Hurd is what, 5 years and still not even vaguely production ready?

GNU utils do owe alot to Linux; however, they run on more than Linux. I return to my previous request. Find me a [Linux] distribution with [minimally] 1% market share that is GNUless excluding the use of GCC to compile it.

And still, I really could care less what people actually call it. I'm bitching because people are SO opposed to giving GNU credit that they make up these BS reasons to specifically justify it's exclusion.

I think you're making an arbitrary distinction between XFree86 and GNU based upon their importance to you. There are countless other people who could easily argue that XFree86 is more important to them than GNU, based upon their usage patterns.

As for distributions that exist without GNU, you'd have to define market before it would be a good answer, but collectively, embedded Linux distros tend to ship without GNU due largely to the requisite footprint. So, obviously Linux can exist without GNU.

Agreed - I don't really care what people call it either. It's not that I'm adverse to giving GNU credit, but after all this time, it's really sounding more like RMS whining, not because GNU's not getting credit, but because he doesn't think it's getting enough credit. That's what annoys me.

I can drive a car without doors, paint, and windows. I can't drive a car without wheels. You can't run XFree on a system without a shell. Show me an X distro that is GNUless.

Hence, GNU tools are more important than Xwindows.

Throwing embedded distros into the mix doesn't work. I don't think they make up much of the installed linux base.

And I see less of RMS bitching and more of people trying to convince me that GNU is not a crucial part of 90+% of the Linux systems today.

Now you're just being antagonistic... you're the one who arbitrarily decided that GNU == wheels. I happen to disagree. The fact that you can run a Linux system without GNU would tend to poke large holes in that belief. Admittedly, not many people do, because the GNU utils do add a great deal of functionality, but that doesn't make them absolutely, positively required.

You asked for 1% market share... I gave you an example - quite changing your definitions after the fact. =)

This appears to be where we differ. Most of the GNU denigration I see is in direct response to RMS being a whiny bastard. As I said, I'm all for GNU getting credit, but why must it be "GNU/Linux," other than because RMS said so? Who (besides RMS) suddenly decided that the GNU packages were so essential that they deserved top billing, as opposed something like "Linux, with GNU."

The kernel is the core... everything else is additives. Hence we get spaghetti and meatballs. But if those were GNU meatballs, dammit, it better be Meatballs/Spaghetti, because RMS said those were the most important part.

RMS is Root-Mean-Squared. He doesn't REALLY exist. And it looks like we're both just being counter advocates (Not to be confused with counter attendants). I guess we both have good points.

I think now, we must make a linux distro that contains neither GNU nor XFree code.

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