GNU/Linux naming controversy


Tux, mascot of the Linux Kernel
Official logo employed by the GNU Project

Within the free software and the open-source software communities there is controversy over whether to refer to computer operating systems that use a combination of GNU software and the Linux kernel as "GNU/Linux" or "Linux" systems.[1]

Proponents of the term Linux argue that it is far more commonly used by the public and media[2][3] and that it serves as a generic term for systems that combine that kernel with software from multiple other sources,[4] while proponents of the term GNU/Linux note that GNU alone would be just as good a name for GNU variants which combine the GNU operating system software with software from other sources.[5]

GNU/Linux is a term promoted by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder Richard Stallman.[6] Their reasoning is that the GNU project was the main contributor for not only many of the operating system components used in the subsequent development of modern "Linux" systems, but also the associated free software philosophy.[1][7] Several distributions of operating systems containing the Linux kernel use the name that the FSF prefers, such as Debian,[8] Trisquel[9] and Parabola GNU/Linux-libre.[10]

  1. ^ a b Noyes, Katherine (10 May 2012). "To GNU or Not to GNU? That Is the Question". www.linuxinsider.com. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  2. ^ Kurp, Abraham (July 2008). "Learning The Linux Lingo". MakeUseOf. Archived from the original on 8 March 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  3. ^ Siever, Ellen (June 2005). "What Is Linux". Linux Dev Center. O'Reilly. Archived from the original on 18 July 2006. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  4. ^ Eckert, Jason W. (2012). Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification (Third ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning. p. 33. ISBN 978-1111541538. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2013. The shared commonality of the kernel is what defines a system's membership in the Linux family; the differing OSS applications that can interact with the common kernel are what differentiate Linux distributions.
  5. ^ Wynants, Marleen; Cornelis, Jan (2005). How Open is the Future?: Economic, Social & Cultural Scenarios Inspired by Free & Open-source Software. Asp / Vubpress / Upa. p. 71. ISBN 9789054873785.
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference linuxandgnu was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference :1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ "About Debian". Debian. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Trisquel GNU/Linux". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Parabola GNU/Linux-libre". Retrieved 22 February 2017.

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