FAQ and GNU
Robert J. Hansen
rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Tue Oct 10 08:46:05 CEST 2017
> However, if the GnuPG FAQ is talking about an operating system built
> from the Linux kernel and the GNU userland (coreutils, libc, etc), then
> "GNU/Linux" is not only the respectful term to use, it's the more
> accurate and precise term.
I disagree. It's a more political term.
With respect to specific distros, we ought use the name the distro
prefers. The Fedora Project releases Fedora, not Fedora GNU/Linux. The
Debian guys release Debian GNU/Linux, not Debian Linux. The people who
set up these distros have given their distros names, and it seems
appropriate to use the names properly. It is as inappropriate to refer
to Debian Linux as it is to refer to Fedora GNU/Linux: in both cases
that's rejecting the community's right to name their distro what they wish.
When speaking generically about operating systems using the Linux
kernel, there it seems GNU is also inappropriate. GNU is not an
inseparable part of Linux; we should not promulgate the myth they are.
In the FAQ, wherever "Linux" is used as a generic descriptor it is in a
context where the presence of GNU utilities is irrelevant. Example:
"there is no single, consistent way to install GnuPG on Linux systems."
The truth/validity of that statement is in no way dependent on whether
one's talking about a system that uses the GNU userland or the BSD userland.
In those cases where "Linux" is used to open a segment detailing how
GnuPG works on different distros, I use the distro's preferred full name
or shortened name:
> Note that GnuPG also builds against (and runs on) other operating
> systems that use GNU but do *not* use Linux, such as Debian's
> GNU/kFreeBSD and GNU/Hurd ports.
Yes, but they aren't mentioned in the FAQ.
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