香港第037期开奖结果

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GNU/Linux FAQ by Richard Stallman

To learn more about this issue, you can also readour page on Linux and the GNU Project, our page on Why GNU/Linux?and our page on GNUUsers Who Have Never Heard of GNU.

When people see that we use and recommend the name GNU/Linux for asystem that many others call just “Linux”, they ask many questions.Here are common questions, and our answers.

Why do you call the system we use GNU/Linux and not Linux? (#why)
Most operating system distributions based on Linux as kernel arebasically modified versions of the GNU operating system. We begandeveloping GNU in 1984, years before Linus Torvalds started to writehis kernel. Our goal was to develop a complete free operating system.Of course, we did not develop all the parts ourselves—but we led the way.We developed most of the central components, forming the largest singlecontribution to the whole system. The basic vision was ours too.

In fairness, we ought to get at least equal mention.

See Linux and the GNU Systemand GNU Users Who HaveNever Heard of GNU for more explanation, and The GNU Project for thehistory.

Why is the name important? (#whycare)
Although the developers of Linux, the kernel, are contributing tothe free software community, many of them do not care about freedom.People who think the whole system is Linux tend to get confused andassign to those developers a role in the history of our communitywhich they did not actually play. Then they give inordinate weight tothose developers' views.

Calling the system GNU/Linux recognizes the role that our idealismplayed in building our community, andhelps the public recognize thepractical importance of these ideals.

What is the real relationship between GNU and Linux? (#what)
The GNU operating system and the Linux kernel are separatesoftware projects that do complementary jobs. Typically they arepackaged in a GNU/Linux distribution, and usedtogether.
How did it come about that most people call the system “Linux”? (#howerror)
Calling the system “Linux” is a confusion that has spread fasterthan the corrective information.

The people who combined Linux with the GNU system were not aware thatthat's what their activity amounted to. They focused their attentionon the piece that was Linux and did not realize that more of thecombination was GNU. They started calling it “Linux” even though thatname did not fit what they had. It took a few years for us to realizewhat a problem this was and ask people to correct the practice. Bythat time, the confusion had a big head start.

香港第037期开奖结果Most of the people who call the system “Linux” have never heard whythat's not the right thing. They saw others using that name andassume it must be right. The name “Linux” also spreads a falsepicture of the system's origin, because people tend to suppose thatthe system's history was such as to fit that name. Forinstance, they often believe its development was started by LinusTorvalds in 1991. This false picture tends to reinforce the ideathat the system should be called “Linux”.

香港第037期开奖结果Many of the questions in this file represent people's attempts tojustify the name they are accustomed to using.

Should we always say “GNU/Linux” instead of “Linux”? (#always)
Not always—only when you're talking about the whole system. Whenyou're referring specifically to the kernel, you should call it“Linux”, the name its developer chose.

When people call the whole system “Linux”, as a consequencethey call the whole system by the same name as the kernel.This causes many kinds of confusion, because only experts can tellwhether a statement is about the kernel or the whole system.By calling the whole system “GNU/Linux”, and calling the kernel“Linux”, you avoid the ambiguity.

Would Linux have achieved the same success if there had been no GNU? (#linuxalone)
In that alternative world, there would be nothing today like theGNU/Linux system, and probably no free operating system at all. Noone attempted to develop a free operating system in the 1980s exceptthe GNU Project and (later) Berkeley CSRG, which had been specificallyasked by the GNU Project to start freeing its code.

Linus Torvalds was partly influenced by a speech about GNU in Finlandin 1990. It's possible that even without this influence he might havewritten a Unix-like kernel, but it probably would not have been freesoftware. Linux became free in 1992 when Linus rereleased it underthe GNU GPL. (See the release notes for version 0.12.)

香港第037期开奖结果Even if Torvalds had released Linux under some other free softwarelicense, a free kernel alone would not have made much difference tothe world. The significance of Linux came from fitting into a largerframework, a complete free operating system: GNU/Linux.

Wouldn't it be better for the community if you did not divide people with this request? (#divide)
When we ask people to say “GNU/Linux”, we are not dividing people. Weare asking them to give the GNU Project credit for the GNU operatingsystem. This does not criticize anyone or push anyone away.

香港第037期开奖结果However, there are people who do not like our saying this. Sometimesthose people push us away in response. On occasion they are so rudethat one wonders if they are intentionally trying to intimidate usinto silence. It doesn't silence us, but it does tend to divide thecommunity, so we hope you can convince them to stop.

香港第037期开奖结果However, this is only a secondary cause of division in our community.The largest division in the community is between people who appreciatefree software as a social and ethical issue and consider proprietarysoftware a social problem (supporters of the free software movement),and those who cite only practical benefits and present free softwareonly as an efficient development model (the open source movement).

This disagreement is not just a matter of names—it is a matterof differing basic values. It is essential for the community to seeand think about this disagreement. The names “freesoftware” and “open source” are the banners of thetwo positions.See Why OpenSource misses the point of Free Software.

The disagreement over values partially aligns with the amount ofattention people pay to the GNU Project's role in our community.People who value freedom are more likely to call the system“GNU/Linux”, and people who learn that the system is “GNU/Linux” aremore likely to pay attention to our philosophical arguments forfreedom and community (which is why the choice of name for the systemmakes a real difference for society). However, the disagreement wouldprobably exist even if everyone knew the system's real origin and itsproper name, because the issue is a real one. It can only go away ifwe who value freedom either persuade everyone (which won't be easy) orare defeated entirely (let's hope not).

