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Re: Gnu say "LInux is just a kernel"

From: Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
Subject: Re: Gnu say "LInux is just a kernel"
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 17:42:38 -0000

begin  In <>, on
   at 05:33 PM, Grover Cleveland <19th@century.presidents> said:

>Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system  (18k
>characters) every day, without realizing it.

No. They run a bunch of GNU utilities; they do not run the HURD, and
therefor it is disingenuous to claim that they are running "he GNU

>The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless
>by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete
>operating system.

Untrue; the Linux kernel can be and has been used without all of the
GNU cruft, much less a complete operating system.

>Linux is normally used in a combination with the GNU operating
>system: the whole system is basically GNU, with Linux functioning as
>its kernel.

ROTF,LMAO! Every Linux distribution that I've used has had more
software from non-FSF sources than from FSF. This is just another
self-promotion by RMS.

>Many users are not fully aware of the distinction between the
>kernel,  which is Linux, and the whole system, which they also call

Well, it would appear that the author is not aware of the distinction,
since he doesn't seem to understand the relation between GNU and HURD.
I don't know what you mean by "whole system", but users call Linux
distributions Linux distributions because they are Linux
distributions. It may be that they don't understand that most of the
distribution is not Linux, but some evidence to that effect might have
been nice.

>Programmers generally know that Linux is a kernel. But since they
>have generally heard the whole system called ``Linux'' as well, they
>often envisage a history that would justify naming the whole system
>after the kernel. 

An interesting article of faith. Probably untrue, and certainly
unproven, but still interesting.

>For example, many believe that once Linus Torvalds finished writing
>Linux, the kernel, its users looked around for other free software
>to go with it, and found that (for no particular reason) most
>everything necessary to make a Unix-like system was already

You mean such GNU software as X, GNOME and KDE? Perhaps you mean Perl
and TeX? Yep, it all came from FSF. NOT!

Now, admittedly a lot of useful stuff in the typical Linux
distribution comes from FSF. But a lot more does not. And that's not
new; it was true back in the days when Ygdrassil was taking on

     Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz, SysProg and JOAT

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