After building the infrastructure to analyse the code in an Ubuntu release I decided to satisfy a simple curiosity and figure out how much GNU software is actually part of a modern distribution. I picked Ubuntu natty (released in April) as a reference, am counting lines of code (LOC) as the rough metric for size of a given project, and am considering only the “main” repository, supposedly the core of the distribution, actually packaged by Ubuntu and not repackaged from Debian.

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JRepin's picture
Created by JRepin 7 years 11 weeks ago – Made popular 7 years 11 weeks ago
Category: High End   Tags:
spanky's picture


7 years 11 weeks 12 hours 10 min ago


Much more than software

"Most operating systems were developed for commercial or technical motives, but GNU was developed for the sake of giving users the freedom to cooperate in a community. If users don't know this, they will be in danger of losing their freedom."

-- Richard Stallman

Freedom cannot be measured in LOCs.

TDTwister's picture


7 years 10 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago


Sure but

The statistic does not count how much software is actually free software, just how many are under the GNU project. If you recount the projects based on the license you will probably find that most of them are GPL based. The overall idea is that Gnu or not GNU free software lives on despite the fact that you can make a Linux distribution with no GNU at all.

akf's picture


7 years 10 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago


What makes a system?

A Linux system without GNU (eg. Android) is seen by many as a completely different system from GNU/Linux.
However a GNU system without Linux (eg. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD) is not really that different.

So, really, what is the essence of a system?