Doesn't the GNU project support an individual's free speech rights to call the system by any name that individual chooses? (#freespeech)
Yes, indeed, we believe you have a free speech right to call theoperating system by any name you wish. We ask that people call itGNU/Linux as a matter of doing justice to the GNU project, to promotethe values of freedom that GNU stands for, and to inform others thatthose values of freedom brought the system into existence.
Since everyone knows the role of GNU in developing the system, doesn't the “GNU/” in the name go without saying? (#everyoneknows)
Experience shows that the system's users, and the computer-usingpublic in general, often know nothing about the GNU system. Mostarticles about the system do not mention the name “GNU”, or the idealsthat GNU stands for. GNU Users Who Have NeverHeard of GNU explains further.

The people who say this are probably geeks thinking of the geeks theyknow. Geeks often do know about GNU, but many have a completely wrongidea of what GNU is. For instance, many think it is a collectionof “tools”, or a project to develop tools.

The wording of this question, which is typical, illustrates anothercommon misconception. To speak of “GNU's role” in developingsomething assumes that GNU is a group of people. GNU is an operatingsystem. It would make sense to talk about the GNU Project's role inthis or some other activity, but not that of GNU.

Since I know the role of GNU in this system, why does it matter what name I use? (#everyoneknows2)
If your words don't reflect your knowledge, you don't teach others.Most people who have heard of the GNU/Linux system think it is“Linux”, that it was started by Linus Torvalds, and thatit was intended to be “open source”. If you don't tellthem, who will?
Isn't shortening “GNU/Linux” to “Linux” just like shortening “Microsoft Windows” to “Windows”? (#windows)
It's useful to shorten a frequently-used name, but not if theabbreviation is misleading.

香港第037期开奖结果Almost everyone in developed countries really does know that the“Windows” system is made by Microsoft, so shortening “MicrosoftWindows” to “Windows” does not mislead anyone as to that system'snature and origin. Shortening “GNU/Linux” to “Linux” does give thewrong idea of where the system comes from.

The question is itself misleading because GNU and Microsoft arenot the same kind of thing. Microsoft is a company;GNU is an operating system.

Isn't GNU a collection of programming tools that were included in Linux? (#tools)
People who think that Linux is an entire operating system, if theyhear about GNU at all, often get a wrong idea of what GNU is. Theymay think that GNU is the name of a collection of programs—often theysay “programming tools”, since some of our programming tools becamepopular on their own. The idea that “GNU” is the name of an operatingsystem is hard to fit into a conceptual framework in which thatoperating system is labeled “Linux”.

The GNU Project was named after the GNU operating system—it's the projectto develop the GNU system. (See the 1983 initial announcement.)

香港第037期开奖结果We developed programs such as GCC, GNU Emacs, GAS, GLIBC, BASH, etc.,because we needed them for the GNU operating system. GCC, the GNUCompiler Collection is the compiler that we wrote for the GNUoperating system. We, the many people working on the GNU Project,developed Ghostscript, GNUCash, GNU Chess and GNOME for the GNU systemtoo.

What is the differencebetween an operating system and a kernel? (#osvskernel)
An operating system, as we use the term, means a collection ofprograms that are sufficient to use the computer to do a wide varietyof jobs. A general purpose operating system, to be complete, ought tohandle all the jobs that many users may want to do.

The kernel is one of the programs in an operating system—the programthat allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that arerunning. The kernel also takes care of starting and stopping otherprograms.

To confuse matters, some people use the term “operating system” tomean “kernel”. Both uses of the term go back many years. Theuse of “operating system” to mean “kernel” is found in a number oftextbooks on system design, going back to the 80s. At the same time,in the 80s, the “Unix operating system” was understood to include allthe system programs, and Berkeley's version of Unix included evengames. Since we intended GNU to be a Unix-like operating system, weuse the term “operating system” in the same way.

香港第037期开奖结果Most of the time when people speak of the “Linux operating system”they are using “operating system” in the same sense we use: they meanthe whole collection of programs. If that's what you are referringto, please call it “GNU/Linux”. If you mean just the kernel, then“Linux” is the right name for it, but please say “kernel” also toavoid ambiguity about which body of software you mean.

If you prefer to use some other term such as “system distribution” forthe entire collection of programs, instead of “operating system”,that's fine. Then you would talk about GNU/Linux systemdistributions.

The kernel of a system is like the foundation of a house. How can a house be almost complete when it doesn't have a foundation? (#house)
A kernel is not much like the foundation of a house because buildingan operating system is not much like building a house.

A house is built from lots of little general parts that are cut andput together in situ. They have to be put together from the bottomup. Thus, when the foundation has not been built, no substantial parthas been built; all you have is a hole in the ground.

By contrast, an operating system consists of complexcomponents that can be developed in any order. When you havedeveloped most of the components, most of the work is done. This ismuch more like the International Space Station than like a house. Ifmost of the Space Station modules were in orbit but awaiting one otheressential module, that would be like the GNU system in 1992.

