Richard Stallman wants to popularise the term GNU/Linux instead of using the currently popular term Linux. He correctly states that the term Linux, besides being thoroughly inaccurate, totally fails to introduce new users to the legal and philosophical concepts that underlie the basis of the GNU/Linux OS; but is it feasible to make such a change at this late stage?

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snotbutter's picture
Created by snotbutter 7 years 45 weeks ago – Made popular 7 years 44 weeks ago
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aboutblank's picture


7 years 45 weeks 9 hours 12 min ago


A misnomer is always a misnomer

We should always be correct in our language as life is already confusing enough without having to decipher ambiguous language.

GNU is a system of software that forms the basis of the "complete software system". GNU was born in order to provide a free operating system (and related free software). GNU has its own operating system kernel called Hurd. Hurd works today and is usable though it may not work on your hardware at this moment because the Hurd isn't as it isn't as complete as other kernels.

Linux is an operating system kernel and related OS hardware drivers. Linux by itself has very limited functionality for a computer system. Linux together with GNU provides the basis of a usable computer system and hence, the name GNU/Linux.

If you wish to name other software included in a GNU/Linux system, you may do so but the most important software in the system is GNU and Linux as they form the basis for everything else.

Balzac's picture


7 years 45 weeks 7 hours 19 min ago


If the Linux Kernel is a horse which has bolted from the stable

It's pulling a chariot with a GNU riding in back and holding the reins. Giddyup!

yamanu's picture


7 years 44 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago


What about crossbreeding

Kicking off the Linux as an essential part of the GNU stack is clearly the solution. I suggest some form of crossbreeding with BSD, forking a BSD project under GPL or something. Yes, I'm a heretic, but it is one clear way outa this mess. Except we loose a buzzword? :)

spikeb's picture


7 years 44 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago



There's always debian's kfreebsd!

lozz's picture


7 years 44 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago


Friends, Romans, GNU/Linux users

I didn't come to bury GNU/Linux. I've been trained to use the term and will continue to do so.

However, regular readers of this site are aware that about 90% of postings use the term Linux instead of GNU/Linux and most of them intend to continue using it.

That being the case, I hoped to stimulate a discussion of alternative methods to introduce many of these to the knowledge that there is much more involved than the simple term "Linux implies.