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.
Proponents of the term Linux argue that it is far more commonly used by the public and media and that it serves as a generic term for systems that combine that kernel with software from multiple other sources, 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.
GNU/Linux is a term promoted by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder Richard Stallman. 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. Several distributions of operating systems containing the Linux kernel use the name that the FSF prefers, such as Debian, Trisquel and Parabola GNU/Linux-libre.
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.
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