Isn't the kernel the brain of the system? (#brain)
A computer system is not much like a human body,and no part of it plays a role comparable to that ofthe brain in a human.
Isn't writing the kernel most of the work in anoperating system? (#kernelmost)
No, many components take a lot of work.
How can GNU be an operating system, if I can't get something called “GNU” and install it? (#notinstallable)
Many packaged and installableversions of GNU are available. None of them is called simply“GNU”, but GNU is what they basically are.

We expected to release the GNU system packaged for installation, butthis plan was overtaken by events: in 1992 others were alreadypackaging GNU variants containing Linux. Starting in 1993 wesponsored an effort to make a better and freer GNU/Linux distribution,called DebianGNU/Linux香港第037期开奖结果. The founder of Debian had already chosen that name.We did not ask him to call it just “GNU” because that wasto be the name of a system version with the GNU Hurd kernel—whichwasn't ready yet.

香港第037期开奖结果The GNU Hurd kernel never became sufficiently ready; we only recommendit to those interested in working on it. So we never packaged GNUwith the GNU Hurd kernel. However, Debian packaged this combinationas Debian GNU/Hurd.

We are now developing an advanced Scheme-based package manager calledGuix and a complete system distribution based on it called theGuix System Distribution香港第037期开奖结果 or GuixSD.This includes repackaging a substantial part of the GNU system.

We never took the last step of packaging GNU under the name“GNU”, but that doesn't alter what kind of thing GNU is.GNU is an operating system.

We're calling the whole system after the kernel, Linux. Isn't it normal to name an operating system after a kernel? (#afterkernel)
That practice seems to be very rare—we can't find any examples otherthan the misuse of the name “Linux”. Normally an operating system isdeveloped as a single unified project, and the developers choose aname for the system as a whole. The kernel usually does not have aname of its own—instead, people say “the kernel of such-and-such” or“the such-and-such kernel”.

香港第037期开奖结果Because those two constructions are used synonymously, the expression“the Linux kernel” can easily be misunderstood as meaning “the kernelof Linux” and implying that Linux must be more than a kernel. You canavoid the possibility of this misunderstanding by saying or writing“the kernel, Linux” or “Linux, the kernel.”

Can another system have “the feel of Linux”? (#feel)
There is no such thing as the “feel of Linux” becauseLinux has no user interfaces. Like any modern kernel, Linux is a basefor running programs; user interfaces belong elsewhere in the system.Human interaction with GNU/Linux always goes through other programs,and the “feel” comes from them.
The problem with “GNU/Linux” is that it is too long. How about recommending a shorter name? (#long)
For a while we tried the name “LiGNUx”, which combines the words “GNU”and “Linux”. The reaction was very bad. People accept “GNU/Linux”much better.

The shortest legitimate name for this system is “GNU”, butwe call it “GNU/Linux” for the reasonsgiven below.

How about calling the system “GliNUx” (instead of “GNU/Linux”)? (#long1)

香港第037期开奖结果The name “GNU” does not visibly appear in“Glinux,” so most people would not notice it is there.Even if it is capitalized as “GliNUx,” most people wouldnot realize that it contains a reference to GNU.

It would be comparable to writing “GNU/Linux,” butputting “GNU/” in print so small that most people couldnot read it.

The problem with “GNU/Linux” is that it is too long. Why should I go to the trouble of saying “GNU/”? (#long2)

It only takes a second to say or type “GNU/”. If youappreciate the system that we developed, can't you take one secondto recognize our work?

Unfortunately, “GNU/Linux” is five syllables. People won't use such a long term. Shouldn't you find a shorter one? (#long3)

香港第037期开奖结果Actually, “GNU/Linux” is only four syllables. “Unfortunately” is five syllables, yet people show no sign of reluctance to use that word.

Since Linux is a secondary contribution, would it be false to the facts to call the system simply “GNU”? (#justgnu)
It would not be false to the facts, but it is not the best thing todo. Here are the reasons we call that system version “GNU/Linux”rather than just “GNU”:
  • It's not exactly GNU—it has a different kernel (that is, Linux).Distinguishing GNU/Linux from GNU is useful.
  • It would be ungentlemanly to ask people to stop giving anycredit to Linus Torvalds. He did write an important component of thesystem. We want to get credit for launching and sustaining thesystem's development, but this doesn't mean we should treat Linus thesame way those who call the system “Linux” treat us. We stronglydisagree with his political views, but we deal with that disagreementhonorably and openly, rather than by trying to cut him out of thecredit for his contribution to the system.
  • Since many people know of the system as “Linux”, if we say “GNU” theymay simply not recognize we're talking about the same system. If wesay “GNU/Linux”, they can make a connection to what they have heardabout.

I would have to pay a fee if I use “Linux” in the name of a product, and that would also apply if I say “GNU/Linux”. Is it wrong if I use “GNU” without “Linux”, to save the fee? (#trademarkfee)
There's nothing wrong in calling the system “GNU”; basically, that'swhat it is. It is nice to give Linus Torvalds a share of the creditas well, but you have no obligation to pay for the privilege of doingso.

香港第037期开奖结果So if you want to refer to the system simply as “GNU”, to avoid payingthe fee for calling it “Linux”, we won't criticize you.

Many other projects contributed to the system as it is today; it includes TeX, X11, Apache, Perl, and many more programs. Don't your arguments imply we have to give them credit too? (But that would lead to a name so long it is absurd.) (#many)
What we say is that you ought to give the system's principal developera share of the credit. The principal developer is the GNU Project,and the system is basically GNU.

