What do to about BitKeeper and the Linux Kernel (was: BitKeeper licence critic)

Jeroen Dekkers jeroen at dekkers.cx
Sat Mar 16 13:09:02 UTC 2002

On Sat, Mar 09, 2002 at 09:10:40PM +0100, M E Leypold @ labnet wrote:
> By the way: I don't call it GNU/Linux. To most of the mutants I say:
> Redhat, SuSe, etc. Since Debian keeps to the GPL as far as possible
> (or even strictly?), avoids contamination with proprietary (YAST) or
> undocumented (RPM) setup tools and also produces the a first distro
> with a Hurd kernel, I'd say, that Debian ist nearest to what could be
> GNU/Linux (I think they use GNU/Debian).

You call it Debian GNU/Linux if you are referring to that special
variant/distribution of the GNU/Linux system. You call it GNU/Linux if
you are referring to the OS, i.e. all variants/distributions.

I would not say Debian is the nearest of GNU/Linux. Debian is just a
distribution of software, the best distribution of GNU software
IMHO. But it distributes more software than only GNU/Linux. It
distributes 7000 packages. It also distributes more systems, GNU/Hurd
is the only other system at the moment but on GNU/*BSD is being worked

> GNU/Linux is really a strange name, since there is no such a thing as
> THE STANDARD LINUX and there won't be 1 GNU system if it is
> successful. The time is over, when only one variant was the right one
> (and that is the idea of freedom).

I don't see anything wrong with it. It's the GNU system with the
kernel Linux,  

>  > > They don't because GNU and some ppl like you don't give credit to
>  > > Linux.
>  > 
>  > Can you name an example? I've never heard someone calling the
>  > "GNU/Linux" system "GNU".
> Well. The name GNU sort of mutated to another meaning: (Real) Free
> software. This might include one ore more kernels to run the software
> at, but after all, a kernel is also a piece of software and who would
> like to take the freedom from people to put the pieces together as
> THEY want? 

But why not name those pieces put together by their right name? 

And why is software not developed and distributed by GNU not real free
software? Linux is real free software, but not GNU software. BSD is
also real free software, but also not GNU software.

> IMHO there will be never THE GNU system, only a whole continuum od GNU
> based systems. And that is good.

Yes, there is one GNU system. That's the system developed by GNU and
released by GNU. AFAIK GNU already decided to use Debian for the
distribution. The official GNU system is thus Debian GNU/Hurd. (We
don't call this Debian GNU to avoid confusing with other GNU variants
like Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/NetBSD, but the Hurd is really
part of GNU)

Jeroen Dekkers
Jabber supporter - http://www.jabber.org Jabber ID: jdekkers at jabber.org
Debian GNU supporter - http://www.debian.org http://www.gnu.org
IRC: jeroen at openprojects
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