FAQ and GNU
Shawn K. Quinn
skquinn at rushpost.com
Tue Oct 10 11:57:14 CEST 2017
On 10/10/2017 01:46 AM, Robert J. Hansen wrote:
>> 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.
There is nothing political about giving proper credit to the GNU Project
for the operating system (the software which Linux, the kernel, boots
into in order to provide a useful system).
> 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.
I will happily refer to, for example, Ubuntu GNU/Linux since there is
clearly a GNU userland surrounding Linux, the kernel. I feel wrong doing
> 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.
I agree that it is possible to use other userlands (BSD derivatives, or
whatever Android is) with Linux, the kernel. However, the vast majority
of so-called "Linux distributions" in fact rely on GNU software (most
notably GNU coreutils and GNU libc) to function.
> 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."
s/on Linux systems/on systems which boot using Linux, the kernel/
Shawn K. Quinn <skquinn at rushpost.com>
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