If you feel even more strongly about giving credit where it is due,you might feel that some secondary contributors also deserve credit inthe system's name. If so, far be it from us to argue against it. Ifyou feel that X11 deserves credit in the system's name, and you wantto call the system GNU/X11/Linux, please do. If you feel that Perlsimply cries out for mention, and you want to write GNU/Linux/Perl, goahead.

Since a long name such as GNU/X11/Apache/Linux/TeX/Perl/Python/FreeCivbecomes absurd, at some point you will have to set a threshold andomit the names of the many other secondary contributions. There is noone obvious right place to set the threshold, so wherever you set it,we won't argue against it.

Different threshold levels would lead to different choices of name forthe system. But one name that cannot result from concerns of fairnessand giving credit, not for any possible threshold level, is “Linux”.It can't be fair to give all the credit to one secondary contribution(Linux) while omitting the principal contribution (GNU).

Many other projects contributed to the system as it is today, but they don't insist on calling it XYZ/Linux. Why should we treat GNU specially? (#others)
Thousands of projects have developed programs commonly included intoday's GNU/Linux systems. They all deserve credit for theircontributions, but they aren't the principal developers of the systemas a whole, so they don't ask to be credited as such.

GNU is different because it is more than just a contributed program,more than just a collection of contributed programs. GNU is theframework on which the system was made.

GNU is a small fraction of the system nowadays, so why should we mention it? (#allsmall)
In 2008, we found that GNU packages made up 15% of the“main” repository of the gNewSense GNU/Linux distribution.Linux made up 1.5%. So the same argument would apply even morestrongly to calling it “Linux”.

GNU is a small fraction of the system nowadays, and Linux is aneven smaller fraction. But they are the system's core; the systemwas made by combining them. Thus, the name “GNU/Linux”remains appropriate.

Many companies contributed to the system as it is today; doesn't that mean we ought to call it GNU/Red Hat/Novell/Linux? (#manycompanies)

GNU is not comparable to Red Hat or Novell; it is not a company, or anorganization, or even an activity. GNU is an operating system. (Whenwe speak of the GNU Project, that refers to the project to develop theGNU system.) The GNU/Linux system is based on GNU, and that's why GNUought to appear in its name.

香港第037期开奖结果Much of those companies' contribution to the GNU/Linux system lies inthe code they have contributed to various GNU packages including GCCand GNOME. Saying GNU/Linux gives credit to those companies alongwith all the rest of the GNU developers.

Why do you write “GNU/Linux”instead of “GNU Linux”? (#whyslash)
Following the rules of English, in the construction “GNU Linux” theword “GNU” modifies “Linux”. This can mean either “GNU's version ofLinux” or “Linux, which is a GNU package.” Neither of those meaningsfits the situation at hand.

Linux is not a GNU package; that is, it wasn't developed under the GNUProject's aegis or contributed specifically to the GNU Project. LinusTorvalds wrote Linux independently, as his own project. So the“Linux, which is a GNU package” meaning is not right.

We're not talking about a distinct GNU version of Linux, the kernel.The free GNU/Linux distros do havea , since the “standard” version contains non-freefirmware “blobs”. If this were part of the GNU Project,it could be considered “GNU Linux”; but we would not wantto call it that, because it would be too confusing.

香港第037期开奖结果We're talking about a version of GNU, the operating system,distinguished by having Linux as the kernel. A slash fits thesituation because it means “combination.” (Think of“Input/Output”.) This system is the combination of GNUand Linux; hence, “GNU/Linux”.

There are other ways to express “combination”. If youthink that a plus-sign is clearer, please use that. In French, ahyphen is clear: “GNU-Linux”. In Spanish, we sometimessay “GNU con Linux”.

Why “GNU/Linux” ratherthan “Linux/GNU”? (#whyorder)

It is right and proper to mention the principal contribution first.The GNU contribution to the system is not only bigger than Linux andprior to Linux, we actually started the whole activity.

In addition, “GNU/Linux” fits the fact that Linux is thelowest level of the system and GNU fills technically higher levels.

However, if you prefer to call the system “Linux/GNU”, that is a lotbetter than what people usually do, which is to omit GNU entirely andmake it seem that the whole system is Linux.

My distro's developers call it “Foobar Linux”, but that doesn't say anything about what the system consists of. Why shouldn't they call it whatever they like? (#distronames0)
Calling a system “Foobar Linux” implies that it's a flavorof “Linux,” and people understandit that way.

If they called a GNU/Linux distro “Foobar BSD,” you wouldcall that a mistake. “This system is not BSD,” youwould tell them. Well, it's not Linux either.

My distro is called “Foobar Linux”; doesn't that show it's really Linux? (#distronames)

香港第037期开奖结果It means that the people who make the “Foobar Linux” distro arerepeating the common mistake. We appreciate that distributions like Debian, Dragora, Musix, Trisquel, and Venenux have adoptedGNU/Linux as part of their official name, and we hope that if you are involved with a different distribution, you willencourage it to do the same.

My distro's official name is “Foobar Linux”; isn't it wrong to call the distro anything but “Foobar Linux”? (#distronames1)

When they spread misinformation by changing “GNU”to “Linux”, and call their version of it “FoobarLinux”, it's proper for you to correct the misinformation bycalling it “Foobar GNU/Linux”.

