Why you should call it “GNU/Linux” and not just “Linux” ?



I feel very uncomfortable when people call system as only “Linux”. To be honest it’s not just Linux but GNU/Linux.

Today I will talk about why you should call Linux kernel based system as GNU/Linux. This article is inspired from Richard M. Stallman’s and GNU’s articles.

It has been more than 20 years since Linus Torvalds has created first free kernel. Now we see most powerful supercomputers, PC, embedded systems, etc running on Linux kernel. But if you go back 30 year back. You could see GNU project which is meant to develop complete free operating system.

By time when Linus has Kernel ready, but didn’t have other central components. GNU and Linux kernel came together to from compete operating system.  And you are just calling it “Linux”!

No, this is not correct way. If you are referring to just kernel then it’s OK. But when you say complete operating system, then “GNU/Linux” is right world.

GNU provided basic tools like compilers, linker, loader, etc, and together Linux kernel from Linus formed GNU/Linux.

GNU is still aiming and working for complete free operating system as you might have known about binary blobs in Linux kernel.

Why we should care about naming Linux or GNU/Linux either ?

Calling system GNU/Linux recognizes the role that our idealizm played while building this community. This not only reminds that we care about software freedom but also free society.

Calling system Linux is a confusion that spread faster than corrective information as said by GNU. We see people calling it Linux and assume it is right. Without GNU components Linux kernel would not have complete.  Linux name is spreading false picture of system’s origin. People knew that it was started and developed by Linus in 1991 lab lab….. and it enforce them to call it Linux.

I hope I had given enough references to think and start calling system as GNU/Linux.



1. http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html
# Linux is registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

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