The Hurd

Jeroen Dekkers jeroen at
Wed Mar 20 13:50:58 UTC 2002

On Tue, Mar 19, 2002 at 02:51:15PM +0100, Frank Heckenbach wrote:
> Werner Koch wrote:
> > On Tue, 19 Mar 2002 00:37:29 +0100, Frank Heckenbach said:
> > 
> > > "Almost everything" is not really true. Even today, the GNU system
> > > uses a substantial number of components from BSD, X, TeX, etc. You
> > 
> > And that was the plan nearly from the start of the GNU project.  The
> > GNU project never said that all software has to be written from
> > scratch for it; it just turned out that a lot of stuff needed to
> > be written due to a lack of existing free implementations. 
> Note that I don't deny it. I was just refusing Jeroen' claim that
> "Almost everything was already there *written* by GNU." [emphasis by
> me] which is clearly not true. "Collected" or "compiled" would have
> been alright ...

Do you know what the word 'almost' means?
> > > developers really called it "GNU/Linux", someone like Alessandro
> > > Rubini would have to speak of "GNU/Linux", even though his system
> > > uses only the kernel Linux and no GNU parts. So please, get
> > 
> > I don't understand this.  If you are using just the bare bone Linux
> > kernel, the name Linux is what should be used.
> Exactly. That's why Jeroen's statement '[Linus] only had to write a
> kernel and a few other things. He misnamed this to "Linux" and
> didn't credit GNU.' is also unreasonable. He is talking only about
> the kernel (and perhaps some some utilities close to the kernel,
> written by Linus etc.), so it's no misnaming to call this "Linux".

Now let's quote the whole: 'Linus wanted to write an operating
system. Almost everything was already there written by GNU. He only
had to write a kernel and a few other things. He misnamed this to
"Linux" and didn't credit GNU.'

I meant: Misnamed this -> misnamed the OS. I was a bit unclear, but I
think most other people already guessed what I meant.

> > > Frank Heckenbach, frank at
> > >
> > 
> > So much GNU, so less GNU/Linux ;-)
> Yes. I support GNU, I use GNU/Linux on my machines (and sometimes
> work on GNU/Solaris and GNU/IRIX machines ;-). But I think attacking
> Linux (the kernel) for not being called GNU/Linux, like Jeroen did,
> does not help, but hurt the reputation of GNU.

I wanted to say that OS should have been called GNU/Linux and was
misnamed to "Linux".

Jeroen Dekkers
Jabber supporter - Jabber ID: jdekkers at
Debian GNU supporter -
IRC: jeroen at openprojects
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