Wouldn't it be more effective to ask companies such as Mandrake, Red Hat and IBM to call their distributions “GNU/Linux” rather than asking individuals? (#companies)
It isn't a choice of one or the other—we ask companies andorganizations and individuals to help spread the word about this. Infact, we have asked all three of those companies. Mandrake said itwould use the term “GNU/Linux” some of the time, but IBMand Red Hat were unwilling to help. One executive said, “Thisis a pure commercial decision; we expect to make more money calling it‘Linux’.” In other words, that company did not carewhat was right.

香港第037期开奖结果We can't make them do this right, but we're not the sort to give upjust because the road isn't easy. You may not have as much influenceat your disposal as IBM or Red Hat, but you can still help. Togetherwe can change the situation to the point where companies will makemore profit calling it “GNU/Linux”.

Wouldn't it be better to reserve the name “GNU/Linux” for distributions that are purely free software? After all, that is the ideal of GNU. (#reserve)
The widespread practice of adding non-free software to the GNU/Linuxsystem is a major problem for our community. It teaches the usersthat non-free software is ok, and that using it is part of the spiritof “Linux”. Many “Linux” User Groups make it part of their mission tohelp users use non-free add-ons, and may even invite salesmen to comeand make sales pitches for them. They adopt goals such as “helpingthe users” of GNU/Linux (including helping them use non-freeapplications and drivers), or making the system more popular even atthe cost of freedom.

The question is how to try to change this.

Given that most of the community which uses GNU with Linux alreadydoes not realize that's what it is, for us to disown these adulteratedversions, saying they are not really GNU, would not teach the users tovalue freedom more. They would not get the intended message. Theywould only respond they never thought these systems were GNU in thefirst place.

The way to lead these users to see a connection with freedom isexactly the opposite: to inform them that all these systemversions are香港第037期开奖结果 versions of GNU, that they all are based on asystem that exists specifically for the sake of the users' freedom.With this understanding, they can start to recognize the distributionsthat include non-free software as perverted, adulterated versions ofGNU, instead of thinking they are proper and appropriate “versions ofLinux”.

It is very useful to start GNU/Linux User Groups, which call thesystem GNU/Linux and adopt the ideals of the GNU Project as a basisfor their activities. If the Linux User Group in your area has theproblems described above, we suggest you either campaign within thegroup to change its orientation (and name) or start a new group. Thepeople who focus on the more superficial goals have a right to theirviews, but don't let them drag you along!

Why not make a GNU distribution of Linux (sic) and call that GNU/Linux? (#gnudist)
All the “Linux” distributions are actually versions of the GNU systemwith Linux as the kernel. The purpose of the term “GNU/Linux” is tocommunicate this point. To develop one new distribution and call thatalone “GNU/Linux” would obscure the point we want to make.

香港第037期开奖结果As for developing a distribution of GNU/Linux, we already did thisonce, when we funded the early development of Debian GNU/Linux. To doit again now does not seem useful; it would be a lot of work, andunless the new distribution had substantial practical advantages overother distributions, it would serve no purpose.

香港第037期开奖结果Instead we help the developers of 100% free GNU/Linux distributions,such as gNewSense and Ututo.

Why not just say “Linux is the GNU kernel” and release some existing version of GNU/Linux under the name “GNU”? (#linuxgnu)
It might have been a good idea to adopt Linux as the GNU kernel backin 1992. If we had realized, then, how long it would take to get theGNU Hurd to work, we might have done that. (Alas, that is hindsight.)

If we were to take an existing version of GNU/Linux and relabel it as“GNU”, that would be somewhat like making a version of the GNU systemand labeling it “Linux”. That wasn't right, and we don'twant to act like that.

Did the GNU Project condemn and oppose use of Linux in the early days? (#condemn)
We did not adopt Linux as our kernel, but we didn't condemn or opposeit. In 1993 we started discussing the arrangements to sponsor thedevelopment of Debian GNU/Linux. We also sought to cooperate with thepeople who were changing some GNU packages for use with Linux. Wewanted to include their changes in the standard releases so that theseGNU packages would work out-of-the-box in combination with Linux. Butthe changes were often ad-hoc and nonportable; they needed to be cleanedup for installation.

香港第037期开奖结果The people who had made the changes showed little interest incooperating with us. One of them actually told us that he didn't careabout working with the GNU Project because he was a “Linux user”.That came as a shock, because the people who ported GNU packages toother systems had generally wanted to work with us to get theirchanges installed. Yet these people, developing a system that wasprimarily based on GNU, were the first (and still practically theonly) group that was unwilling to work with us.

香港第037期开奖结果It was this experience that first showed us that people were calling aversion of the GNU system “Linux”, and that this confusion wasobstructing our work. Asking you to call the system “GNU/Linux” isour response to that problem, and to the other problems caused by the“Linux” misnomer.

Why did you wait so long before asking people to use the name GNU/Linux? (#wait)

香港第037期开奖结果Actually we didn't. We began talking privately with developers anddistributors about this in 1994, and made a more public campaign in1996. We will continue for as long as it's necessary.

Should the GNU/name convention be applied to all programs that are GPL'ed? (#allgpled)
We never refer to individual programs as “GNU/name”. When a programis a GNU package, we may call it “GNU name”.

GNU, the operating system, is made up of many different programs.Some of the programs in GNU were written as part of the GNU Project orspecifically contributed to it; these are the GNU packages, and weoften use “GNU” in their names.

It's up to the developers of a program to decide if they want to contributeit and make it a GNU package. If you have developed a program and youwould like it to be a GNU package, please write to<gnu@aobalv.cn>, so we can evaluate itand decide whether we want it.

It wouldn't be fair to put the name GNU on every individual programthat is released under the GPL. If you write a program and release itunder the GPL, that doesn't mean the GNU Project wrote it or that youwrote it for us. For instance, the kernel, Linux, is released underthe GNU GPL, but Linus did not write it as part of the GNU Project—hedid the work independently. If something is not a GNU package, theGNU Project can't take credit for it, and putting “GNU” in its namewould be improper.

In contrast, we do deserve the overall credit for the GNU operatingsystem as a whole, even though not for each and every program in it.The system exists as a system because of our determination andpersistence, starting in 1984, many years before Linux was begun.

香港第037期开奖结果The operating system in which Linux became popular was basically thesame as the GNU operating system. It was not entirely the same,because it had a different kernel, but it was mostly the same system.It was a variant of GNU. It was the GNU/Linux system.

Linux continues to be used primarily in derivatives of that system—intoday's versions of the GNU/Linux system. What gives these systemstheir identity is GNU and Linux at the center of them, not particularlyLinux alone.

Since much of GNU comesfrom Unix, shouldn't GNU give creditto Unix by using “Unix” in its name? (#unix)
Actually, none of GNU comes from Unix. Unix was proprietary software(and still is), so using any of its code in GNU would have beenillegal. This is not a coincidence; this is why we developed GNU:since you could not have freedom in using Unix, or any of the otheroperating systems of the day, we needed a free system to replace it.We could not copy programs, or even parts of them, from Unix;everything had to be written afresh.

No code in GNU comes from Unix, but GNU is a Unix-compatible system;therefore, many of the ideas and specifications of GNU do come fromUnix. The name “GNU”, which stands for “GNU's NotUnix”, is a humorous way of giving credit to Unix for this,following a hacker tradition of recursive acronyms that started in the70s.

The first such recursive acronym was TINT, “TINT Is NotTECO”. The author of TINT wrote another implementation of TECO(there were already many of them, for various systems), but instead ofcalling it by a dull name like “somethingorother TECO”, hethought of a clever amusing name. (That's what hackingmeans: .)

香港第037期开奖结果Other hackers enjoyed that name so much that we imitated the approach.It became a tradition that, when you were writing from scratch aprogram that was similar to some existing program (let's imagine itsname was “Klever”), you could give it a recursive acronym name, suchas “MINK” for “MINK Is Not Klever.” In this same spirit we called ourreplacement for Unix “GNU's Not Unix”.

香港第037期开奖结果Historically, AT&T which developed Unix did not want anyone togive it credit by using “Unix” in the name of a similarsystem, not even in a system 99% copied from Unix. AT&T actuallythreatened to sue anyone giving AT&T credit in that way. This iswhy each of the various modified versions of Unix (all proprietary,like Unix) had a completely different name that didn't include“Unix”.

Should we say “GNU/BSD”too? (#bsd)
We don't call the BSD systems (FreeBSD, etc.) “GNU/BSD” systems,because that term does not fit the history of the BSD systems.

The BSD system was developed by UC Berkeley as non-free software inthe 80s, and became free in the early 90s. A free operating systemthat exists today is almost certainly either a variant of the GNUsystem, or a kind of BSD system.

People sometimes ask whether BSD too is a variant of GNU, as GNU/Linuxis. It is not. The BSD developers were inspired to make their codefree software by the example of the GNU Project, and explicit appealsfrom GNU activists helped convince them to start, but the code hadlittle overlap with GNU.

香港第037期开奖结果BSD systems today use some GNU packages, just as the GNU system andits variants use some BSD programs; however, taken as wholes, they aretwo different systems that evolved separately. The BSD developers didnot write a kernel and add it to the GNU system, so a name likeGNU/BSD would not fit the situation.

The connection between GNU/Linux and GNU is much closer, and that'swhy the name “GNU/Linux” is appropriate for it.

There is a version of GNU which uses the kernel from NetBSD. Itsdevelopers call it “Debian GNU/NetBSD”, but “GNU/kernelofNetBSD”would be more accurate, since NetBSD is an entire system, not justthe kernel. This is not a BSD system, since most of the systemis the same as the GNU/Linux system.

If I install the GNU toolson Windows, does that mean I am running a GNU/Windows system? (#othersys)
Not in the same sense that we mean by “GNU/Linux”. The tools of GNUare just a part of the GNU software, which is just a part of the GNUsystem, and underneath them you would still have another completeoperating system which has no code in common with GNU. All in all,that's a very different situation from GNU/Linux.
Can't Linux be used without GNU? (#justlinux)
Linux is used by itself, or with small other programs, in someappliances. These small software systems are a far cry from theGNU/Linux system. Users do not install them on PCs, for instance, andwould find them rather disappointing. It is useful to say that theseappliances run just Linux, to show how different those small platformsare from GNU/Linux.
How much of the GNU system is needed for the systemto beGNU/Linux? (#howmuch)
“How much” is not a meaningful question because the GNUsystem does not have precise boundaries.

GNU is an operating system maintained by a community. It includes farmore than just the GNU software packages (of which we have a specificlist), and people add more packages constantly. Despite thesechanges, it remains the GNU system, and adding Linux to that yieldsGNU/Linux. If you use part of the GNU system and omit part, there isno meaningful way to say “how much” you used.

If we look at the level of packages, Linux is one important package inthe GNU/Linux system. The inclusion of one important GNU package isenough to justify our request for equal mention.

Are there complete Linux systems [sic] without GNU? (#linuxsyswithoutgnu)
There are complete systems that contain Linux and not GNU; Android isan example. But it is a mistake to call them “Linux”systems, just as it is a mistake to call GNU a “Linux” system.

Android is very different from the GNU/Linux system—becausethe two have very little code in common. In fact, the only thing theyhave in common is Linux.

If you call the whole GNU/Linux system “Linux”,you will find it necessary to say things like, “Android containsLinux, but it isn't Linux, because it doesn't have the usual Linux[sic] libraries and utilities [meaning the GNU system].”

Android contains just as much of Linux as GNU/Linux does. What itdoesn't have is the GNU system. Android replaces that with Googlesoftware that works quite differently. What makes Android differentfrom GNU/Linux is the absence of GNU.

Is it correct to say “using Linux” if it refers to using GNU/Linux andusing Android? (#usegnulinuxandandroidlinuxsyswithoutgnu)
Far from it. That usage is so strained thatpeople will not understand the intended meaning.

The public will find it very strange to speak of using Android as“using Linux”. It's like having a conversation, thensaying you were conversing with the person's intestines or theperson's circulatory system.

The public will香港第037期开奖结果 understand the idea of “usingLinux” when it's really GNU/Linux, by way of the usualmisunderstanding: thinking of the whole system as“Linux”.

香港第037期开奖结果Use of Android and use of GNU/Linux are totally different, asdifferent as driving a car and riding a bicycle. The fact that thefirst two both contain Linux is irrelevant to using them, just as thefact that a car and a bicycle both have a structure of metal isirrelevant to using those two. If you wish to talk about using carsand bikes, you wouldn't speak of “riding metal objects”— not unless you're playing games with the reader. You wouldsay, “using cars and bikes.” Likewise, the clear way totalk about using GNU/Linux and Android is to say “usingGNU/Linux and Android.”

Why not call the system “Linux” anyway, and strengthen Linus Torvalds' role as posterboy for our community? (#helplinus)
Linus Torvalds is the “posterboy” (other people's choice of word, notours) for his goals, not ours. His goal is to make the system morepopular, and he believes its value to society lies merely in thepractical advantages it offers: its power, reliability and easyavailability. He has never advocatedfreedom to cooperate as anethical principle, which is why the public does not connect the name“Linux” with that principle.

香港第037期开奖结果Linus publicly states his disagreement with the free softwaremovement's ideals. He developed non-free software in his job for manyyears (and said so to a large audience at a “Linux”World show), andpublicly invited fellow developers of Linux, the kernel, to usenon-free software to work on it with him. He goes even further, andrebukes people who suggest that engineers and scientists shouldconsider social consequences of our technical work—rejecting thelessons society learned from the development of the atom bomb.

香港第037期开奖结果There is nothing wrong with writing a free program for the motivationsof learning and having fun; the kernel Linus wrote for those reasonswas an important contribution to our community. But those motivationsare not the reason why the complete free system, GNU/Linux, exists,and they won't secure our freedom in the future. The public needs toknow this. Linus has the right to promote his views; however, peopleshould be aware that the operating system in questionstems from ideals of freedom, not from his views.

Isn't it wrong for us to label Linus Torvalds' work as GNU? (#claimlinux)
It would be wrong, so we don't do that. Torvalds' work is Linux, thekernel; we are careful not to attribute that work to the GNU Projector label it as “GNU”. When we talk about the wholesystem, the name “GNU/Linux” gives him a share of thecredit.
Does Linus Torvalds agree that Linux is just the kernel? (#linusagreed)

He recognized this at the beginning. The earliest Linux release notessaid, .

Why not finish the GNU Hurd kernel, release the GNU system as a whole, and forget the question of what to call GNU/Linux? (#finishhurd)
We would like credit for the GNU operating system no matter whichkernel is used with it.

Making the GNU Hurd work well enough to compete with Linux would bea big job, and it's not clearly necessary. The only thing ethicallywrong with Linux as a kernel is its inclusion of firmware“blobs”; the best fix for that problemis .

The battle is already lost—society has made its decision and we can't change it, so why even think about it? (#lost)
This isn't a battle, it is a campaign of education. What to call thesystem is not a single decision, to be made at one moment by“society”: each person, each organization, can decide whatname to use. You can't make others say “GNU/Linux”, butyou can decide to call the system “GNU/Linux”yourself—and by doing so, you will help educate others.
Society has made its decision and we can't change it, so what good does it do if I say “GNU/Linux”? (#whatgood)
This is not an all-or-nothing situation: correct and incorrectpictures are being spread more or less by various people. If you callthe system “GNU/Linux”, you will help others learn the system's truehistory, origin, and reason for being. You can't correct the misnomereverywhere on your own, any more than we can, but you can help. Ifonly a few hundred people see you use the term “GNU/Linux”, you willhave educated a substantial number of people with very little work.And some of them will spread the correction to others.
Wouldn't it be better to call the system “Linux” and teach people its real origin with a ten-minute explanation? (#explain)
If you help us by explaining to others in that way, we appreciate youreffort, but that is not the best method. It is not as effective ascalling the system “GNU/Linux”, and uses your time inefficiently.

It is ineffective because it may not sink in, and surely will notpropagate. Some of the people who hear your explanation will payattention, and they may learn a correct picture of the system'sorigin. But they are unlikely to repeat the explanation to otherswhenever they talk about the system. They will probably just call it“Linux”. Without particularly intending to, they will help spread theincorrect picture.

It is inefficient because it takes a lot more time. Saying andwriting “GNU/Linux” will take you only a few seconds a day, notminutes, so you can afford to reach far more people that way.Distinguishing between Linux and GNU/Linux when you write and speak isby far the easiest way to help the GNU Project effectively.

Some people laugh at you when you ask them to call the system GNU/Linux. Why do you subject yourself to this treatment? (#treatment)
Calling the system “Linux” tends to give people a mistaken picture ofthe system's history and reason for existence. People who laugh atour request probably have picked up that mistaken picture—they thinkour work was done by Linus, so they laugh when we ask for credit forit. If they knew the truth, they probably wouldn't laugh.

Why do we take the risk of making a request that sometimes leadspeople to ridicule us? Because often it has useful results that helpthe GNU Project. We will run the risk of undeserved abuse to achieveour goals.

If you see such an ironically unfair situation occurring, please don'tsit idly by. Please teach the laughing people the real history. Whenthey see why the request is justified, those who have any sense willstop laughing.

Some people condemn you when you ask them to call the system GNU/Linux. Don't you lose by alienating them? (#alienate)
Not much. People who don't appreciate our role in developing thesystem are unlikely to make substantial efforts to help us. If theydo work that advances our goals, such as releasing free software, itis probably for other unrelated reasons, not because we asked them.Meanwhile, by teaching others to attribute our work to someone else,they are undermining our ability to recruit the help of others.

It makes no sense to worry about alienating people who are alreadymostly uncooperative, and it is self-defeating to be deterred fromcorrecting a major problem lest we anger the people who perpetuate it.Therefore, we will continue trying to correct the misnomer.

Whatever you contributed, is it legitimate to rename the operating system? (#rename)
We are not renaming anything; we have been calling this system “GNU”ever since we announced it in 1983. The people who tried to renameit to “Linux” should not have done so.
Isn't it wrong to force people to callthe system “GNU/Linux”? (#force)
It would be wrong to force them, and we don't try. We call the system“GNU/Linux”, and we ask you to do it too.
Why not sue people who callthe whole system “Linux”? (#whynotsue)
There are no legal grounds to sue them, but since we believe infreedom of speech, we wouldn't want to do that anyway. We ask peopleto call the system “GNU/Linux” because that is the right thing to do.
Shouldn't you put something in the GNU GPL to require people to call the system “GNU”? (#require)
The purpose of the GNU GPL is to protect the users' freedom from thosewho would make proprietary versions of free software. While it istrue that those who call the system “Linux” often do things that limitthe users' freedom, such as bundling non-free software with theGNU/Linux system or even developing non-free software for such use,the mere act of calling the system “Linux” does not, in itself, denyusers their freedom. It seems improper to make the GPL restrict whatname people can use for the system.
Since you objected to the original BSD license'sadvertising requirement to give credit to the University of California,isn't it hypocritical to demand credit for the GNU project? (#BSDlicense)
It would be hypocritical to make the name GNU/Linux a licenserequirement, and we don't. We only ask you to give us thecredit we deserve.

Please note that there are at least two different BSD licenses. For clarity's sake, please don't usethe term “BSD license” without specifying which one.

Since you failed to put something in the GNU GPL to require people to call the system “GNU”, you deserve what happened; why are you complaining now? (#deserve)
The question presupposes a rather controversial general ethicalpremise: that if people do not force you to treat them fairly, you areentitled to take advantage of them as much as you like. In otherwords, it assumes that might makes right.

We hope you disagree with that premise just as we do.

Wouldn't you be better off not contradicting what so many people believe? (#contradict)
We don't think we should go along with large numbers of people becausethey have been misled. We hope you too will decide that truth isimportant.

香港第037期开奖结果We could never have developed a free operating system without firstdenying the belief, held by most people, that proprietary softwarewas legitimate and acceptable.

Since many people callit “Linux”, doesn't that make it right? (#somanyright)
We don't think that the popularity of an error makes it the truth.
Isn't it better to call the system by the name most users already know? (#knownname)
Users are not incapable of learning. Since “GNU/Linux”includes “Linux”, they will recognize what you're talkingabout. If you add “(often erroneously referred to as‘Linux’)” once in a while, they will all understand.
Many people care about what's convenient or who's winning, not about arguments of right or wrong. Couldn't you get more of their support by a different road? (#winning)
To care only about what's convenient or who's winning is an amoralapproach to life. Non-free software is an example of that amoralapproach and thrives on it. Thus, in the long run it would beself-defeating for us to adopt that approach. We will continuetalking in terms of right and wrong.

香港第037期开奖结果We hope that you are one of those for whom right and wrong do matter.

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